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Open thread: How do YOU save money on banking fees?

Did you switch banks, or do you take out large sums of money in one go? Tell us your tips.

Image: Piggybank via Shutterstock

DO YOU TRY to avoid banking fees, or are you happy paying for some bank services?

According to research by the National Consumer Agency, more people are making larger cash withdrawals and using their debit cards less often because they’ve lost free banking.

More than a third (34 per cent) of current account customers said don’t qualify for free banking, and 28 per cent of them said they take out more cash when making withdrawals.

That’s almost double the figure (15 per cent) from the previous year.

Plus, a quarter of these people said they use their debit cards less often, while 13 per cent are using their credit cards more for routine transactions.

Around a third of the people who don’t qualify for free banking anymore said that they plan on using their debit card less often and/or switching to a bank that offers free banking or lower fees.

Tips on saving

ConsumerHelp.ie has some tips for saving on banking fees, including:

  • Make sure you know what bank charges and fees you are paying by having a look at your bank statements and also check the volume of transactions on your account.
  • If you are charged per transaction, keep an eye on how many times you use your debit card and look at availing of the cashback option on debit cards.
  • Be aware of all the banking options available to you and if you decide to switch choose carefully and make your decision based on how you use your account.
  • Check to see how much you are charged for using phone or internet banking compared to branch transactions, it could work out cheaper.
  • If you have a credit card with a zero balance or that is in credit, consider transferring cash to your credit card account and using your credit card to pay for purchases. As long as you pay your bill in full and on time, you will not be charged interest.
  • Keep an eye out for contactless payments, which are for using your debit card for transactions under €15. At the moment, many banks are waiving the fees. But find out when you’ll have to start paying – having to pay per transaction fee on lots of small transactions will quickly add up

Do you try to avoid bank charges? Tell us your tips in the comments below.

Read: Students advised to compare bank accounts before signing up>

Column: Why don’t we switch banks, just like other services?>

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