How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Are you paying your monthly bank fees (maintenance fees)?

ja, yes
8
4%
nein, no
194
96%
 
Total votes: 202

no_name
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How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by no_name » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:35 pm

I'm paying $2.95/mo. starting this year. :x

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joe8d
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by joe8d » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:40 pm

Senior Citizen with direct deposit of SS and pension into checking account. No fees so far.
All the Best, | Joe

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cheese_breath
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:41 pm

Except for Ally Bank savings account (zero fee) I do my banking through my credit union (zero fee).
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RIDL
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by RIDL » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:36 am

I use credit unions and do not pay any fees.

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Sunflower
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Sunflower » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:05 am

No. But I recently tried bill pay with my bank. I didn't see anywhere about a fee for it or minimum bank balance although there was vague language re "if you qualify." I was reluctant to do it anyway since I fear internet banking/security in general, but decided it was time to keep up with the world. First month or two all is well and then one day my checkbook isn't balancing -- only to find out I'm now being charged $6.95/mo. for this service. So I guess it was a free introductory offer. Well, yeah, sure it's free if I keep a $5,000 balance. But heck, I'm not in any position to keep that much in an account not earning anything. So I cancelled the service.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by livesoft » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:16 am

I use a major bank and pay no fees. My checking account has had less than $20 in it and still no fees. I do have other assets at this major bank.

I also use USAA and my checking account has $0.00 for years and have paid no fees, but I think USAA may have cancelled my checking account without telling me as I can no longer get to it online.
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by bertilak » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:40 am

I pay $4.95 monthly to Vanguard for online bill-pay.
I pay $30 yearly to vanguard for an Advantage account (check-writing privilege w/o $250 minimum check requirement).
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nisiprius
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by nisiprius » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:24 am

jumpin wrote:I'm paying $2.95/mo. starting this year. :x
Don't over-react, this is probably not the most important thing in your financial life. But as a sort of background activity, you might start paying attention to what other banks, credit unions, etc. are available and conveniently located. Start by looking for a) credit unions, and b) small local banks. Think "Banjo Crossing Savings Bank," not "Bank of America."

Call 'em up or walk in and say "I'm looking for a bank that won't charge me monthly fees like [name of bank], can you help me?" It will waste your time because they will all say "Yes, no problem, our Palladium Heptagon Prestige X-Treme Account has no fees, and all you need to do is maintain a minimum balance of $25,000."

You never know. You can't always "vote with your dollars" because all too often institutions look almost as if they are acting in collusion--they see that one institution seems to be able to get away with something and before you know it they are all doing it. Other times, they do not. Never believe an institution when they say "this fee is usual" or "every bank does it."

You have to pick your battles, though, banks are powerful and under current circumstances they want/need more money than they've been getting and they will try to squeeze it out of us one way or another. I expect that over the next few years I will probably get hit with some small fees and will likely cave. But I will complain, so that when the big muck-a-much official says on TV that "our customers are not complaining" I will know that he is lying. :)

It is my opinion that banks should be trying to build long-term relationships. I remember which banks treated me decently when I had a small account with them, and which ones acted like they were doing me a favor by allowing them me lend them money. We stick with a bank that has never had the greatest interest rates in town but has never stiffed us or gouged or done anything to drive us away.

Which reminds me. I need to make time to write a letter to the CEO of the two local (small) banks I use to say that I appreciate the fact that they are not charging me fees, that it is important to me, and that it one of the reasons we their loyal customers (loyal meaning 3 years in one case... and 30 years (!) in the other.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by centrifuge41 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:33 am

Sometimes, the same bank might treat different customers differently. It's weird, but a coworker had a Bank of America account and got hit with all kinds of seemingly unjustifiable fees. This prompted a move to ING. My family uses Bank of America, maintains Advantage tier (5k+ assets), and we've never had problems. I've yet to find a better ebill/billpay platform than Bank of America, so I'll be maintaining checking here. Never paid a cent of fees.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by carolc » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:02 am

My credit union does not charge me a fee.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by amarone » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:02 am

No, but just recently Wells Fargo has started charging a $20 fee and immediately refunding it.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by NAVigator » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:10 am

carolc wrote:My credit union does not charge me a fee.

carolc
Same here.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by curtin1060 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:16 am

Yes, I agree with centrifuge41. I'm a long time BofA customer and don't pay any fees.

I did check with them when the $5 fee was happening. Since I have direct deposit for both my wife/I and were heavy credit card users we were not going to be affected.

We're heavy credit card users, but pay off the balance *every* month ;-)

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:45 am

amarone wrote:No, but just recently Wells Fargo has started charging a $20 fee and immediately refunding it.
It's really weird. I think the correct sequence is that they give you the $20 credit before they charge you .

It doesn't show up on-line or in your monthly statement, but it does in Quicken and similar software.

