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Bank Account Offers-Things Your Bank Won't Tell You

What Bank Account Promotions to Avoid

Opening a bank account has become a lot easier. All what you need is a passport-size photograph and an identification card and some paper work, and you are ready to go. There is little or no cost at all. With online banking, all you need is in the bank's website.

Due to stiff competition, many banks have come up with bank account offers to retain their customers and tempt new ones. As an example, see the below advert:

"Our bank account," reads a bank account promotion, " requires no maintenance fees, no monthly charges and no minimum operating balance. Affordable minimum account opening balance, free monthly account statement and no cheque handling charges".

One of the most common methods mostly used by banks to lure clients is telling them to open bank accounts that do not incur ledger fees. Many customers open a new bank account believing the accounts are totally free of charges, only to discover later that they are not. Depending on the customer's frequency of transactions 'a no ledger fee account' can turn out more expensive. Transactions reduces the benefits of holding such accounts. It is no secret that many banks are in need of cash and hence are turning to their customers as already source of funds. They have also become increasingly creative with the fees they charge. You need to be more attentive to avoid these fees, because there is nothing like a free service from banks.

The difference between a fee ledger and a non-fee ledger account is that the fee ledger incurs account opening and operating balance, maintenance fees and other account charges while non-fee ledger account is supposed to be free from such charges. The supposedly free account, if  seen carefully is not free. For instance, you may be charged a fee if you withdraw over the counter, clearance of a cheque or internal account transfer. Non-ledger fee accounts are not free from ledger charges. To avoid these hidden charges you will need to read and understand "terms and conditions apply" at the end of bank account offers.

It is a sad note that most people do not know that most non-ledger account holders are not aware that the bank charges them cheque and salary processing fees and when they apply for standing orders. Different transactions come with different transaction fees and that is what most people do not understand. For instance, if you give instruction to a bank to transfer money from your account to another account , you may be charged, but there is a penalty if you default and you may be charged without your knowledge.

Many banks accounts come with hidden fees and charges that you may not prove. For example, you may discover that your account has expensive fees for excessive use of ATM machines or use of 'foreign' ATM to make withdrawals. These and many other charges are buried deep in the fine print of the customer agreement. To avoid these unpleasant surprise, carefully review your bank statements, if you notice anything unfamiliar enquire about the right away. Your bank may be willing to waive the fees as a goodwill gesture, especially if you are a loyal client. When setting up a new current account, ask about and opt out of overdraft protection. With overdraft in place, many banks allow their clients to withdraw money from ATM or conduct a debit card transaction, even if there is no enough money in their account. The problem is that overdraft fees are levied, often with separate fees for each item. Overdraft fees are among the top complaints from customers.

"Inquiry" fees, checking your balance either with a teller or on the phone or over the Internet may be enough to cause you to be charged. If your bank charges a fee for account inquiries get a full schedule of the charges. Some banks allow a set number of free inquiries per month and charge for any inquiries over that amount. Ensure, you close and current or savings account you are not using to avoid paying higher ledger fees. An account is considered dormant when no activity such as deposits or withdrawals have occurred for a time. In most cases, inactive bank accounts are limited to two years. you will then be given a notice of dormancy. After the bank sends a dormancy and you still do not use your account, it will automatically deduct a small percentage from your savings account. When it reaches 'zero' balance, the bank will close it. If it is a current account, you may end up paying accumulated ledger fees.

To avoid inactivity fees do as follows:
  1.     Do not have bank accounts you cannot manage, more than two savings account is not advisable.
  2.     Find out exactly how much you need to maintain in your bank account before it is considered inactive.
  3.     If you do not intend to use more than one one account, close them and invest the funds in another investment channels.
  4.     Leaving your bank account idle is risky and it is possible for a bank employee to forge your signature to steal.
Avoiding these bank charges is likely to become even more difficult as banks look for creative ways to get more finances. To fight back, you as a client should read through the banks' statements carefully, question any unfamiliar charges you find. You are still in charge and you can say no to these exaggerated fees by taking your banking business elsewhere.
If you have signed up for online banking, fear not because online banking should not be more risky than offline banking, as long as you take the time to protect yourself by following 5 Tips To Safe Online Banking


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