“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies, said Thomas Jefferson. The banks have increased the complications for its customers. The free Bank services currently being provided by the banks to their customers can be chargeable in the near future if the IT Department’s demand boosts up. The customers can opt for the following 10 steps to refrain from paying more to their banks:
1. LARGER ATM AMOUNTS:
Withdraw larger ATM amounts at once to avoid paying more on each non-free withdrawal as some banks offer only 5 free transactions to its customers. This way you can save up to Rs.20 per withdrawal and up to Rs.8.50 on non-financial transactions.
2. NET BANKING FTW!
Netbanking is becoming a boon these days as it is quite convenient to use. Funds transferred through net banking are free of cost and allow you to save Rs.20-150 per cheque book, depending on the number of leaves.
3. NO DRAGGING OF THE OUTSTANDING AMOUNT
Procrastinating payments of credit card bills will only call for increased interest rates like for instance, a delay of 3 days will make you pay Rs.750 extra, but paying the bills on time will let you save 39-42% interest per annum.
4. MAKE YOUR BANK PAY
Opting for the Bill Pay Services offered by the bank means that your bills’ on-time payment is taken care by your bank and hence, you get saved from paying the penalties which can be from Rs.40-100, depending on the utility company.
5. SAVE ON DUPLICATE STATEMENTS
You can save Rs.100 by opting for receiving duplicate statements via email as duplicate physical statements or passbooks are chargeable.
6. LIMIT CASH TRANSACTIONS AT BANK
Banks offer 3-4 free transactions to its customers in a month. Any transaction beyond this limit calls for a charge per transaction. For instance, HDFC bank charges a minimum amount of Rs.150 per transaction that’s done after the 4 free transactions offered by it in a month. Limiting cash transactions at branches can help you save up to Rs.150 per transaction.
7. MAINTENANCE OF MINIMUM BALANCE
The banks require its customers to maintain a minimum balance amount in their accounts so as to avoid non-maintenance charges. For instance, HDFC requires you to maintain a minimum balance amount of Rs.25,000 in its Savings Account. The minimum balance amount in SBI banks is mandatory too but varies with regions. Maintenance of minimum balance saves you from paying non-maintenance charges that can be from Rs.10-600 per month.
8. WISDOM OVER CONVENIENCE
Though it is quite convenient to withdraw from credit card it can make you pay an extra fee for doing so. Some banks charge its customers for withdrawing cash from credit cards. Cash withdrawal from credit cards is referred to as Cash Advance by some banks. Cash advance alternatives such as, use of balance transfer or convenience checks, pay your friend’s bills and get the amount back in cash from them, use credit card for payments at places where it is acceptable instead of cash payments etc could be helpful in saving you from paying an extra fee of minimum Rs.300-500 or 2.5% of the amount withdrawn.
9. ADHERE TO THE CREDIT LIMIT
Credit card limit is the maximum amount of money a cardholder can spend on his credit card. Spending within this limit can help you save from paying an extra charge of 2.5% of the exceeded amount or Rs.500
10. CHECK BALANCE BEFORE ISSUING CHEQUES
Cheques should be issued as per the balance amount available in the account as if the cheque amount exceeds the account balance amount, the cheque gets dishonoured and the payer is liable to pay a penalty depending upon the amount for which the cheque is issued or can be imprisoned if the case tends to be a serious one or involves large amount as dishonouring of cheques is also a criminal offence. Issuing cheque with the amount which is within the bank account balance can save the payer from paying the penalties.
The above-mentioned tips can be used for saving oneself from falling into the trap of the banks that make its customers pay the extra penny in name of taxes and penalties.