|Senator Dick Durbin|
- You know about the fees in advance. And the $5 fee for using a debit card for purchases is easy to avoid, if you begin using cash again, or switch to using a credit card for retail purchases. At least until you get hit with a monthly credit card fee.
- You can shop around. Many large banks, such as TD Bank (TD - Get Report), for example, have no minimum balance to avoid a monthly checking account fee, don't require direct deposit to avoid a monthly checking account fee, and don't charge a monthly fee to use your debit card to make purchases. Many community banks do the same.
- You can consider a radical switch. As more banks add fees, consider a credit union. You might earn higher rates on savings accounts and are less likely to be slapped with fees by a non-profit organization. The price you will pay is to give up the convenience of having access to scores of ATMs. Maybe changing your habits back to visiting your financial institution once in a while to withdraw some cash, isn't such a bad thing. While credit card deposits aren't insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., they are similarly insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
- Ask your broker. Through its Schwab Bank subsidiary, Charles Schwab (SCHW - Get Report) is offering FDIC-insured checking accounts with no minimum balance, no monthly fees of any kind and free checks. A Visa debit card is included, which you can use to make purchase for no additional charge, and if you use the Visa debit card to withdraw cash at another bank's ATM, Schwab will reimburse you for the other Bank's ATM fee. Schwab reserves the right to stop offering the rebates. As icing on the cake, the Schwab checking account pays interest.
Philip van Doorn. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.