The kids have student checking accounts. I set up alerts on all their accounts so they (and I) know when their balance gets low and when money is taken out. Usually, I don’t pay much attention to their accounts and I often didn’t look at their statements. But, at some point last year I noticed that they were about to be charged for receiving paper statements. As much as I loathe online statements, there’s no way I’ll pay (or watch them pay) $3-$5/month in order to get a paper statement.
The trick is to remember to actually look at those online statements. It’s a pain, but it only takes a minute or so for me to verify that they aren’t getting charged for services they don’t need or don’t even know have been put in place.
This month, I discovered that the bank charges 25 cents to deposit an international check. My brother (in Canada) sent Rachel a generous check for graduation. I had to be careful how/where to deposit. I’ve discovered that the Chase ATMs reject checks from non-US banks. They spit them out right there at the ATM so at least you know right away!
And I’ve discovered that it doesn’t work to deposit them at our USBank ATM (in envelopes) IF you have other non-foreign checks in the same batch. That’s a real pain. They debit your account and send the check back.
Plus, make sure you don’t try to deposit a check drawn on a foreign bank if it’s been post dated. Last year, my Mom sent me a birthday check. She sent it early because she and my Dad were going to Mexico for the winter. But she put my birthday date on it. I deposited it at the ATM along with some other checks and the bank sent it back. Then, I deposited it by itself at the ATM and the bank sent it back again, because it was post dated. If I remember correctly, I got charged fees to the point that they offset my birthday check. Of course, I called my banker and he had them reversed. 😉
Anyway, the safest bet is to go inside the bank and deposit it with a teller. The 25 cent charge is relatively new, I’m pretty sure. But what’re you going to do about it? I’m actually surprised it’s so little.