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About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Most Annoying Bank Fees for Savers

What are your most annoying bank fees? This gallery reviews 9 annoying ones. It didn't mention a few fees that have been especially annoying to many savers who are readers this blog. Nevertheless, it did mention a few noteworthy fees. One fee that often hit savers is a wire transfer fee. Most all banks charge for outgoing wire transfers. Most don't charge for incoming wire transfers. However, some banks do charge for incoming wire transfers. The article mentioned two:

Chase charges $15 for incoming wire transfers. You're charged the same amount for receiving money at PNC.

ACH transfers can be a cheaper way to move money. They do take longer than wire transfers, but with interest rates so low, that's less of an issue these days. Many banks don't offer ACH transfers, but you can typically use the ACH service of another bank to transfer money to or from a checking or savings account. Initiating ACH transfers are almost always free at internet banks, but beware that some banks have relatively small transfer limits.

Two fees that the article didn't mention have been especially annoying to many savers.

IRA Annual Fee

One is the annual fee that US Bank charges IRA customers. What's especially annoying is that US Bank increased this fee and made it impossible for many IRA customers to have this fee waived. And even more annoying is that it applies to IRA customers with existing IRA CDs. For most bank fees, customers have a choice to perform some activity to have the fee waived or freely close the account to avoid the fee. US Bank IRA CD customers don't have this choice. The higher minimum balance requirement can make it impossible to have this fee waived, and they can't close the CD without being hit with a large early withdrawal penalty.

Inactivity Fee

Another annoying fee for savers is the inactivity fee. Many banks will start charging you a monthly fee after one year with no activity in a checking or savings account. It's not just banks. Many credit unions have this same fee. I was hit with a $5 monthly fee after one year of inactivity on my Patelco Credit Union share savings account. Some readers have been hit by a $10 inactivity fee at AmericaNet Bank and Evantage Bank. After one year of inactivity on their Mega Money Market accounts, a $10 per month fee was charged.

Banks usually consider any transfer that you initiate (i.e. internal transfer or ACH transfer) as an acitivity. So scheduling a regular transfer can be an easy way to avoid this fee. However, ACH transfers may not meet the "activity" requirement at some banks. So be sure to check with your bank.

More Fees Are Likely

Banks can't decrease interest rates below zero. However, with fees, the effect can be the same as a negative interest rate.

With the debit card interchange fee regulation that's scheduled to take effect soon, we may see more of these annoying fees as banks and credit unions look for ways to make up for the loss revenue. So make sure you monitor your accounts regularly, and if you do get charged an unexpected fee, be sure to call the bank. It's common for a bank to provide a courtesy refund on the first charge. It gets much harder after the first.

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  |     |   Comment #1
It is much simpler to close the account if not in use and open new one in future if needed.
Why not simplify your life, maintaining accounts for the sake of being just open for no reason other than waiting for future better rates to come out of that bank, makes no sense.
I closed every not performing account and have only 3 now out of 13 at one time.
  |     |   Comment #2
Bank of America charges an incoming wire fee if the funds are being wired into to my money market savings account (I believe it's $15) but no fee if the funds are going into my checking account.  I guess the rationale is that the money market savings account pays interest but that seems like a flimsy reason to charge a fee especially when the interest rate on the money market savings account is so low.  If I want wired funds to go to my money market savings account without a fee I have to send the funds to my checking account and then do an internal transfer.  At least B of A waived the fee when I was first charged this. 
  |     |   Comment #3
Some banks and mostly Credit Unions, may have had troublesome application proceedures or were obtained under special specific circumstances.

Not too hard to do a quarterly transaction to keep them open. Probably wont see better rates for awhile but quick access to a account helps belay FWF effect.
  |     |   Comment #4
To ricochet - #3,

Faulty logic, you will miss on the new customer specials, promotions, special interest rates new account bonus and gifts by keeping the account open for no reason other than what you imply.
  |     |   Comment #5
To ricochet - #3,

I remember ING, iGObanking, FNBO, WTdirect and many many others for giving the bonus and special rates to new customers only, the existing customer were given the shaft.
  |     |   Comment #6
One issue I'm having right now with my credit union is a 5% fee for using their coin counter.  That money was going to be deposited into my account.  So, in essence, they are charging me a fee to deposit money.
  |     |   Comment #7
I have to agree with #1 in the instance of banks.  And #1 specifically mentioned banks.