P.S. Did your account come over from Wachovia as a no-fee account? Mine did, and I suspect that the $20 is the normal fee for the balance I keep, and the $20 reimbursement is for your legacy account.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by amarone » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:53 am

sscritic wrote:
amarone wrote:No, but just recently Wells Fargo has started charging a $20 fee and immediately refunding it.
It's really weird. I think the correct sequence is that they give you the $20 credit before they charge you .

It doesn't show up on-line or in your monthly statement, but it does in Quicken and similar software.

P.S. Did your account come over from Wachovia as a no-fee account? Mine did, and I suspect that the $20 is the normal fee for the balance I keep, and the $20 reimbursement is for your legacy account.

Yep - it was a Wachovia Crown account, and I notice the fees in Quicken. However, when I looked at the Wells Fargo checking accounts, none of them charge $20/month. They have $5, $10 and $30.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by camiboxer » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:15 am

My "Totally Free Business Checking" account started charging me for checks about 2 years in after having been free previously. I likened it to the cost of doing business so dealt with it. A few days ago I noticed a new charge of $3 and inquired about it. Was told it was a new fee implemented for having a paper statement mailed to me. I canceled that "option" and print the statement from online thus avoiding the fee. I have another business checking account and saw that same fee back in Dec. and was told at that time my other account (Totally Free) was "grandfathered in" due to how long I have had it. I guess that isn't true any longer. So "Totally Free" is a little misleading not to mention irritating.

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magellan
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by magellan » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:18 am

It looks like only 4% of bogleheads pay monthly fees. I suppose that shouldn't be a surprise. I wonder what the number is for the general population.

When my big-bank of 30 years instituted a monthly fee, I switched to a savings account w/ATM card that had no fees or minimum balance. I was already using Vanguard Advantage for checkwriting and billpay, so a local ATM network was all I needed.

Since then, I've switched again to a checking account at a small local bank with no fees or minimum balance. They offer great tiered interest rates and online bill pay. The rates are so good that now I use them instead of Vanguard as my day-to-day transaction account. The new bank has a tiny ATM network (3 ATMs), but they reimburse outside fees. Three ATMs sounds crazy, but one is next to the grocery store, and so far that's all I've needed.

Jim

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:34 am

I have checking accounts at 3 different institutions. I don't pay a fee at any of them; for two, it is because of the balance; for the other, it is because of direct deposit. Each institution serves its purpose. Two of them give me free safety deposit boxes. They all give me medallion signature guarantees. One has more ATMs than the rest of the world combined (exaggeration). One has an ATM right across the street from my apartment and gave me a free iPod touch for signing up and jumping through some hoops for two months (you know, those hoops some of you jump through every month to get your bonus interest).

I don't mind keeping a minimum balance. You could say but I am losing interest and that is the real cost of my "free" checking, and you would be right. But in today's conditions, 0% of $10,000 is $0.00. :)

Note: the real cost is the difference between what I am getting paid on the account vs what I might be able to get elsewhere, but I don't want to open another account, jump through more hoops, wait for the new institution to change its rules, etc. I will stick with three and worry more about the rest of my life.

ADDED EDIT:
Big oops. And I also have an account at my credit union. My CU direct deposit goes straight into savings, not into checking. That makes four checking accounts.
Last edited by sscritic on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cash
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Cash » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:38 am

There are so many banks that don't charge fees that I'm always baffled when people report paying them regularly. I even keep $20 in an account at BOA, which is notorious for fees, and have not paid any in years (I was charged once for getting a cashier's check even though I was told it would be waived). I'm guessing the people who regularly pay fees either don't care to shop around for a better account/bank or frequently overdraw their accounts.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by norookie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:52 am

sscritic wrote:I have checking accounts at 3 different institutions. I don't pay a fee at any of them; for two, it is because of the balance; for the other, it is because of direct deposit. Each institution serves its purpose. Two of them give me free safety deposit boxes. They all give me medallion signature guarantees. One has more ATMs than the rest of the world combined (exaggeration). One has an ATM right across the street from my apartment and gave me a free iPod touch for signing up and jumping through some hoops for two months (you know, those hoops some of you jump through every month to get your bonus interest).

