Are You Disgusted by What You’re Forking Over in Bank Fees?

Photo (cc) by myfuture.com

The majority of Americans are “shocked” and “disgusted” by the billions U.S. banks collected last year in fees from consumers.

That’s according to a new report from TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service. The report is based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers.

In 2015, U.S. banks made $34.1 billion in fees. America’s three biggest banks — JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America — generated more than $6 billion in ATM and overdraft fees alone. That equates to $297 for an average American household, which most survey respondents said is far too high.

Despite this, TransferWise reveals that Americans don’t know as much as they should about bank fees: Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed admitted they did not read their bank accounts’ terms and conditions.

“Americans are likely caught in a vicious cycle that benefits the bottom line of the big banks — we don’t care enough about bank fees because we’re duped into thinking they’re far lower than they are,” Joe Cross, U.S. general manager at TransferWise, said in a statement. “We need to wake up to the daylight robbery and start demanding fairer, proportional and transparent pricing.”

Here are some other highlights of the TransferWise report:

  • ATM fees: Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans said ATM fees are the most unfair bank fees. Nearly all survey respondents (95 percent) said ATM fees should be under $2, although the average out-of-network ATM fee is actually $4.52, which represents a 21 percent increase since 2010.
  • Overdraft fees: Roughly 60 percent of survey respondents said overdraft charges should be less than $5, and 27 percent said overdraft fees should be eliminated altogether. “On average, Americans believe a fair overdraft fee to be around $5.69 compared to the true fee charged by banks — typically around $30,” according to TransferWise.
  • Switching banks: Although millennials are the most likely generation to switch banks to get a better deal on bank fees, “Americans reported mixed feelings on shopping around for a better deal, perhaps revealing a key reason why fees are consistently high across the industry,” TransferWise explains. Just 19 percent of survey respondents reported switching banks to score a better deal.

A 2014 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study found that roughly 8 percent of bank customers pay 75 percent of all overdraft fees. A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts — which found that overdraft fees disproportionately affect less affluent people, younger generations and minorities — called on the government to limit overdraft fees.

Are you among the millions who paid fees that you found unfair or exorbitant? Check out “14 Ways to Dodge Banking Fees.”

Share your experiences with bank fees in comments below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
The 5 Most Expensive U.S. States for Retirees
The 5 Most Expensive U.S. States for Retirees

If you have or expect to have a modest retirement income, you may want to avoid spending your golden years here.

Not Asking About This in the Hospital Can Cost You Thousands
Not Asking About This in the Hospital Can Cost You Thousands

Medicare recipients who fail to clarify their hospital status can pay a high price.

5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance
5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance

Home improvements can affect your home insurance policy for the better, the worse or both.

6 Investing Tools That Help You Diversify
6 Investing Tools That Help You Diversify

Here’s how you can lend to startup businesses, fund social causes or get in on investments once available only to the very rich.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Generic products are a great way to save money, but sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security
This Is the Most Popular Age for Claiming Social Security

Both men and women are most likely to start receiving Social Security benefits at this age.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s
6 Things You Should Never Buy at Trader Joe’s

We love Trader Joe’s for plenty of reasons. But think twice about this handful of products.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value
9 Dumb Ways You Are Ruining Your Home Value

Homeowners, beware these mistakes that can drive away potential buyers.

5 Ways Joe Biden Wants Social Security to Change
5 Ways Joe Biden Wants Social Security to Change

Here’s where Biden — as well as Trump — stands on the future of the Social Security retirement system.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them
15 Outrageously Overpriced Products — and How to Save on Them

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
18 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security
Why Half of Retirees Now Owe Taxes on Social Security

Growing numbers of seniors are paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, but you might be able to avoid this fate.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.