Tired of bank fees? Don't pay them; opt out of overdraft protection, link accounts

Posted at 7:04 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 13:20:30-04

I hate bank fees I don't like having to pay the bank to use my money. says consumers face dozens of different fees and spend an average of $470 a year on them. 

Diane Brown with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (APIRG) says you don't have to pay them.

Start by opting out of one of the largest fees: overdraft protection.

"The bank supposedly is doing you a favor if you go down the street Starbucks and you want to get a Frappuccino and its $4 and you go to pay but you actually don't have the money to cover you--they cover it for you," she says. "What they do is charge you a fee so that $4 Frappuccino added on to perhaps a $35 overdraft fee is now costing you $39.

It's a service the APIRG says you can and should opt out of.

You'll get denied if there's no money, but it will save from a big fee.

Other ways to lower bank fees: Choose no fee checking and savings, sign up for alerts to let you know where your account stands and link your checking and savings accounts.

But since fees and policies for each account differ, Diane says you must shop around.

"You can negotiate sometimes and you can find better deals," she says.

You can get help with that from websites like

It has a tool compare fee for both traditional and online banks according to your zip code and specific spending habits.

Another fee you can easily avoid: ATM fees.

Some financial institutions offer free ATM within a certain network, but make sure locations are convenient

Also, some will even pay the other banks fees if you use their machine.

Don't be afraid to close your account and Diane says online bank and credit unions sometimes have considerably lower fees than traditional banks.