Opening a savings account, for most people, is a no-brainer. And with processes easing, and going digital, people usually only consider the interest rate being offered, for choosing a savings account. However, it’s also important to know about the various charges and fees the banks may charge because in most cases, a little bit of awareness can help you avoid these charges. While the kind of charges and amounts may vary from bank to bank, but you must be aware of the most common ones. Here are few of the most common costs most banks usually charge for:
- Non-maintenance of average monthly balance: Banks offer interest against the balance in your savings account, and in case you do not maintain the minimum balance, they charge you a fine. This charge, which is usually between Rs 100 and Rs 650, is levied due to the operational costs banks have to bear to maintain and service your account.
- Debit Card Charges: Almost all banks issue debit cards on opening of savings bank account and charge an issuance fee and annual maintenance fee for the same. These charges may vary from Rs. 100 to Rs. 800 depending upon the kind of account and the services offered. For example, nowadays banks are offering personalized debit cards with photographs of the owner and charge a bit extra for doing it.
- Cheque book charges: Most banks offer a free cheque book for every quarter with approximately 20-25 leaves. If you require an additional booklet within the same quarter, you may have to pay an extra charge of Rs. 75 – 100. In case of premium accounts with higher average balance, extra charges for additional cheque books are usually waived off.
- Internet Banking Fee: While this facility is offered free of cost by most banks, certain high value transactions carried through internet banking are chargeable. NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer), IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) and RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement Systems) are few of the electronic fund transfer systems commonly used in our country and are both chargeable. While there is no lower limit on NEFT transactions, a minimum limit of Rs. 2 lakhs is applicable on RTGS transactions. For sending money through NEFT or IMPS, you may need to pay between Rs.5 and Rs.25 depending upon the amount you are transferring. In case of RTGS, these charges may range from Rs. 30 to Rs.55.
- Cash transaction charges: Banks have revised charges over cash transactions. According to the latest rules, charges at the rate of Rs. 5 per thousand (minimum Rs.150) will be charged after first four free transactions in a month.
- Cheque Bounce Charges: If you have issued or deposited a cheque and it bounces, you are liable to pay charges for the same to the bank concerned. These charges are usually higher if you are the one who has issued the cheque in comparison to the charges for cheques issued by third parties. It may vary from Rs. 200 to Rs. 800 depending upon the bank and the reason because of which the cheque was not cleared.
The charges mentioned above may vary across banks and types of accounts. So, before you choose a savings account, carefully examine the schedule of applicable charges that will help you keep your savings intact. In case of an existing savings account, you can check the charges on the website of the bank.