We all have a savings account, but having a bank account is not free. A bank account is required for various purposes. Banks charge certain fees to allow customers to withdraw money from ATMs, send text messages, and other facilities. So let’s take a look at some of the fees levied by major banks including State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and others.
Banks limit the number of cash transactions in a savings account to three to five per month and charge a fee if you exceed a specified number or amount.
Axis Bank allows four free cash transactions or withdrawals up to ??2 lakh per month, whichever comes first. Once the limit is exceeded, the bank charges a fee. From May 1st for each ??1000 withdrawn, you will now pay ??10 or ??150, the greater of the two, for cash withdrawals from the savings account.
ATM withdrawal fees
Normally, banks allow up to five transactions per month at their own ATMs and three transactions at other banks’ ATMs, free of charge. For example, SBI and ICICI Bank allow its regular savings account holders eight free metro transactions. This includes five transactions from their own ATMs and three transactions from any other bank ATMs. If you exceed these limits, you may end up paying around ??20 to ??50 per withdrawal. The fees vary from bank to bank.
ATM transaction failed
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also said that banks cannot charge customers for failed transactions. Banks charge a fee if an ATM transaction fails due to an insufficient balance in your account. SBI charges a fee for ??20 plus GST for declined transaction due to insufficient balance. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra, Yes Bank Fees ??25 per transaction.
The minimum balance
Each savings account requires you to maintain a certain balance. If your balance falls below this limit, your bank charges you.
For example, if you have an account with ICICI Bank, it imposes a minimum balance (MAB) of ??10,000 in metropolitan and urban branches and ??5,000 in savings accounts for semi-urban and rural branches. If the average minimum balance is not maintained, the bank will apply a penalty of ??100 + 5% of MAB deficit required in metropolitan / urban / semi-urban / rural areas.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2020, SBI removed invoicing from savings account customers for not maintaining minimum balance and also waived SMS charges. Previously, clients of SBI savings banks had to maintain an average monthly balance of ??3000, ??2000 and ??1000 in metropolitan, semi-urban and rural areas respectively. The bank levied a penalty of ??5 to ??15 plus taxes on failure to maintain the average monthly balance.
Debit card fees
If you misplace your card, your bank will charge you a ??50-500 to replace it. If you forget your ATM PIN, you may also be charged every time you reset it.
The RBI does not allow banks to charge more than ??150 per check for quick clearing of checks with a higher value ??1 lakh; there is no charge for values ââup to ??1 lakh. Keep in mind that you will also need to pay a ??100-150 if your check is bounced.
Banks may also charge you for issuing documents. For example, SBI invoices ??150 for signature verification.
Banks offer an annual statement of account once per fiscal year. However, if you request a duplicate bank statement, it can cost you between ??50 to ??100. ICICI bank charges ??100 per duplicate statement if you apply in an agency.
SMS alerts are sent by banks to keep you informed of transactions made on your accounts. This is supposed to help identify cases of fraud immediately. However, banks charge for SMS alerts. For example, Axis Bank has also recalibrated its SMS rates. Instead of charging a fixed fee of ??5 per month, it will now charge 25 paise for each SMS alert, subject to a maximum of ??25 per month, starting July 1 (except for one-time passwords and promotional messages) it sends you.
IMPS fund transfer
While NEFT and RTGS have been made free for all Indian banks to their customers, IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) transactions are still chargeable. The fees largely depend on the amount transferred. It is generally of the order of ??1 to ??25.
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