If you can’t quite put your finger on bank charges when checking your statement every month, it is possible that you either don’t have the best banking account that suits your transacting needs or may have adopted behaviour that is costing you a bit more.
Ryan Prozesky, CEO of FNB Value Banking Solutions, said choosing an ideal banking account for your needs, keeping abreast of fees and knowing what value you are getting from your bank should help you avoid unnecessary bank charges.
He shared 10 tips on how to save on banking charges:
Choosing the right account – Never choose a bank account merely on its monthly administration costs, rather base the decision on your transacting needs to avoid incurring additional charges.
“For example, on a pay as you use structured account you may be charged extra everytime you make a transaction, while on a bundle offering you are able to perform multiple or unlimited transactions without incurring additional charges.
“A pay as you use structure would be best suited for a customer with a low number of monthly transactions, while bundle offerings are best suited for those with a higher number of monthly transactions. Make sure that you chose a bundle with the most appropriate number of transactions included in the bundle, based on your monthly transactional needs,” said Prozesky.
Avoid using another bank’s ATM – Withdrawing money at an ATM belonging to another bank come with associated additional costs.
Bank on digital channels – Whenever possible try and use digital and electronic channels for transactions as these are usually free or attract lower costs compared to using a bank branch. It also saves on traveling costs.
Swiping your card – Check whether your bank offers unlimited card swipes at no additional charge regardless of the amount. In addition, most banks’ loyalty programs give customers rewards back for swiping their card.
Avoid penalty charges – Make sure there is sufficient money in your account to cover all purchases and transactions you make.
Overdraft facility fees – An overdraft facility helps meet those unexpected cashflow shortfalls and will help you avoid penalty fees due to insufficient funds.
Bank Statements – If you have an email address, request your bank to rather email your statement to you instead of posting them. Not only will they arrive much sooner, but you will avoid any charges for postal statements that some banks may levy.
Take care of bank cards – be extra cautious with your bank cards as some banks will usually charge you a fee for replacing them.
Monthly caps – Exceeding monthly caps for certain transactions may attract additional fees. For example, on certain account bundles, your bank may offer you a number or value of ATM withdrawals for free, with additional charges as soon as you exceed the limit.
“Don’t ignore communication from your bank. “Banks often review their account fees annually offering you a breakdown of changes and adjustments. It’s important to thoroughly go through and understand these fee changes and how they impact the way you transact on a monthly basis,” said Prozesky.