Banks often charge high fees on certain transactions that take place on your bank accounts. Some of those fees are put into place in order to protect the bank from such things as the costs associated with overdraft fees. There are other charges that apply to things that you do everyday. Most people don’t often think about those charges but they can really add up. People think that these bank fees are far too high and completely unfair.
Here is a look at some of the bank fees you might run across and a look at how fair the system is:
Most everyone can agree that if you don’t have enough money to cover the checks your wrote, there should be a charge. The point of contention is that the fees are extremely high. Some banks charge up to $35 for this error. It is against the law to write a bad check. You can go to jail for it and it the amount of money exceeds a certain amount, you could be charged with a felony.
Overdraft fees are fair to a point. These fees should be incurred but the high amount is in question. An amount of $5 or $10 would probably be sufficient. Most people don’t overdraft their account on purpose. There may have been an error in math when subtracting or an item which the account holder forgot to write down. It pays to be careful, but, we are human and make mistakes.
It would be more fair to charge on a minimum/maximum level scale. For instance, charging only $5 to someone that commits the offense the first time and gradually raising the amount each time up to a certain limit if the person is a repeat offender. Bounced checks can cause a great deal of extra work for the bank. There should be a fee associated with it, it would just be wiser to lower the cost of it, at least for a first time offense.
If you want a hard copy of a cancelled check, you usually have to pay the bank to get it. There was a time that banks sent out the cancelled checks along with the monthly statements. That is no longer the case. If you need a copy of a check, you have to pay in order to get it. The fees may seem fairly low, but if you must have or choose to have those copies for your files, it adds up to a lot of money.
The idea of having to pay for copies of checks that you paid for seems ridiculous. This is especially true since it used to be normal procedure to send those checks out to the account holder. There shouldn’t be a fee for something that we already paid for to start with. This isn’t an issue as much as it may once have been. Many banks will allow you to see the check online when you set up your online banking with them. We also use our ATM card and online bill pay in order to speed the payment process up. In such cases, there will be no check to get a copy of. However, there are people who aren’t online and have no desire to be. To charge them an extra fee in order to get a copy of cancelled checks isn’t fair and shouldn’t exist.
Everyone is aware of these fees. These are fees that you are charged by your bank and other banks in order to use the ATM. These fees have gotten out of hand. You are paying to get your own money out. However, there is a reason for them. It costs a lot of money for the machines, someone has to maintain the machines and the banks all have to make money as well.
These fees are high at most ATM’s. There are some that are up to $4.00 for the bank that owns the machine. Add the fact that your bank is going to charge you to use it as well. You could end up spending $8.00 just to get your own money out. That is not a fair system and needs a serious look. Few banks offer free ATM services. There are a few out there though. It is wise to find one of those banks and hold on to it for dear life.
It is more understandable that a bank that you don’t do business with will charge you for use of their machine. They can’t lose money to offer a courtesy service to those that don’t provide any income to their bank. Free services should come with your own bank though.
Most banks will charge a fee for paying your bills online through them. This does make sense because it is an added service much like if you had a maid. You are paying for a particular service. Some banks do allow you to sign up for free bill pay if you keep a certain amount of money in the bank all the time or if you have a particular type of account with them. This is reasonable.
The amount banks ask for in this case can be very large. You can pay $10.00 on each bill that you pay through this service. You would be better off to pay the bill the traditional way. Everyone needs to save money and paying for something that you can do free sounds a little ridiculous.
All in all, most bank fees are fair in that they exist. The amount of the fees are often not fair though. It depends on the service you are asking for and how much work is involved in the process. Banks are a business and to stay in business, they need to make money. It is true that banks make money on your money. Most people don’t have large amounts that are kept in their accounts though. That means that the bank has to make money in other ways. Those ways come in the form of astronomical bank fees.