Zero commissions or paid accounts are the latest commercial strategies put in place by the banking sector to attract customers. Most credit institutions promise to eliminate the costs associated with basic operations. However, are they really, as they seem? Are they free of expenses?
The commissions remain a major source of income for banks. The six large banks in Spain only won in the first quarter of this year 5,298.7 million in commissions, 13.6% more than last year. Many of the criticisms of traditional banking come from the lack of transparency, and are that, if you do not read the “lowercase” that accompanies your contracts, we are lost. Below, we detail some “extra costs” that banks can charge us according to the different operations that we perform with them.
Commissions hidden within others: among the most typical are those that charge us when we travel abroad. Within the Euro Zone, with few exceptions, we will have to pay commissions if we use the card to withdraw money from the cashier. However, in destinations with another currency, we will have to assume other extra costs for the exchange of currency.
Committees for international transfers: the cost of international cross-border transfers (outside the SEPA area) can reach a minimum cost. All this without taking into account the commissions derived from the exchange of currencies and the possible intervention of an intermediary bank.
Overdraft fees: this is what the bank charges us when one of our accounts is left with a negative balance. In this case, the entity will penalize us with a double commission. A fixed one, which the bank charges as overdraft management expense and a variable, which will depend on the amount to be owed. Each entity determines what interest applies to it although they often mark a minimum amount.
Commissions to stop being a client: some entities seduce new customers with promotions and gifts in exchange for a bank account with a permanence that can reach 24 months. What happens in these cases is that if the customer wants to stop being so before the deadline will penalize. End up paying more than what pay cost the alleged gift. The worst thing is that they do not guarantee the client that they have the same commissions during that period, reason why it is “trapped” in a bank and they will be charging commissions to him.
Commissions if you break something of the small print: in this section usually come the conditions for which they do not charge commissions but no one explains you. Yes, we all know that we have to have the payroll entered but we do not have to do “x” debit card transactions, have a monthly income of “and” use the credit card at least once