Money in the Bank

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Here’s question one of a quick quiz: Name the most popular service charges imposed by banks.

If you said ATM and nonsufficient fund fees, give yourself a passing grade.

Now for question two: How many other fees can you name?

To help you keep your passing grade, here’s a list of fees you may be less familiar with.

  • Check copies. Asking for copies of checks or duplicate bank statements can trigger this charge.
  • Checks returned with statement. Some banks will still return your checks with your statement, but the service is usually not free.
  • Point of sale. This may also be called a PIN (Personal Identification Number) fee, and is typically assessed when you use your PIN instead of signing for purchases.
  • Expedited bill pay. Using the bank’s last-minute plan to speed payments to your creditors can be almost as expensive as late payment charges.
  • Excess transfers. Many banks limit monthly transfers from your savings to your checking account or vice versa. Transactions over the limit can result in this fee.
  • Return deposit. When a check you deposit bounces, you’re out the amount of the check plus a bank surcharge.
  • Stop payment. Expect a hefty service fee for stopping a check before the bank honors it.
  • Other nuisance fees. These include charges for cashing a check, talking to a teller or calling customer service too often.

Not all banks charge these fees, but if yours does, it might be time to think about switching to a different financial institution—or not. If you opened the account within the past three to six months, here’s one last quiz question to consider before you jump ship:

Does your bank charge a fee for closing the account early?

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