It's sad that we've been penalized for fees so much that most people are finding it hard to tell which fees are real or fake. In fact, in a recent ING Direct survey, none of the 1,000 participants managed to correctly categorize bank fees. Here are some ways ING advises to avoid facing the real fees:
- Read the fine print when you sign up for checking accounts.
- Avoid the automatic opt-in overdraft protection and do your best to live within your means and not overspend.
- Take note of what your balance is.
- Locate and use ATMs that won't charge you a fee.
- Automate payments so you'll be able to better monitor your balance.
- Join a bank that's "fee-free."
CNN recently created a list of their top nine banking fees pet peeves, which includes the fee you have to pay when you forget to update your address and the one for replacing your debit card. My last annoying bank fee was a $30 fee for canceling a check, which wasn't something I could've prevented. What about you — what was the last fee your bank charged you?