I don't mind keeping a minimum balance. You could say but I am losing interest and that is the real cost of my "free" checking, and you would be right. But in today's conditions, 0% of $10,000 is $0.00. :)

Note: the real cost is the difference between what I am getting paid on the account vs what I might be able to get elsewhere, but I don't want to open another account, jump through more hoops, wait for the new institution to change its rules, etc. I will stick with three and worry more about the rest of my life.
:D Lucky SOB, IIRC it was BAC with that highlighted promo. Mentioning it was , XXX, XXX,(I forget) Boston bank, Fleet bank , Bay Bank, Bank of Boston, to emerge now as Bank of Amerika! I lived across from one's home office for close to 40yrs. :annoyed The signs changed regularly. Always merging and aquiring, must have had good lobbyist Influence somewhere. Sorry for straying OT, OP. Citizens tried it with me,.......you have to nip it in the bud, I wonder if you get a certain * next to your account or something. Bankers input ?
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ddunca1944
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by ddunca1944 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:56 am

My credit union does not charge me a fee. In fact, they pay 2.5% interest on checking accounts on balances up to $10K.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:02 am

Cash wrote:There are so many banks that don't charge fees that I'm always baffled when people report paying them regularly. I even keep $20 in an account at BOA, which is notorious for fees, and have not paid any in years (I was charged once for getting a cashier's check even though I was told it would be waived). I'm guessing the people who regularly pay fees either don't care to shop around for a better account/bank or frequently overdraw their accounts.
paying a monthly bank fee is purely voluntary. I agree with you, I am interested in the psychology of people who voluntarily pay fees and then complain about doing so.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by FabLab » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:09 am

No monthly fees, but as others have said, having to maintain a certain balance can be its own fee. Free safety deposit box, handy medallion signatures, ATMs everywhere, so I can't complain.
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bertilak
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by bertilak » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:11 am

In my case, I manage a Vanguard account for a relative. ALL her money is in that account. Her pension and SS are automatically direct deposited into that account. The simplest thing to do is to use an Advantage account to allow check writing and online bill-pay. Vanguard charges for that.

My alternative is to open another account somewhere else and manually transfer money between that and the Vanguard account. That is a juggling act that is inconvenient and error prone.

I wonder how many of us use a Vanguard Advantage account. I will create another poll to ask!

EDIT: Poll created
Last edited by bertilak on Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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skylar
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by skylar » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:21 am

Changing banks is a pain in the butt, but if I were charged a regular fee I would move so fast...

Skylar

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by rec7 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:32 am

Two words I love Credit Unions.
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by FabLab » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:34 am

skylar wrote:but if I were charged a regular fee I would move so fast...
Skylar
Exactly!
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by dbr » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:37 am

Bank fees are somewhere in the second hundred on my list of things I worry about.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:38 am

RonV wrote:
skylar wrote:but if I were charged a regular fee I would move so fast...
Skylar
Exactly!
Really? Suppose you could avoid the fee by keeping $100 more in your checking account. You would still move based on principle?

I like to compare my options. I would rather keep the extra $100 in the account than have to go through the pain of moving all my accounts and relationships unless the new institution provided substantially more services with a substantially smaller minimum balance.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Sam I Am » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:59 am

Message deleted.
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skylar
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by skylar » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:43 am

sscritic wrote:
RonV wrote:
skylar wrote:but if I were charged a regular fee I would move so fast...
Skylar
Exactly!
Really? Suppose you could avoid the fee by keeping $100 more in your checking account. You would still move based on principle?

I like to compare my options. I would rather keep the extra $100 in the account than have to go through the pain of moving all my accounts and relationships unless the new institution provided substantially more services with a substantially smaller minimum balance.
I would only have a problem if I actually were charged the fee, and do a little bit of work to avoid them. For instance, by keeping $1000 in a 12-month certificate, I can get free checks and interest on my checking account. I've got to keep that $1000 somewhere, so it might as well be there.

Now if they charged me for using a debit or credit card, or just a general fee for having an account with them, that would be a different story.

Skylar

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Gray » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:32 pm

I bank with USAA, Navy Federal, Ally, Pentagon Federal. No monthly fees or minimum balances for any of them. Also no requirements for direct deposit to avoid fees.

Anyone can bank with USAA, Ally, or Pentagon Federal.

You can join Pentagon Federal if you make a one time contribution to an organization like the Military Family Association. They've integrated this contribution into their application form, which effectively makes it so anyone can join. https://www.penfed.org/howToJoin/overview.asp

My credit cards with Bank of America, USAA, and Citibank have no fees and Interest rates of 6%.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by FabLab » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:05 pm

sscritic wrote:
RonV wrote:
skylar wrote:but if I were charged a regular fee I would move so fast...
Skylar
Exactly!
Really? Suppose you could avoid the fee by keeping $100 more in your checking account. You would still move based on principle?

I like to compare my options. I would rather keep the extra $100 in the account than have to go through the pain of moving all my accounts and relationships unless the new institution provided substantially more services with a substantially smaller minimum balance.
No. As my earlier post would imply. But, yes, if said bank charged fees even after my decision to maintain a healthy balance within.
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by scrabbler1 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:07 pm

The last time I paid a monthly account fee to a bank was in 1989, at which time I switched to another bank with a lower minimum balance. I had just bought my current apartment and had much less than the minimum balance which had risen considerably in the previous few years.

