5 Banking Hacks That You May Or May Not Already Know About, That Your Bank May Or May Not Offer
By now, you’re probably aware that banks offer tons of different services and features, based on the type of account and how badly they want to retain your business. You probably know about most of the more popular services available, but I’m hoping to be able to expose some less publicized features today. Please note that not all of these transactions are available at all banks: check with your personal bank to confirm whether these services are available to you.
Free Checks. Almost every bank has some kind of free check deal. Be careful to deposit enough money in these type of accounts to avoid minimum balance fees. If you don’t like this kind of account, all you have to do is convert your account to the free check type, and then convert it back after you’ve ordered your checks.
Cash Back on Debit Transactions
Even though I try to use cash as much as possible, I need to use my debit card quite often. If you’re planning on using cash and are in an area where there isn’t an ATM for your bank, your best option may be to buy something at a grocery store with your debit card, and ask for cash back. Sure, you probably won’t be able to take out more than $40, and you’ll have to buy something, but at least this way you can get a pack of gum instead of nothing for that ATM fee.
- Remote check deposit. This is not available everywhere, but some banks will allow you to scan images of your checks or fax your checks to the bank for deposit. This is advantageous for obvious reasons: allows you to save time and gas by saving you a trip to the bank. The bank needs the information from the check, but does not always need the actual check itself. At present, it is mainly small banks that offer this service, but it’s worth a shot to see if your bank is one of the few that does. For more information on remote check deposit, read here.
- Online Bill Pay. Yeah, pretty much everyone uses this already, but don’t forget that you can use it for any kind of payment, not just the regular utility bills and mortgage payments. If you borrow money from someone and forget to pay it back, just send them a bill pay. Owe the babysitter extra money? Just send her a check!
- Free coin counting. Every few months, we end up with a giant jar full of change in the Right-Click household. Usually one of us will take it down to the Coinstar machine at the grocery store and turn it in for a 9% fee (or so). And that’s not a huge amount to pay, I suppose, but did you know that there are some banks that will count your coins and convert them for free? They already have a machine to do this, so they don’t really care.