What are your most annoying bank fees? This CNNMoney.com 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.
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.