The Hidden Cost of Bank Fees

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There have always been bank fees, but it has become more apparent recently that banks are raising their hidden fees and charging their good customers as well. Considering the banks have just been given more than 250 billion dollars from the U.S. Treasury, the idea that they are still imposing these ridiculous fees is ludicrous.

According to MSN Money’s Liz Pullman Weston, here is a rundown of these charges:

ATM. If you use the ATM bank to withdraw money from another bank, you will incur charges from both. According to Bankrate.com, “your bank charges you 25% more than it did six years ago for using another bank’s ATM. In addition, a foreign bank adds a surcharge of 40% or more which is higher than it was 10 years ago.”

Cash Advances. Ten years ago, credit card companies issued a 2% minimum fee and $10.00 maximum fee on cash advances. “Today, the fee is now 3% with a minimum of $5.00 and no maximum.” Note: Most banks have sent out notices to credit card holders advising them of the new fees for 2009.

Stop-Payment Fee. Ten years ago, if you put a stop payment on your check the cost was $10.00 or less. “Today, the charge is an exorbitant $25.00 or more.”

Bank Teller Fees. Believe it or not, there was a time you could walk into a bank and talk with any teller about any banking problem you may have. “Today, there is a fee incurred regardless whether you call or visit a bank to have a discussion with a teller.”

Cashier’s Checks and Money Orders. Savings and loan banks do not charge a fee for cashier’s checks or money orders. This is not the case with commercial banks. “Cashier’s checks and money orders now cost $10.00 or more. In fact, some lenders have fees ranging from $5.00 to $15.00 for making payments by phone or online.”

Other Fees. Remember a time when you could easily receive a copy of a cancelled check from your bank for a very small fee? Not anymore. “Today, banks and lenders may charge $5.00 for a copy of an old check or $10.00 for an old statement.”

At a time when the banks are not lending, and when billions of dollars have been infused into the banking system in order to prevent a total economic collapse, it adds insult to injury that commercial banks are still imposing hidden fees to their customers.

To prevent some of these fees from reducing the amount of money in your account, it is recommended that you contact your own bank as well as other banks and ask many questions about their hidden fees.

Currently, there is no law that mandates disclosure. However, you can save a great deal of stress and money by confronting these banks and demanding they disclose all hidden fees.

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