Leaving Your Bank in 2019 Could Save You $360. Here’s How

Aspiration Bank client Denisa Petricko is photographed in Encinitas, California on February 28, 2018.
Peggy Peattie for The Penny Hoarder
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When’s the last time you were slapped with a bank fee?

Maybe you didn’t maintain that insanely high minimum balance, or you accidentally overdrafted by 99 cents, Or you might’ve used an out-of-network ATM out of desperation.

You’re not alone.

Big banks make big bucks off these fees. Looking at overdraft fees alone, banks collected $6.4 billion from Americans in 2016, according to a CNN analysis.

The average overdraft fee these days hovers around $30, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That’s approximately 10 small Starbucks lattes. Or 30 items off the McDonald’s dollar menu — one snack a day (though we don’t really recommend that health-wise).

Bottom line: We’re losing a lot of money in fees.

And if you’re a moderately frequent overdrafter (defined by the CFPB as someone who overdrafts once a month), then you’re handing over $360 in fees each year.

The good news is that there are some very nice accounts out there that won’t charge you overdraft fees — or nearly any fees for that matter — like Aspiration.

This Unicorn of an Account Doesn’t Charge Insane Fees

The Aspiration Account is an online-only account with no monthly fees, no minimums and pays 1% APY.

Yep! Instead of getting charged fees, you can actually earn money with this account.

Here’s a quick rundown of the account’s features and its fees (or lack thereof):

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to maintain: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee (both domestic and international): $0
  • Overdraft fee: $0
  • Stop payment fee: $0
  • Incoming wire transfers: 82 cents
  • Outgoing wire transfers: 82 cents

(Honestly, there’s Venmo and PayPal these days for those transfers anyways…)

So rather than getting tangled in an endless cycle of bank fees, Aspiration’s account actually allows you to sit back and watch your money grow, thanks to that 1% APY you’ll earn on your balance.

So make the switch, save some money and have a happy, fee-free year!

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Full disclosure: She banks with Aspiration and loves it!

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