Make no mistake – banks exist to make money, not to perform a public service. If they did exist only to perform a public service, the world would be a much different place. Since the world we live in is one where profits are more important than life, we must endure the indignity of paying a bank a fee for the privilege of using our own money. And not just one fee! No, the vast arrays of bank fees that exist are a true testament to runaway greed.
Your checking account will charge fees for ATM withdrawals, fees for writing checks, fees for using your overdraft, fees for missing a payment, fees for using your debit card, and in some cases, fees for having too little money in your account. If you don’t have enough money, they take your money. It boggles the mind.
Your savings account will be paying you interest, of course, but at the current interest rates (which range from 0.01% to 0.5% on most savings accounts) one bank fee per year will wipe out any profit from interest. And savings accounts often charge a fee every time you withdraw money from the account, or transfer money out to another account, so your savings could be substantially reduced by the simple act of moving them around.
Bank fees can range from a small amount like $0.50 for processing a check, to large charges of $50.00 or more to penalize you for missing a pre-authorized payment. The fee schedule depends on the bank, so it is always a good idea to research the fees at a bank, and the fees attached to your individual accounts before agreeing to do business with that bank.
Strangely enough, many times it seems as though the smaller the bank is, the less their fees are. Credit Unions very often offer free checking accounts, where no fees at all are attached to the account, and the only fee you would ever face would be an NSF charge. It pays to check these things out before you sign on with any bank.