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Save Money: Simple Tips to Avoid Banking Fees

Banking fees can add up quickly, eating away at your hard-earned money. At TDECU, we believe in helping you keep more of your money.

Save Money: Simple Tips to Avoid Banking Fees

Here are some practical tips to avoid those pesky fees and make the most of your banking experience.

Understanding Common Banking Fees

Banking fees come in many forms, and understanding them is the first step in avoiding them. One of the most common fees is the monthly maintenance fee. Banks charge this fee just for keeping your account open. According to a 2023 Bankrate survey, the average monthly maintenance fee is around $15. That adds up to $180 a year!

Another common fee is the overdraft fee. This fee is charged when you spend more money than you have in your account. According to the same Bankrate survey, the average overdraft fee in 2021 was $33.58. Overdraft fees can be especially painful if you do not notice you are overdrawn and make several transactions before realizing it.

Choose the Right Account

One of the easiest ways to avoid banking fees is to choose the correct account. Many banks and credit unions, like TDECU, offer accounts with no monthly maintenance fees. Look for accounts with low or no minimum balance requirements so you will not be charged if your balance dips too low.

Online banks sometimes have fewer fees than traditional banks, but they do not offer the in-person services that traditional financial institutions do. TDECU offers both online and in-person banking options, allowing you to choose what works best for you.

Keep an Eye on Your Balance

Regularly checking your balance is crucial for avoiding overdraft fees. Most banks and credit unions offer online banking and mobile apps, making keeping track of your account easy. Set up alerts for low balances to get notified before you run out of funds.

Link your checking account to a savings account as a backup. This way, if you overdraw your checking account, the money will come from your savings instead of triggering an overdraft fee. However, be sure to check if there are any transfer fees. Some banks charge for this service, while others, like TDECU, offer it for free.

Use In-Network ATMs

ATM fees can add up quickly if you are not careful. According to the 2023 Bankrate survey, the average out-of-network ATM fee is $4.73 per transaction. To avoid these fees, use ATMs within your bank’s network. TDECU has an extensive network of fee-free ATMs, making it easy to find one nearby.

If you need to use an out-of-network ATM, consider getting cash back when you make a purchase at a store. Many stores offer this service for free so that you can avoid the ATM fee altogether.

Set Up Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is a simple way to avoid certain banking fees. Many banks waive monthly maintenance fees if you have a direct deposit set up. This service is convenient because your paycheck is automatically deposited into your account, so you do not have to worry about going to the bank.

TDECU offers direct deposit to make managing your money easier. It is a great way to ensure your funds are available as soon as you are paid and can help you avoid fees.

Automate Your Payments

Late fees can be a significant expense if you are not careful. To avoid them, set up automatic payments for your bills. This way, you will never miss a due date and incur a late fee. Most banks and credit unions offer this service for free.

Additionally, automating your savings is a smart move. Set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account to build your savings without thinking about it. This habit can help you reach your financial goals faster.

Be Aware of Foreign Transaction Fees

If you travel internationally, be mindful of foreign transaction fees. These fees can range from 1% to 3% of your purchase amount. To avoid them, use a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. Many credit unions offer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, saving you money on your travels.

Utilize Credit Union Benefits

Credit unions, like TDECU, often have lower fees and better customer service than traditional banks. Because credit unions are Member-owned, they prioritize their Members’ needs over profits. Joining a credit union can save you money on fees and provide better service.

Credit unions also offer competitive interest rates on loans and savings accounts, helping you make the most of your money. Consider switching to a credit union if you are tired of paying high fees at your current bank.

Stay Informed and Vigilant

Lastly, it is essential to stay informed about your bank’s fee policies. Banks can change their fees, so make sure you read any communications from your bank carefully. Also, keep an eye on your statements and look for any unexpected charges.

Staying vigilant and proactive can help you avoid unnecessary fees. By following these tips and taking advantage of TDECU's services, you can keep more of your hard-earned money.


Avoiding banking fees is all about being informed and proactive. Choose the right account, keep an eye on your balance, use in-network ATMs, set up direct deposit, automate your payments, be aware of foreign transaction fees, negotiate fees when necessary, and consider the benefits of credit unions like TDECU. Following these simple tips can save money and make the most of your banking experience.

For more tips on managing your money and avoiding fees, visit TDECU’s blog or explore our range of banking services designed to help you save and succeed.