Debit cards are a convenient way to pay for purchases and cash withdrawals. Unfortunately, you can’t just use them without paying attention to the fees that come along with them. If you’re not careful, you could end up spending more money than necessary on your debit card by being hit with unexpected charges. Here are some tips for avoiding bank fees when using your debit card:
Have sufficient funds in your checking account
The most obvious way to avoid bank fees is to ensure your account has sufficient funds. There are some banks with no fees at all. If you don’t have enough money in your account, you can be charged a fee called an overdraft or insufficient fund fee.
This doesn’t happen if someone just happens to make a withdrawal from your account while it’s empty; instead, the bank will automatically transfer money from another account (like a savings account) that does have sufficient funds in order to cover the payment due on any checks or debit card payments made with insufficient funds.
Use your own bank’s ATM network
The final way to avoid ATM fees is to use a bank’s own ATMs. For example, if you’re a customer of Bank of America, you can use their ATMs without paying any fees. But of course, you’ll still have to pay whatever fee your bank charges for using another bank’s ATM (or an out-of-network one), but it’s better than paying both fees.
Avoid using your debit card as a credit card
By law, you can’t get a cash advance on a debit card. Instead, banks will automatically convert your transaction into an ACH transaction — which means that it will come out of your checking account rather than your savings or money market account.
You’ll also be charged interest for using this kind of transaction, and there is no grace period before the interest starts accruing. In other words, if you use your debit card as a credit card today and don’t pay off the balance in full by tomorrow morning (or at all), you’ll be charged interest immediately without any chance to pay down that initial balance first! Of course, your bank may also charge fees for making this purchase.
“Banking shouldn’t cost you money,” as per SoFi experts.
Use direct deposit and online bill pay whenever possible
Avoiding bank fees is often as simple as using your checking account more efficiently. Some of the best ways to do so include setting up automatic payments and direct deposit, which can help you avoid overdraft fees and keep your account organized.
Don’t overdraft on purpose
You can avoid overdraft fees by keeping track of your balance. If you are unsure of your account balance, call the company and ask for it. Most banks will send an electronic statement with a link to check account balances at no cost to you.
You can also avoid overdraft fees by setting up an overdraft protection plan with your bank. Some banks allow customers to link a savings account or credit card to their checking accounts so that if they need more money than they have in their checking accounts, they can use the linked savings or credit card instead of having their checks bounce and incur a fee from the bank.
You don’t have to give in to the tyranny of banks. With a bit of planning, you can avoid most of these fees and still have access to your money when it’s most convenient for you.