Calling my bank to get a fee refunded is truly one of my least favorite things to do. You most likely feel the same way, but I’m here to tell you it’s worth it. Banks made $34.3 billion in overdraft fees alone in 2017?and they are counting on you to begrudgingly do nothing about these ethically questionable fees despite a bill passed in 2010 that explicitly requires you to opt-in for ‘overdraft protection’.
Make Money While Doing Chores
Depending on the fee, it can be well worth your time to get a bank fee refunded. If the call takes 15 minutes and you get two $35 overdraft fees returned, that’s the equivalent of making $280/hr. I typically do it during down time, when I’m driving somewhere or doing laundry, so I feel like I’m making money while doing chores.
Get a Bank Fee Refunded in Three Easy Steps
So, how do you go about getting a fee refunded? Follow these steps:
Call your bank and get a human on the phone (just keep pressing zero). You can find the number to call on the back of your card. Have your account information handy.
Once through to a rep, use this script:
‘Hi (rep’s name), I was reviewing my statement and I noticed that I was charged a number of fees. The fees were (x, y, and z) and totalled ($x). I’ve been a loyal customer for (X) years and I’d like to have these refunded as a courtesy.’
If the first answer you get is ‘no,’ don’t give up. Remain polite, use the rep’s name, and repeat your request and ask what they can do. Insist that you’ve been a valuable, loyal customer and that you would really like to stick with the bank.
‘These fees are quite substantial and I’d like to have them waived. What can you do to help me?’.
Also: Stop Paying a Monthly Fee for Your Checking Account
If you’re being charged a monthly service fee for your checking account, you can follow a similar approach. Use this script:
‘I noticed I’m being charged a monthly maintenance fee on my checking account. I’ve received a number of offers from other banks that offer free checking. I don’t want to be paying a service fee and I’d prefer not to switch banks. What can you do to help me?’
One thing to remember is to be firm in your request to get a bank fee refunded. But be kind. Don’t yell or threaten. The rep has the power to help you and you need them on your side. Say please and thank you. Use their name. They get yelled at all. day. long. If they get someone nice on the phone for a change, they are often more inclined to help.
?Get a side gig? or “give up your latte” have become the most clich?d-advice given to those looking to free up cash. Many of us neither have the time nor do we want to work more than we already do. And while spending habits are indeed a key player in watching cash flow, there are other areas of regular ?leakage? that are often overlooked. So, if you’re looking to free up cash, why not consider some fresh options to cut expenses on regular services that could save you a ton in the long run.
1. Basic Utilities
Many of us don’t give our utility bills a second thought because we don’t believe we have a choice. The pricing strategies of corporate America are designed to make us believe that it costs what it costs. Most consumers are not aware of the price creep and hidden fees that sneak into our monthly bills over time. And even fewer are aware that they can actually negotiate these.
For those who either don’t want to bother negotiating with their utility companies, or don’t want to be confrontational, did you know that there are companies that will do this for you at no charge to you? One company that both empowers consumers and gives back to the community,?BillShark, has an 85% success rate in lowering?bills for Cable TV, Wireless Phone, Satellite TV, Internet Access, Satellite Radio, and Home Security. When you upload your bills to their site, they advise you how much they can save you each year. Using their service costs you nothing as they only take a percentage of the amount of money they save for you. It’s a guaranteed win-win.?Since launching in 2016, BillShark has saved its clients more than $10 million, with average customer savings totaling about $300 per bill annually.
Well Wallet Tip:??For?every bill you submit to BillShark, they will pay for one child to receive one hour of instruction in the fundamentals of personal finance through their?One BILL, One CHILD?program.?BillShark is a socially responsible company. As BillShark’s ethos is empowering the consumer, they believe that financial literacy is strength.?
This is another area that many people overlook but that can save you hundreds of dollars per year if you are willing to do a bit of research. There are tons of options for consumers today as cell phone service providers compete for your business. According to a survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center, nearly half of survey participants who?switched providers cut their monthly bill by at least $20 per month. If you want to see if you can save $240 dollars per year or more, set aside a few hours and look into your carrier’s competitors to see if you can get a better deal.
