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Saving money today is now as important as ever. Difficult economic times call for greater financial discipline. This can be hard to do since customers are being forced to pay more for services. Even banking customers are seeing increased fees on their financial accounts as their income dwindles. Debit and credit card account holders are now in the crosshairs of financial institutions.
There are, however, some strategies that you can undertake to save money on card products. Debit card fees
Banks have seen their fee income chopped in half with the implementation of the Card Act passed in 2010. Now they are turning to customers to help make up for lost profits. Banks are now starting to institute fees on customers for using their debit cards. Customers will soon be forced to pay monthly fees for the privilege of using their debit card to make a purchase. Many of the larger banks around the country are rolling out fee programs. Customers need to protect themselves by finding out how they can avoid paying these debit card fees and looking for banks that allow them access to their cash for free.
Credit card annual fees
Credit card companies are trying to increase the amount of money that they are making off of individual accounts by imposing annual fees. It is estimated that 25% of all credit cards charge an annual fee now. These fees are either charged on a monthly or annual basis. All credit cards that offer an annual fee are not a bad deal but you should try to get around paying the fee if possible. Contact your card company and ask them to waive your annual fees or refund the amount paid. The chances are good that the company might allow you to bypass paying the fee. Credit card companies do not want to lose the business of a long time customer over a one time annual fee.
Prepaid debit card fees
Some customers are opting for prepaid cards to avoid the fees being charged for banking services. Prepaid cards are not always a bad deal if you get a card with favorable terms. Search for prepaid cards that do not charge application or registration fees. Look for cards with very low loading fees that are only a dollar or two. Your prepaid debit card should not charge you any fees for making payments on your account or accessing account balances. This way cards will be an asset to your financial life and not a liability.
Knowing the options available to you are the best way for a customer to reduce fees on financial services.
Mark Riddix is the founder and president of New Horizons Financial Management, an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark is a regular contributor to Seeking Alpha and has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers. Mark publishes his own financial blog, BuylikeBuffett.com and has written the book Your Financial Playbook.