Major banks have charged customers an eye-watering $4.5 billion dollars in bank fees an increase of $133 million on the previous year, according to latest figures released from the Reserve Bank of Australia.
RateCity analysis shows this equates to $486 per household in bank fees a year.
Fees attached to credit cards were the biggest culprit. Australians have spent a record $1.67 billion on credit cards fees, a jump of $105 million on the previous year.
How much Australians have collectively spent on bank fees:
Transaction & savings accounts
Spokesperson Sally Tindall said many bank fees are completely avoidable.
“Australian households are throwing up to $486 a year down the drain in fees, even when there are good, fee-free products there for the taking.
“We urge everyone paying fees to ring their bank and ask for them to be waived. You could find yourself saving hundreds of dollars in just one phone call,” said Ms Tindall.
How to get your bank to waive your fees:
- If you are applying for a new home loan or credit card, ask your bank to waive any upfront or application fees.
- If you are an ongoing customer, let you bank know you are willing to switch to another bank, unless they drop or reduce your fees.
- Do your homework on a comparison site like RateCity. Make sure you are armed with at least three examples of low or fee free products, before you ring your bank.
- Be prepared to walk. Nothing will get your bank’s attention more than the threat of losing your business.