Charges on ATM withdrawal, account transfer or even SMS alerts feel like banks are taking away your savings. For example, for a regular salary account at ICICI Bank, only the first four withdrawals at ICICI bank ATMs within the city of your branch is free of cost. You will be charged Rs 5 per Rs 1,000, subject to a minimum of Rs 150 per month.
On the other hand, for a NEFT transaction, you will be charged Rs 2.5 per transaction up to Rs 10,000 and Rs 10 for a transaction between Rs 10,001 to Rs 1 lakh and so on.
Almost all financial activities will have a charge because those are the primary services a bank provides. Non-financial activities like updating your passbook at a branch, or email of e-statement is free of cost.
You may have noticed that ATM charges are higher than NEFT charges. This is to reduce the number of cash withdrawals made by individuals and encourage them to switch to internet banking. Similarly, services put in place to reduce branch visits are cheap or free of cost.
So maybe, you should consider the following 5 habits to reduce the charges you pay to save your own hard-earned money.
1. Make larger withdrawals, less number of times
It is best to use your card or UPI for making most daily payments. If you really cannot do without cash, make a large withdrawal within the 3-4 free limits set by your bank for future use. You will save Rs 50 or more on multiple withdrawals up to Rs 10,000.
2. Avoid Cheques
Banks charges you Rs 20 or higher for every additional cheque book. Also, your extra cheque books will have half the number of leaves than the first one. Switch to netbanking for your large payments as it is cheap, easy to access and track payments and does not require the additional burden of posting the cheque.
3. Opt for auto-payments
If you are bad at keeping track of due dates, there are chances you have missed out on paying your bills on time. To avoid paying late payment fee, opt for auto-bill payment facility from your bank. Your utility bills like that of electricity, telephone, etc will be taken care of for you.
You can also opt for auto-debit for credit card bills. Instruct your bank to deduct a minimum percentage of your bank balance every month on the due date towards the payment of your credit card to avoid being charged heavily.
4. Be careful with your credit card usage
Most importantly, do not exceed your credit limit as a charge of 2.5 percent or Rs 500 can be charged as a fee for extension of credit facility. Also, do not withdraw cash using your credit card. Besides withdrawal fee on the amount, you will have to pay interest on the same.
5. Maintain minimum balance
Maintain a minimum balance in your account as per the criteria of your bank. If you have a rural branch account, the limit should be comparatively less. Additionally do not issue a cheque to make a payment the beyond balance you hold in your account. This will not only attract a fine, a bounced cheque is treated as a criminal offence.