You may often hear us say you can avoid fees when you make the switch to Branch. But what does it truly mean? What fees are we talking about when we say that you can “save when you spend” with us instead of those other guys? It turns out those other guys (AKA traditional banks) have a lot of fees. Like, a LOT. So we’re giving you the lowdown on what those fees are, how much they’re costing you, and how to break up with them all together.
(TLDR; Branch doesn’t have any of the fees listed below, meaning you could be saving a lot of money when you use your Branch Card in place of cards from many traditional banks!)
Fee #1a: Monthly Maintenance Fees
This probably sounds weird, but many traditional banks charge you money for keeping your money with them. (Yes, you read that correctly… and yes, we’re confused too! At Branch, there is no monthly maintenance fee.) That monthly charge can range from $4-$25.
Fee #1b: Minimum Balance Fees
As part of the monthly maintenance fee, if you don’t have “enough” money in your bank account (the minimum amount needed varies by bank), you’ll be charged for it. (And if the money you need to avoid the minimum balance fee is in your savings and you already transferred too many times this month, see Fee #5 because you’ll be charged for that too!) These minimum balance fees range from $5-$25.
Monthly maintenance fee estimate: $25
Fee #2: Overdraft Fees
This one’s often the biggest kicker. Overdraft fees occur when you make a purchase on your debit card that’s more than you have in your bank account. What you’re actually paying when you pay an overdraft fee is “overdraft protection,” to help “protect you” against NSF or “non-sufficient fund” fees. (See Fee #4.) So banks are charging you a fee to protect you from a different fee. (Make it make sense! 😫) On average, traditional banks charge $35 per overdraft. So if you overdraft once a week, that’s $140 a month simply in overdraft fees; it adds up quickly! Branch doesn’t let you overdraft, so you never have to worry about paying expensive fees.
Monthly overdraft fee estimate: $140
Fee #3: ATM Fees
It’s common to pay a fee to take money out of an ATM that isn’t affiliated with your bank. But this presents a problem because oftentimes when you’re out and need cash, it’s pretty inconvenient to find your bank’s ATMs. Those ATM fees aren’t cheap either—it can cost anywhere from $2.50 to $5 per ATM withdrawal. So if you used an out-of-network ATM weekly, you’d pay around $15-20 a month...just trying to access your money….
Branch provides fee-free ATM withdrawals at over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs. They’re conveniently located in some of your most-shopped locations including Walgreens, Target, CVS and more. You can find a fee-free ATM when you click “Move Funds” and “Find an ATM” in the Branch Digital Wallet.
Monthly ATM Fee Estimate: $20
Fee #4: NSF Fees
NSF, or non-sufficient fund fees, are what happens when you don’t have overdraft protection (See #2). They’re like overdraft fees in that they cost on average $35 each time you don’t have “sufficient” funds to pay for what you’re trying to buy (and also in the way that they really suck).
Monthly NSF Fee Estimate: $140
Fee #5: Excessive Transaction Fees
Traditional banks want you to transfer money within your accounts with them but they don’t want you to transfer too many times, because there’s nothing like adding to the confusion of what you can and can’t do! If you transfer in or withdraw from your savings more times than your bank’s monthly limit, you’ll be charged an excessive transaction fee. This fee can range from $3-$25 per transaction and can be hard to avoid if you work a job where your pay fluctuates often.
Monthly Excessive Transaction Fee Estimate: $25
Fee #6: Account Closure Fees
Realizing how many unnecessary fees you’re gathering and want to break up with your traditional bank? Banks don’t handle break ups very well, and they’ll make sure the door hits you on the way out. Some banks require that you keep your account open for a certain amount of time, or else you’ll get hit with an account closure fee. These fees cost up to $25.
Account Closure Fee Estimate: #25
It's not you, it's them
If we add up all the unnecessary fees that traditional banks are hitting you with, we get an estimate of $235 a month in unnecessary fees! Bottom line, when you bank with Branch, you’re saving with Branch. Avoid unnecessary fees and break up with your bank today.