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How to save on bank fees and charges


We all want to save money, aren’t we all? For us to achieve that, we need to be mindful of our finances. Having a bank account could be a great tool to help us manage our personal finances! However, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) does not put a ceiling on the amount of fees or charges that banks collect from their depositors. As mediators of funds, banks play a vital role in economic growth, as well as work as businesses for profit. Henceforth, banks are given the autonomy to impose certain charges. Nevertheless, these banks also have the responsibility to keep their clients informed of those bank charges to be wary of their banking transactions decisions. Thus, we’ve got you some tips on how to save on bank fees and charges.

Table of Contents

Be mindful of service fees

Be Mindful Of Service Fees • How To Save On Bank Fees And Charges

Understanding fees and service charges on banks are essential steps towards a well-managed banking experience. Failing to understand those gives a chance to reduce your potential savings. With that said, we must also be mindful of those service fees. The bank’s service fees refer to any charge imposed by the financial institution on their personal and business customers for account set-up, maintenance, and others.

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The BSP encourages us to be aware of the following:

  • service fees
  • falling below average daily balance (ADB)
  • dormancy fee
  • ATM transaction fee
  • fee for checks written against insufficient funds
  • interbranch transaction fees

To be mindful of those fees, make sure to know more about your bank and its services. Good thing banks are present online through their official websites, so you better check them out.

Keep track and maintain your ADB

Keep Track And Maintain Your Adb 1 • How To Save On Bank Fees And Charges

Maintaining Balance is the minimum Average Daily Balance (ADB) we should have in our savings account or checking account every month. Maintaining Balance is identified as the shorter-phrase for Minimum Monthly Average Daily Balance (MADB). It means that we should maintain a certain minimum amount of money in our accounts.

To be a responsible bank account holder, we must be aware of the required minimum maintaining balance for our account and keep the deposit balance within such maintaining balance. Take note that bank charges and fees for falling below the ADB are being computed at the end of each month. Plus, you may also note the required minimum balance to earn interest, as it may be different from the required minimum maintaining balance.

Use online banking

Bpi 1 • How To Save On Bank Fees And Charges

Online banking has given us convenience, especially when we are all likely just staying at home. This could offer various perks such as online applications, cashless fund transfers, higher interest rates, and more. More of the transactions are also managed within its mobile app. Online bank accounts generally have few or no fees, such as monthly maintenance charges on savings, and often do not require minimum account balances or charge transaction fees.

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Take advantage of free fund transfers

Take Advantage Of Free Fund Transfers 1 • How To Save On Bank Fees And Charges

Another good thing about online banking is its real-time fund transfer option! Undoubtedly, it is better if it’s free! We may take advantage of free fund transfers as select banks have extended their free interbank fund transfers via PESONet and InstaPay for a certain period. Check out the updated list shown below.

Use your bank’s ATM

Use Your Banks Atm • How To Save On Bank Fees And Charges

To save from ATM transaction fees, make sure to use your own bank’s ATMs. Sticking to your own bank lessens the need to pay unwanted charges. If this is not possible, you may pick the ATM network with the lowest ATM transaction fee.

Here’s the list of ATM withdrawal fees of some of the banks as of the writing (for interbank ATM withdrawals in PH):

BDO – PHP 11
BPI – PHP 15
China Bank – PHP 15
EastWest Bank – PHP 11
Land Bank – PHP 10
Maybank – PHP 11
Metrobank – PHP 11
PNB – PHP 15
Security Bank – PHP 10
UnionBank – PHP 12

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Meanwhile, the Philippine banking industry will be implementing acquirer-based fee-charging for ATM transactions effective April 7, 2021. Starting on the said date, ATM withdrawal fees are expected to range from PHP 10-PHP 18. However, BSP will review and approve all requests for ATM fee adjustments and consider the reasonable cost for guaranteeing ATM services’ reliability and security.

Keep your accounts active

Keep Your Accounts Active • How To Save On Bank Fees And Charges

Yes, you should keep your accounts active! Under the BSP regulations, if a savings or current deposit account is left inactive with no transactions (deposits or withdrawals) for a period of two years, it becomes dormant. Due to this, the account is subject to a dormancy fee. To keep your account active and avoid this fee, make sure to make transactions, even in small amounts, regularly. Even if you keep an account for the intention of long-term storage, do something with it now and then, such as depositing or transferring a little money.

There you have it! Those are some things we may keep in mind to save on bank fees. Watch out for fees, and keep on being a wise bank account holder. Those could be just simple steps but could help you well, especially on saving.

Sources: BSP | BanksPhilippines | PIA | Congress.gov.ph

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