How to avoid rising bank fees

Rising Bank Fees

(CNN) - An annual survey of bank fees from Bankrate.com recently found consumers paying more for using their money, especially for those banking conveniences that can make or break a purchase.

According to the survey, the average fee for an overdraft is $32.20, an increase of 3% over last year. And, the average fee for using another bank's ATM- $4.13, up 2% from 2012.

Both are fees that consumers can avoid with good financial planning. But those looking to save even more money on bank fees can consider some other tips as well.

When you get mail from the bank, read the fine print. Be aware of changes to minimum balance requirements and service fees, so extra charges don't catch you off guard later.

In an increasingly digital world, many banks have started charging for monthly paper statements. Ditch yours to save a dollar or two per month.

And, if you're fed up with fees, tell your bank you're shopping around. They may be willing to waive some charges, rather than lose a loyal customer.

If they are willing to let you walk, consider alternatives like credit unions, community banks, or online banks, which tend to have lower fees.


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