Finance: Avoiding Any Bank Fees

Finance: Avoiding Any Bank Fees

With minimal effort, you can get most bank fees waived simply by contacting the bank.  It’s especially easier when you contact them immediately and if it’s the first time the issue has happened.

How To Detect Fees/Transactions On Multiple Accounts

I use mint.com to track all my expenses and am alerted when my inactive accounts have any activity.  This is great because I can immediately detect fraudulent charges and/or remember to cancel a card with an annual fee.  With the annual fee, I’ve been able to contact the bank and cancel/downgrade the credit card while getting the fee waived.  This has happened with Chase, Bank Of America, Barclays, Citi and American Express.

Why Keep A Credit Card You’re Not Using Open?

It adds to the “available credit” you have and to the “average age of credit” on your overall credit score.

Always Take The Credit Immediately

When I was less savvy with banking many years ago, I incurred fees with Washington Mutual (old bank purchased by Chase) for making too many transactions between my checking and savings account. I called up Washington Mutual on the phone (internet wasn’t an option at the time) to figure out the charges.  I asked them if they could waive the fee and they said they could only do it once per year. The customer service representative (CSR) then asked if I was absolutely sure that I wanted to use it now to waive the fee. I said “no” like an idiot. Of course I should have gotten the fee waived at the time! If you’re getting the same value between now and a later potential event, then take the value now. It is through these mistakes that we learn the most.

How To Get Bank Fees Waived

Contact the bank and ask! It’s super easy especially with the online chat feature.  I’ve had fees waived/reimbursed for annual fees, overdraft charges, late payments and any other fees I could get away with.  You don’t lose anything asking, but if you don’t try you’ve already lost that money to the bank.

This is from an actual chat with Charles Schwab (my favorite bank).  I’ve successfully gotten fees waived with other major banks over online chat. Go for it!



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