Ding. That’s the sound of another fee draining your bank account. Hmmmm, you think to yourself, where the heck did this fee come from? You’ve held up your end of the bargain by budgeting and checking your account daily to avoid overdraft fees. You only go to ATMs that are free with your debit card. So what gives? It’s the latest and not-so-greatest way for banks to take your money – bank-to-bank transfer fees (also commonly known as ACH transfer fees).
ACH what? Before you think this charge couldn’t possibly apply to you b/c you don’t know what the heck ACH even means, think again. You’re probably more familiar with them than you think. It stands for automated clearing house. In plain English: these are electronic fund transfers that move money from one bank to another. For example, you want to move money electronically from bank Y checking account to bank X savings account. Ding. There’s a fee to access your own money.
You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to take it. Get a little miffed and do a little homework. The good thing? If you initiate the transfer from a bank that doesn’t charge this “transfer fee,” then the receiving bank can’t charge you for it either. So, go to the website of the bank (or banks) in question. If you can’t find information on whether they apply these transfer charges there, then get on the phone with them. Ask if they’re going to start charging you to initiate these types of transfers with them (you may find out they already do). The best thing to do to avoid that is to initiate the transfer with the bank that doesn’t charge.