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Reduce My Bank Fees

For many savers, using ordinary bank accounts is a convenient, low cost way of building up financial assets. Banks charge fees but, for smaller savers, they are likely to be less than the fees charged on other savings and investment products.

Everyday tips for saving on bank fees

Here are some ways to save on the fees your bank charges. You may want to print these so that you can discuss them with your bank.

Find out about 'fee free' or 'reduced fee' accounts

  • Ask your bank if they offer 'fee free' or 'reduced fee' accounts for certain customer groups. For example, you may be eligible if you receive superannuation, you're aged 18 and under, or you're a student or a recent graduate.

Get the right account

  • Ask your bank which account is best for you. Tell them how you like to bank (for example, full service or just electronic deposits and withdrawals) and make sure they provide an account that matches your needs. If you don't think you'll use a cheque-book very often then consider an account without one - they often cost less. If you have a lot of transactions each month, consider an account that charges a flat fee and no individual transaction fees.

Close unused accounts

  • Close any accounts you no longer need.

Know what fees are charged

  • Find out what fees you get charged on your bank account. You may be able to avoid or keep some fees to a minimum. Transactions at the branch usually cost more than online and telephone banking or using EFTPOS and ATMs.

Negotiate the fees

  • Ask your bank whether it's willing to reduce or waive any of the fees you pay. If you've got other business or a mortgage with the bank, you may qualify for discounts or the bank may be prepared to negotiate to keep your custom.

Pay off credit with direct debit

  • Set up a direct debit to pay off your credit card. That way, you pay your card off in full each month and avoid high interest on unpaid balances.

Save on transfers

  • If you have more than one account, ask your bank if they can deposit your salary into multiple accounts (for example, some into your everyday account and some into your savings account) so you avoid the cost of transferring money between accounts.

Avoid dishonour fees

  • Make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover any upcoming payments so that you avoid overdrawn, dishonour or failed payment fees.

Consider an overdraft facility

  • If you regularly go into overdraft, set up an overdraft facility. It'll be cheaper than paying daily dishonour fees.

Consider an online savings account

  • If you've got a savings account, use an online account if you can - these often have no fees and the highest rate of interest.

Consider term deposits

  • If you don't need access to your savings for a while, consider a term deposit. These usually offer a higher rate of interest and are 'fee free' if you do not make any withdrawals during the term of the investment.

Get paid to your home loan account

  • You may be able to set up a revolving credit account so that your income goes into your home loan account. Providing you stick to a budget, you could pay off your loan more quickly.

Find out how interest is paid

  • If you've got a high credit balance, find out whether interest is credited on the daily balance or the minimum monthly balance and how often it's paid. You're likely to earn more interest if it's credited on the daily balance; you'll also be better off if the interest is credited monthly rather than quarterly or annually.

Use ATMs with low or no fees

  • Find out which banks charge the lowest or no fees when you withdraw cash from their ATMs and make sure you only use those ones.

Get cash when buying with EFTPOS

  • Get cash out when making EFTPOS purchases and you won't have to pay an extra withdrawal fee.

Don't get cash from credit

  • Don't withdraw cash from your credit card - banks charge high fees for doing so.

Bank online

Try doing as much of your banking online - it's often free or cheaper
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