Personal Finance

10 Costly Bank Fees That Are Draining Your Account

Written by Rebecca Lake

If your checking or savings account balance isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, overspending may not be the problem. It could be that your bank is gouging you with hefty fees every month. Some of these fees are obvious while others are more stealthy but either way, they could be costing you valuable dollars and sense. If you’re ready to plug the money leaks in your bank account, here are 10 pricey fees to watch out for.

1. Minimum balance fee
One of the ways banks are able to charge customers fees is by imposing a minimum balance requirement on your account. In other words, if your balance falls below the threshold set by the bank, you’ll be charged a fee. Typically, you have to maintain the minimum balance on a daily basis to get around paying it.

2. Monthly maintenance fee
On top of charging minimum balance fees, some banks charge a monthly maintenance fee just to have an account. The way to avoid this fee may involve meeting certain requirements, such as having a direct deposit into your account, writing a set number of checks or maintaining a combined minimum balance between your checking, savings or money market accounts.

3. Overdraft fee
Running your checking account into the red can cost you some serious cash if you get hit with an overdraft fee. What’s worse is that some banks charge multiple overdraft fees in one day when you don’t have enough money to cover your transactions. A $5 overage can turn into $100+ if your bank decides to pile on the fees so it pays to stay on top of what you’re spending.

4. Nonsufficient funds fee
In addition to an overdraft fee, your bank can also hit you with a nonsufficient funds fee if an item is returned. If you write a check for $20 and you only have $15 in your account, you could end up paying both the overdraft fee and the nonsufficient funds fee, which is a double whammy for your bottom line.

5. Returned deposit fee
By now, you understand that you can be charged a fee if you write a check that bounces but you may not know that you can also be penalized if you deposit a check that’s returned. The fees can be compounded if you write checks against the bad check which end up getting returned as well.

About the author

Rebecca Lake

Rebecca Lake is a personal finance writer and blogger specializing in topics related to mortgages, retirement and business credit. Her work has appeared in a variety of outlets around the web, including Smart Asset and Money Crashers. You can find her on Twitter at @seemomwrite or her website,

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