Well Wallet Tip:? Did you know that paying $20-$50 dollars more than the minimum payment of your credit card bill can save you thousands in interest over time? Put those savings to work for you and pay down your consumer debt.
Are you really getting your money’s worth from that expensive monthly gym membership? Do you really take advantage of that online book club you pay 10 bucks a month for? Take a good honest look at the passive fees escaping your bank account or being charged to your credit card each month. If you have been paying for a service monthly that you haven’t used in a while, cut it loose. Seriously. Monthly services are only convenient if you use them. Otherwise, they are just bleeding you dry. Worried that if you cancel your gym membership you will never be motivated to work out? If you aren’t using it now, chances are you never will. If you get the fitness bug again later, there are tons of free Youtube videos that will give you a workout without wasting gas money to drive anywhere (and increasing your carbon footprint.)
Well Wallet Tip:? Eliminating just $50 in monthly membership fees alone can save you $600 per year. By investing that money in socially responsible stocks you can grow your financial prosperity while doing good for People and Planet at the same time.
Is your bank charging you monthly fees so that it can use your money? How about ATM? fees?? Did you know that your bank is making money off of your deposits anyway??Banking fees are a total rip off and you do not have to put up with them. Today, more and more socially conscious banks are competing for your business.
What is a socially conscious bank??Socially conscious banks are those which are both customer-centric while financing values-driven enterprises for the good of the community and the planet.?Put simply, they want to offer you a better deal?and?show you that they are doing good things with your money.
Take Aspiration for example. Aspiration?not only provides free banking?services (you can pay what you think is fair, even if it’s zero), they pay?you up to 2.00% APY Interest* on your entire balance and give you access to free ATMs worldwide. If your bank is reaming you with fees, it’s time for a divorce.
Well Wallet Tip:? Aspiration is completely divested from fossil fuels and?Aspiration?s ?Dimes Worth of Difference? commits to donating one dime for every dollar of its earnings to charitable activities that enhance economic opportunity. Opening an account with Aspiration both increases your financial health, protects the planet, and empowers those in need.
There is no?getting around the number of electronic gadgets that we use every day that draw power. But did you know that many devices draw power even when we are not using them?? Printers, TV’s, DVD players, chargers, and video game consoles all draw power when in standby mode. While keeping our devices plugged into a power strip is convenient, they consistently draw power increasing our bill and our carbon footprint. Using a smart power strip can save you 10% or more on your monthly power bill. Smart power strips allow you to unplug all of your gadgets at once to make it easier to eliminate phantom power draw.
Well Wallet Tip:??Have you always wanted to support clean energy but couldn?t because of rent or pricey solar panels? If you?re paying an electric bill, Arcadia Power’s free service can switch your bill to clean energy. It takes 5 minutes to set up, and it gives you $20 off your next power bill.
Sometimes the answers to life’s most difficult problems are right at our fingertips if we take the time to look at things from a different perspective and explore new alternatives. Whether you are looking to free up cash to attack a credit card balance, invest for your future, or save for a dream vacation, it may be easier than you think. Look into ways that you can hack your regular expenses. You may be surprised at how much you save without sacrificing your days off…or your latte.
*The Annual Percentage Yield ?(?APY?) associated with the Aspiration Summit Account is variable and accurate as of [January 2019]. Rates may be changed from time to time without notice.
All ATM withdrawal fees will be waived for your Aspiration Summit Account. In addition, your account will automatically be reimbursed for all ATM fees charged by other institutions while using an Aspiration Debit Card linked to your account at any ATM displaying the Mastercard?, Interlink?, Cirrus?, or Maestro? logos. The reimbursement will be credited to the account the same day the ATM fee is debited from the account. Please note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.
Aspiration Partners, Inc. and its affiliates are committed ?to “All Extra Services Provided at Cost,” meaning that we’ll only charge you what it costs us to provide the extra service (such as a wire transfer), and not a penny more. Besides these at-cost service charges, the only account fee you pay is the fee you choose, even if it?s $0, which is why we call it Pay What Is Fair.
Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor. For more information about FDIC insurance coverage, please visit theFDIC website.