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How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds

  • September 29 2020
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Borrow

How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds

By Cameron Micallef
September 29 2020

As many as a quarter of Australians are being stung with unknown, unfair or incorrect banking fees, with the costs adding up during the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert has revealed.

How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds

How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds

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  • September 29 2020
  • Share

As many as a quarter of Australians are being stung with unknown, unfair or incorrect banking fees, with the costs adding up during the COVID-19 pandemic, an expert has revealed.

How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds

Survey data released by Canstar revealed Australian cardholders spend $876 per year or $73 a month on bank fees they might not even know they are paying for. 

Effie Zahos, Canstar money expert, said it’s important to keep an eye on your account as small amounts can quickly add up. 

“Whether it’s a $5 or $50 fee, always question your bank if you’re unsure as to what you’re being charged for. There are some fees that will be unavoidable, but for other fees, there’s no harm in querying them if it means you could be better off by saving some money,” Ms Zahos said.

The survey results showed younger Australians are more likely to see their bank account eroded by fees, with Millennials revealing they likely pay an average of $155 in bank fees each month, while the youngest group, Gen Z, pay $139.

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“We’re going through a global pandemic, and a lot of people will be looking for ways to cut costs, so it’s surprising to see so many people let fees go unchallenged,” Ms Zahos said. 

Bank fees you could be paying

Ms Zahos explained that while many believe digital banking comes fee-free, in reality it is likely to come at a cost.

With most consumers using cards over cash during the current pandemic, banks are cashing in with fees such as eftpos transactions seeing Australians hit with unknown fees.

Canstar revealed that 18 per cent of accounts charge a fee, with an average fee of $0.86 per transaction.

“If your bank charges you this fee and you make 20 purchases on your card each month, you could be unknowingly paying an average of $17.20 in eftpos transaction fees,” Ms Zahos said.

“There could also be more obscure fees if you’re doing things like cardless cash withdrawal at the ATM, counting coins at a bank branch or obtaining a bank cheque; it’s things like this where you need to query your bank on the costs.”

Canstar found that 37 per cent of bank accounts charge a monthly account-keeping fee, with 58 per cent waiving the fee provided a certain amount is put into the account each month. The average monthly deposit required to waive those fees is $1,832.

Among the more painful fees, 57 per cent of accounts will charge a fee if users accidentally overdraw on their account. The average overdraw fee is $12.98.

How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds
How sneaky fees could be costing you hundreds
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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