Reader feels fee'd to death by bank

DEAR HARRY: My bank is "feeing" me to death. I have overdraft fees, ATM fees, checking fees, maintenance fees and I don't remember what else. I spoke with a friend today who pays zero fees. He told me that they once charged him an "under-minimum-balance fee" but waived it when he protested that it never happened before.

Isn't there some way I can join his club and be free of these confounded fees? Last year they were more than $300. I sure can use that money. It will help get my credit-card balances in check.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: You can always go to another bank or to a credit union. There's just no sense in making your bank richer with those charges.

In the meantime, here are a few things you can do. Use your own bank's ATMs or a fee-free network ATM. End those overdraft fees by keeping track of your balance. Checking-fee charges can be reduced by going for more direct deposits. Reduce your charge for checks by getting them printed by an independent resource like Costco, Sam's Club or some of the printers who advertise in the newspapers.

Too many of us just sit back and assume that nothing can be done. I like what you intend to do with what you save on future banking fees.


Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.