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Back to Basics: Stop Paying Bank Fees


Banks collected $39 billion in account fees and penalties last year, but the American Bankers Association says 52 percent of consumers don't spend anything on bank fees each month. So what does the other half know that you don't?

Consumer Reports suggests looking for a large bank with plenty of ATMs at convenient locations so you don't get suckered into paying ATM fees, which can add up quickly. You should also take advantage of the no-fee cash back options at grocery and drug stores. Buy the $1 pack of gum you want anyway and get $20 cash back instead of spending $4 on a foreign bank ATM fee.

Of course, before you settle on a bank you should shop around. Make sure the bank has branches near your office, home and areas you frequent, as well as free checking and reasonable overdraft policies.

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