How to avoid bank account fees | My money

Have a Bank account it is not as easy as two years ago. Or at least for free and in one of the main banks. At the end of 2019, banks began to increase the commissions of their most demanded products, to tighten the requirements to avoid costs and to reduce a large part of their offer. A movement that has continued and has accelerated with the pandemic and the measures of the central banks, by prolonging the negative interest rates that reduce their income. Meanwhile, customers have had to contract new products or move their income to other entities to avoid maintenance fees, although it is increasingly difficult to find an offer in which the link with the entity is minimal.

Among the greats, Santander Bank it has been the only one that has surprised in recent months by taking a step back from that hardening of conditions. The abolition of Account Zero 1,2,3 and the arrival of the Santander One imposed on the clients of the bank chaired by Ana Botín the obligation to comply with three requirements: direct debit payroll or pension, direct debit three receipts or make six purchases with a debit or credit card per quarter and have contracted an investment product, insurance, loan or mortgage in the entity. Otherwise, the cost amounted to 240 euros per year, although if two conditions were met, the commission was 120 euros.

However, at the end of June, Santander announced that it was eliminating the third of the requirements and it was enough to meet the first two mentioned (direct debit of payroll and direct debit of receipts or purchases with the card) to avoid the cost of maintenance. The bank also eliminates these expenses for those who have deposited in the entity at least 1,000 shares of Banco Santander or a balance of investment funds, pension plans or savings insurance of a minimum of 25,000 euros.

See also  Which banks are authorized to withdraw and collect my AFP?

In these months there have also been movements in the opposite direction. The Bankinter Payroll Account now requires a third condition to avoid commissions. In addition to direct debit a payroll of at least 800 euros and three quarterly receipts, the customer must make three purchases every three months with the Combo Card, the credit card offered with said account. However, if these conditions are not met, the maintenance cost is one of the lowest in banking: 45 euros per year.

In this sense, Bankinter has changed its strategy, because in September of last year, due to the pandemic and the labor problems faced by its clients, it announced that it was lowering the threshold of required monthly income (from 1,000 to 800 euros ) to access the bonus offered by the Payroll Account, of 5% APR the first year and 2% APR the second for balances of up to 5,000 euros.

New products after the mergers

The CaixaBank-Bankia merger has also left changes. The integration of the products of both will take place from November and the clients of the second will have to comply with the conditions of the CaixaBank Day by Day Program, similar to those of Bankia. Thus, they must direct debit a salary of 600 euros or have 20,000 euros in investment products and direct three receipts or make three card purchases per quarter.

However, the commissions for not meeting these requirements are higher, from Bankia’s 168 to CaixaBank’s 240. In addition, the merged bank only rewards the credit card (MyCard), so if they want a debit card they will have to pay 36 euros per year (Bankia charged a maintenance fee of 28 euros for the card only if the binding conditions).

See also  Howard Schultz - Biography, who he is and what he did | 2021

In any case, CaixaBank has announced that new customers will be exempt from meeting these requirements for six months, as well as those under 26 years of age. On the other hand, there is also the option of paying a reduced fee, of 60 euros per year, in case of fulfilling the condition of direct debit of payroll or of having investment products.

It remains to be seen what the bank’s offer will be resulting from the merger of Unicaja and Liberbank. At the moment, the clients of both entities maintain their conditions and their products are still available, but their integration is scheduled for 2022.

The requirements of the Zero Commission Plan of the first are direct debit a payroll of 600 euros, make two card purchases per month or for a value of 1,200 euros per year and take out insurance in the entity or have a balance in investment products for at least 6,000 euros. The Liberbank Online Sin Account exempts all new clients from maintenance fees as long as they operate over the internet.

In both cases, non-compliance with the conditions entails a cost of 120 euros per year, to which must be added, an administration fee of 0.6 euros per entry in Liberbank. On the other hand, Unicaja discounts the credit card, while the debit card is only free for the first year and subsequently has a maintenance cost of 32 euros per year.

The alternative of online banking

Abanca and BBVA are the least restrictive banks when it comes to providing a free product. The Clear Account of the Galician bank only obliges to operate online, while the BBVA Account Goes With You As a sole requirement, he asks for a payroll of 800 euros.

See also  Reformism - What it is, definition and concept

Sabadell Bank it is the only one that charges commissions to clients even meeting conditions. Thus, the Expansión Account, which requires direct debit of a salary of 700 euros, has a maintenance cost of 60 euros per year, which amounts to 120 euros if the balance is below zero euros.

With all this, online options are the great alternative for now to avoid commissions without linking. The ING Orange Account It is free and in the event that a payroll is not domiciled, only the benefits of having, for example, two days of overdraft without penalty are lost, while Openbank (the digital entity of Santander) or Imagin (from CaixaBank) have no requirements for their products.

Leave a Comment