I have been with BofA since they took over Fleet a few years ago, and I pay no fees to them although I have in the last year or so had to print out my canceled check images (I like to keep paper records) instead of getting images included with my monthly statement and face a $3 fee. Back in the 1990s, Fleet used to give me a few dollars of interest each month on a linked MM Savings account which was also used to avoid monthly fees, but that type of interest-bearing, low-balance account was discontinued so I consider the lost interest a form of backhanded "fee." I would have to greatly increase my minimum balance to get that type of account back and the forgone interest I would incur by taking that money from elsewhere is not worth it.

And I still get all the regular services I need from BofA such as free checking, automated bill payment (ACH or paper check), direct deposit, no-fee ATM use from the many BofA ATMs, and no fees for using bank tellers, everything I need from my local bank.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:11 pm

Re: My previous quote, which has by now been quoted in kind several times.

I clicked on quote, but FabLab suddenly became RonV. in the quote box. I have been known to change the name of the person quoted for laughs, but I didn't do it this time. Sorry FabLab. In fact, there is no Ron anywhere on this page. I have not clue where it came from. LadyGeek, help me out here. What did I do?

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by midareff » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:30 pm

Ally Bank no fees, Credit Union also no fees. Two months from retirement planning to move to another city whihc might make the CU less desireable than a local brick and mortar... will have to see then.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by daytona084 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:39 pm

My account (with a national mega-bank) is supposed to have a monthly fee, but it's "waived". I don't know why. I asked how long it will be waived and was told "indefinitely". They probably lose money on me as I keep about $500 on deposit and they send a paper statement every month. The account has been open 36 years (through several mergers) so maybe they are rewarding a loyal customer.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by no_name » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:36 pm

They are charging me money so, they can use my money to give out loans to make themselves money. Greedy *****

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by no_name » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:29 pm

I opened us USAA account.

My only concern:
1) Do you have problems using your debit master card?

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PaddyMac
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by PaddyMac » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:40 pm

We use the Wells Fargo PMA account; no fees and 100 free trades per brokerage account. I would pay a few dollars on the Business Intererst Checking but I keep $3K in the account to avoid the fees.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by BHCadet » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:42 pm

I voted no.
My credit union waived the maintenance fee because of the direct payroll deposit.

natureexplorer
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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by natureexplorer » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:03 pm

Are you crazy? Bank account have to be free. Just like cell phones.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by no_name » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:33 pm

natureexplorer wrote:Are you crazy? Bank account have to be free. Just like cell phones.
Bank account should be free, but not cell phones. Banks make money off your account and charge you for it. How do you like them apples?

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:50 pm

jumpin wrote: Bank account should be free, but not cell phones. Banks make money off your account and charge you for it. How do you like them apples?
That would be true if you never wrote any checks, never went on their website, never went to one of their ATMs, never went into one of their buildings, never talked to one of their employees, never used one of their credit cards, never used one of their debit cards, and never used any other of their services.

If you use a service, someone has to pay. It used to be the other customers who liked overdrafts and not paying their credit card bills on time, but the income from "those people" no longer covers the cost of providing you with the services you want for "free." Now if they could get 13% on their mortgages and pay you only 0.1% on your savings account, then that would be another way you could get free checking, on the backs of those who have mortgages. But those aren't the mortgage rates I am seeing today.

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by sscritic » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:54 pm

P.S. Banks can't or won't lend out the money they have, so they really don't need any more from you. I mean if people were desperate to get mortgages, they would be paying that 13% that we used to pay. They aren't, and they don't.

Seriously, how much do you think they are making on that $400 you keep in your checking account?

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by travellight » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:27 pm

I also have wells fargo and have been getting fees that I don't understand on some accounts. They keep reversing the fee and then trying to set up the account so it doesn't get fees. I am giving them one more try on a $12 fee I got recently.

Does anyone have a bank or CU that does not charge for notarizing or for wiring funds?

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Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by livesoft » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:28 pm

I wired funds in December 2010 for free. I went into my WellsFargo local bank to do so.
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Liquid
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:17 am

Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Liquid » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:33 pm

Nein.

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Cernel
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 11:06 am

Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Cernel » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:52 pm

I marked "Yes," given the only Bank fee I pay is for my HSA account. I pay a $2/month fee. I hate paying this fee, does anyone know of an institution that does not charge for an HSA account given a $7K balance?

Cash
Posts: 1258
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:52 am

Re: How many are you are paying monthly bank fees

Post by Cash » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:56 pm

Cernel wrote:I marked "Yes," given the only Bank fee I pay is for my HSA account. I pay a $2/month fee. I hate paying this fee, does anyone know of an institution that does not charge for an HSA account given a $7K balance?
Alliant Credit Union. They pay comparatively high rates too. Their checking and savings accounts are also excellent and also come with a history of earning comparatively high interest rates.

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