Many bank customers don’t know that, in some instances, they can actually be charged a fee to take out their own money. It happens with savings accounts when customers make too many withdrawals during the month. To those who find it unfair for banks to impose this excess withdrawal fee, there is a way to avoid them and still keep your money earning a decent interest rate.
Federal law limits withdrawals and outgoing transfers from a savings account or money market account to six per month (does not apply to ATM withdrawals). Violating this limit means that banks can charge a fee, close the account or convert it to a checking account.
At the 10 largest U.S. banks, the average excess withdrawal fee is $8.78. PNC and SunTrust are two banks that will impose a withdrawal fee before the six-per-month limit — intended as a way to deter customers from making too many outbound transfers.
One way to avoid the excess withdrawal fee is to open multiple savings accounts at the same bank. Since the federal limit applies to each individual account, having multiple accounts will allow you to have more withdrawals without reaching the limit.
Online banks such as Ally Bank and Capital One 360 are known for allowing customers to open more than one savings account. Additionally, many online banks do not charge monthly service fees on their savings accounts.
Because many major banks have monthly fees (and certain requirements to waive these fees) on their savings accounts, it may not be viable to open multiple savings accounts at these banks without incurring fees.
Instead of taking the risk of racking up excess withdrawal fees in hopes that more money will stay in savings, consider a rewards checking account.
Many rewards checking accounts will pay a decent interest rate under the condition that certain requirements are met. This way, you can make as many transactions as you want while your deposits continue to earn interest.
Savings Rates Report Jan. 2014: Major Online Banks Raise Rates