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Banking: How can I save on chequing account fees in Canada?

No matter what a Canadian does, he or she cannot escape the endless fees associated with their chequing account. If you haven’t noticed yet, monthly bank fees add up, especially if you consider the costs over the long term. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid all bank fees, but we can look for ways to reduce them.

Do not withdraw money from other ATMs.

To avoid paying unnecessary fees, always make your withdrawals at your own bank’s ATMs. You’ll end up paying a few dollars every time you use another bank’s ATM, and while these amounts may seem small, you’ll be shocked when you add them up for the year. If you can’t make it to your bank’s ATM, consider asking for cash back when you make purchases at a retail store with your debit card. If ATM fees are too high for you, consider switching to a bank that has many branches near your home and work.

Maintain a minimum monthly balance

Some banks will waive your monthly fee if you maintain a certain amount in your account at all times. This is not always easy to do. If you have trouble maintaining a minimum balance on your account, consider getting a no-fee checking account with no minimum balance requirement.

Preventing transaction costs

You can avoid transaction fees by banking online, by phone or by mobile. Some banks offer these types of transactions for free. You can also save a few dollars a month by going paperless and receiving your monthly mail by email.

Avoid NSF and overdraft fees.

Banks offer overdraft protection plans to allow account holders to use their bank accounts even if they have a zero balance. These transactions include the use of debit cards or the issuance of checks. In simple terms, the bank gives you a short-term loan so that your transactions are not rejected for insufficient funds. Overdraft fees are very high as they can be charged per transaction or per day, no matter how many transactions you make. If possible, try to avoid overdrawing your account.

Other ways to save on your chequing account fees

There are other ways to save on your chequing account fees. These include the following:

  • Make fewer withdrawals to reduce the number of transactions in your account. If this is unavoidable, opt for an account that offers unlimited transactions per month.
  • Pay your bills by phone or online. Some banks allow this type of transaction free of charge.
  • Research several banks and compare their monthly checking account fees. If necessary, change banks to meet your needs.

Bottom Line

There are multiple options available to you if you don’t want to pay high monthly banking fees. Do your research and compare the different banks, their features and fees. You may find one that offers low or no fees with more services that are right for you. Keep your costs to a minimum and you’ll save money in the long run.

Choose your chequing account with our comparison tool.

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Jean-Maximilien Voisine
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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