The recent news around is that you actually need to start thinking about the type of fees that your bank is charging. Sure, your bank needs to make money, and they’re having a hard time doing that with the new regulations coming down from Capitol Hill. However, does that mean that you’re just going to be stuck taking whatever you can?

It’s not like this is the first time. There are fees for money orders, fees for checkbooks, fees for the ATM — including the ATMs that are outside of your bank’s network. Your bank is already hitting you up for fee after fee — even when your account was supposed to be low fee. Can they really change horses in mid-stream like that?

Sure they can — but so can you. You might want to think about the wide variety of different banks out there that offer relaxed fees. The biggest target right now is Bank of America, where they charge customers for using their own in-bank ATM network as well as hitting them for the debt card swipes. To use the Bank of America debt card, you’re going to be paying 5 bucks a month for that privilege.

Should we get up in arms about five bucks? Of course we should — it’s your money, and you should make sure that people are using it in order to provide you with better services. With the same old banking complaints still coming down the pipe, you’re going to need to make sure that you compete hard in order to win in the long run. That’s something that some people aren’t used to doing. They’ve relied on the bank having a long standing relationship with them — why would the bank hurt them after so many years of dutifully depositing their paychecks?

Again, the banks need money, and since the only real asset they have involves you, guess what? There’s going to be a lot of fees in the future. The debit card fee is being tested out, but as people get used to it, more banks are going to be pushing this fee in the future.

What you can do now is to look for a bank that doesn’t have the fee and think about moving over there. We say think rather than just packing up and moving over because banks have a tendency of changing their policies. Now, if you can compromise with the bank and agree to hold a certain amount of money in your account all the time, you might actually be a lot better off in the grand scheme of things. That’s because when you have a nice little pool of money in your checking account, you’re actually helping the bank out. “Drainers”, people that constantly drain their account to the bare bones, are the ones that banks have a hard time dealing with — they can’t count on that money, so they have to count on your money.

Keep your eyes open as you work with your back. The era of loyalty is long over and now is the time to do what’s right in your own best interests, and not the banks. That type of thinking only leads to more fees as the banks figure that their customers will live with it. Vote with your wallet and watch the difference.

By Jasmina