I do a majority of our banking with Fifth Third. They have a branch near our house, they have easy to use systems, and they’ve been very good to work with over the years since we combined accounts prior to getting married.
I’ve been pretty pleased with them regarding various fees that I’ve seen other banks charge. They never started trying to charge us for our ‘Free Checking’ or charging us for any sort of transactions, things that I’ve seen other banks try to slip in, so I thought they were keeping their heads above those game.
Until I looked more closely at our accounts.
We have a checking account and also a savings account. Truth be told, I’m not sure exactly why the savings account is there. It’s linked for overdraft protection, but as it only pays 0.1% interest (or maybe less), we only keep a couple of hundred bucks in it.
I was matching our balances against our net worth statement and I noticed that the online balance was showing $10 less than what it should have had.
So, I clicked into the detail and saw that I had been charged two $5 ‘Maintenance Fee’ charges over the past two months. No further detail was available.
I called our local branch and had someone look into it, and he explained that since there hadn’t been any activity on the account in over 12 months, a ‘Dormant’ fee kicks in. I asked what you have to do to keep it active and he sheepishly said that you just had to do something involving at least $1.
I asked if that meant I could just transfer a dollar between accounts and he said, yes, that would work. I asked if he could reverse the charges and he said he could. I went on and I transferred a dollar from the account over to the checking account.
Now I just have to set a reminder to do that again every 11 months or so.
I’ve never heard anything like it. I have money sitting there but you’re going to charge me $5 because I’m not using it? Is this common?
I guess it could be worse. I guess they could have just started charging the account for just existing or refused to reverse the charges.
Still, talk about things that make no sense! What’s next?!?
What kind of fees have you run into with your bank?
Update: It turns out there was actually a different reason we were being assessed this charge.