Aussie households are being stung $477 a year just to keep popular financial products such as bank accounts, credit cards and home loans active, according to a new RBA report.
The Banking Fees in Australia paper, revealed that last year alone banks pocketed $4.41 billion in fees - an increase of 1.5% from 2015.
However, the Mozo database shows that there’s really no reason to be paying through the nose for fees, as there are currently 69 fee free bank accounts, 28 zero annual fee credit cards and 31 home loans with no upfront or ongoing fees.
Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont, said it’s concerning to hear that Aussies are paying a high price for bank fees that can generally be avoided altogether.
“There are now dozens of no fee credit cards, bank accounts and home loans on the market which means it’s now entirely possible for savvy consumers to rid themselves of banking fees altogether.”
“Consumers prepared to shop around for the best fee free options will be rewarded with savings of hundreds of dollars a year. But you need to look beyond the big four banks in favour of online banks, mutuals and non-bank lenders, as they are generally much more competitive on the fee front than the big banks,” she added.
Tips to save money on bank fees for good
- Check your bank statements. It’s possible you’re being slapped with fees you weren’t aware of, which is why you should take a couple of minutes to comb through all those monthly statements that come your way. And cancel any direct debits you no longer use (hint: that unused gym membership).
- Know your ATM network. When was the last time you were hit with a $2 ATM fee? These fees are a huge money drain and easily avoidable by signing up with an account with a generous ATM network (see offers in the table below).
- Use it or lose it. If you’re not squeezing the most out of your fancy rewards credit card to warrant its steep annual fee, ditch your provider in favour of a more competitive deal.