Enter your keyword

5 Banking Hacks That You May Or May Not Already Know About, That Your Bank May Or May Not Offer

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

Comments (4)

  1. Mar 30, 2009

    My credit union has a free coin counting machine that seems to have a permanent “out of order” sign on it. I am a big lover of coins. Every little bit counts. At night my husband empties his pockets onto his nightstand and I hoard them. Occasionally I’ll take them to Coinstar and do the gift card option, which has no vig. I’ll usually choose a Starbucks gift card which I have to have on me at all times for the (hopefully very occasional) Starbucks run with the kids (for some weird reason my kids LOVE Starbucks and beg for it. All I ever get them there is a “KAJ” – kid’s apple juice – or we’ll sometimes share a cookie. I think they think it’s like this very sophisticated adult experience.

    So the other thing – and you can do this with Mini in a couple very short years – is give coins as allowance. Counting money is an excellent way for kids to practice math. I usually roll coins and give allowance in mixed denominations. My three year old doesn’t get allowance yet but six year old gets $6.50/week. Pretty much all my coins go to her now. It’s like recycling.

  2. Mar 30, 2009

    @Juliet, that’s a great idea to use coins as allowance. Mini just got his first real golf club (like, made out of metal, not plastic) this weekend. So maybe he’ll be ready for allowance sooner than I think!

  3. Mar 31, 2009

    Golf! Does your husband play? From a financial perspective I’d urge you to push him toward less expensive hobbies. Kids are $$$$$.

    Allowance is really good. I started allowance when my oldest was about four. I have always given her age in weekly allowance. I really don’t buy much of anything for her now. She has to save her allowance. She has an acct at a credit union with $125 in it! (She is a mad little saver.)

    I changed it around a bit several months ago. She was getting $6 (since she is six) but I made it $6.50/week and if she wants to buy lunch at school ($1.25) instead of packing from home, or if she wants ice cream from the ice cream truck, which we do as a ritual with friends once a week (items vary from $1 to $2.50) she has to buy it herself. She was always getting some giant mega-pop for $2.50 and the first week we started this new policy, she was asking the ice cream truck driver all the prices.

    The great thing about allowance is it immediately cuts off begging Target, the grocery store etc. She can buy the $4 My Little Pony or the $3.99 hair clips or lip balm with her own money. The majority of the time she decides not to.

  4. Mar 31, 2009

    That’s awesome, Drucie! She’s already learning. Re: golf, yeah, my husband plays and I have played a little, so he REALLY wants Mini to play. They go to the putting green on weekends, which is free, so it’s no big deal. It definitely can turn into a huge expense, though. But I think it’s a non-negotiable.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.