But with credit unions I do not agree.  Credit unions sometimes are difficult to join.  With passage of time some can become impossible to join (changing requirements).  I treasure my many credit union memberships, which I guard and maintain carefully.  Earlier this year this strategy really paid off for me.  A CD I badly wanted became available at one of my credit unions, one quite difficult and time consuming to join.  While others were kicking and screaming trying to gain entry, I simply opened my CD;  and then another;  and later still another.  It was a sweet experience.  And the extra money I made at that one CU alone easily justified my efforts to keep up all my memberships. 
  |     |   Comment #8
Bank of America was once a  very good bank.  No longer.  I'm glad to hear about them not charging an incoming wire fee if to the checking account.  They charged me $15 a month or so back when I had an incoming wire, and I'll have another tomorrow.  If they should impose one, I'll call them and talk to someone in the Phil.
  |     |   Comment #9
Some banks with which I have an account have restricted availability to their local market - thus, if I were to close such an account, it would be lost forever since I couldn't open another one down the road IF the rates improve. Hence, I keep most of them around just in case.
  |     |   Comment #10
Agree with darkdreamer4u - if an account is no longer available to me or I'm no longer local to the bank, I'll only close it if I am reasonably sure I'll never need to do business with that bank again. (For example - bank has eliminated rewards checking entirely; bank is about to fail; etc)

Banks that are in my local area or are nationwide/internet banks, then yes, I have no qualms about closing the account if I don't use it regularly.
  |     |   Comment #11
I do agree that non-performing and accounts with no activity should be closed.  However, that has to be weighed against the hassle of reopening an account at the same bank later.  Should you need to access other services at that bank later, having an open account helps you.  Also, you don't have to reapply later and possibly affect your credit score and or CHEX rating.
  |     |   Comment #12
Anonymous - #1 is correct, we should close all non performing accounts because the ChexSystems  keeps tab of all opened and closed accounts in a file, that is reported to any bank when requested.
The closed accounts do not affect your score when opening new account or applying for a loan at a bank.
I was turned down for a loan at Chase because I had too many opened checking accounts around the country. It looks suspicious to any bank or CU when you apply for yet another account while all those old accounts are reported as active and your ChexSystems report looks bad, The opened accounts do affect your score when applying for any loan or a credit card or a new account where a bonus is offered as promotion.
  |     |   Comment #13
My logic works,, I dont go chasing every pig in lipstick.

I've been watching this forum and fwf for some time now, and have seen many posters get PO'ed when they cant get in on a deal. Alot of times because of all their checking account apps and just plain not being in the right place at the right time. And Luck (Like the 10 yr/5% PenFed deal) Man! did that **** off people.

Bank and credit unions give  bonus' to attract NEW members, thats the job they do. They dont "owe " you anything, just like the creditcard business.

I've been lucky to make 20K to 35K  year for the past 5 yrs thanks to the forums. (AND I don't have a single RCA.=No hassels)

NO Brag just fact........just the right place right time. YMMV

  |     |   Comment #14
Anonymous #7.  I've been a member of credit unions for years--currently a member of 3--and, although some credit unions certainly have had, and continue to have, very restrictive membershjp requirements, I've yet to see the requirements "tighten" over the past 15 years or so, because the trend has strongly been to open up membership to some people who earlier wouldn't have been eligible for membership (e.g., some credit unions allow membershjip to all persons residing, working or even worshipping in a certain location to become members).  As to people who want to join a credit union "kicking and screaming" to get in... I'm mystified: Either someone is qualified to become a member or they aren't and all that is needed to do is to apply for membership or if you don't want to bother with going throuigh the application process, don't apply. Bottom line: Close those inactive credit union accounts just as you would close an inactive bank account.
  |     |   Comment #15
a credit union works for you ,a bank works for its stockholders,all credit union profits go back to its members all bank profits go to its overpaid ceo and stockholders the best credit union in the us is SELF RELIANCE NY FEDERAL CU best rates best mgt best people

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