I went to Regions Bank in downtown Florence to cash a check for reimbursement of expenses, and I was charged $12.50 because I am not a Regions bank customer. I thought that was unreasonable and still do. We have to write our clients checks for gas and other necessities that they need to get to doctor’s appointments or buy medication and if our bank charged our clients $12.50 per check, we’d use a different bank.
There are ways to avoid common bank fees. To be fair, a lot of banks do charge to cash non-customer checks, but some don’t. Our bank doesn’t as long as the check is drawn on that bank. CitiBank does not charge to cash their customers’ checks. Most banks charge a monthly service fee. You can avoid that by keeping a balance over the amount required to avoid those fees or you can choose a bank that simply doesn’t charge monthly fees such as Discover, Ally or American Express, to name a few. By banking with a company that doesn’t charge monthly fees, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re meeting the requirements each month.
Avoid overdraft fees by choosing a bank that doesn’t charge overdraft protection fees. There are plenty of institutions with free overdraft protection services, including Chase, Capital One, and Varo.
Forbes advisor recommends SoFi Bank, and they have no monthly maintenance fee and few other fees, competitive interest rates, early direct deposit, no-fee overdraft protection, and automatic savings features. On the negative side, they don’t have physical locations. I will say that we have a wonderful banking relationship that is beneficial to us and our clients. I do not think online banking would work for a business such as ours. A good banker can be really helpful.
If you do decide to change banks, do it properly. First, find a new bank. Review and transfer automatic payments and recurring transactions. Transfer the money from your old bank to your new bank. Close the account and request a written letter that states that your accounts are closed just in case you have to settle any discrepancies in the future. If you didn’t already move your money, you will receive the balances in your accounts in the form of a check. By the way, if you’re receiving a paper copy of your monthly statement in the mail, you’re probably being charged for that too.
Take a minute and review the charges you incur with your bank and make good financial decisions.
Buckle up, drive safely, and as always, your referrals are appreciated!