The 10 Most Ridiculous Fees Charged By Banks and Similar Greedheads

A hole in your backyard is always free
The 10 Most Ridiculous Fees Charged By Banks and Similar Greedheads

Youd like to think that your bank account is a safe haven for your precious money. In there, its free of encroaching expenditures and outside of your own poor consumer decisions. Its the treasure chest of our times, and let me tell you, if a pirate opened their chest to find a couple doubloons had been skimmed off the top, there would be hell to pay. However, if you roll into a bank branch wielding a cutlass, I can tell you from personal experience that it will go poorly. 

Basically, unless you want to tuck your net worth into your mattress lining, youre stuck letting banks needle away at your liquidity for the supreme privilege of, uh, giving them your money.

Here are 10 of the most ridiculous fees you might spot on your bank account…

Overdraft Fees

The classic fuck-you fee to end all fuck-you fees. If youve ever done a little shoddy math on your way to Starbucks before payday, you might have been hit with an overdraft fee, in which a bank very kindly covers the extra 12 cents you didnt have, for the low low price of $35. Way to kick a man when hes down — and then charge him a “kicking fee.”

Non-Sufficient Funds Fees

If youre an especially sharp cookie, you might know that “overdraft protection” is something you have to opt into, and something you can contact your bank to disable. Problem solved, right? Now you CANT overdraft your account, and your card might not go through, but at least you wont get the cost of dinner added on top. Well, wrong. Now, youll just get hit with an “non-sufficient funds fee" instead, and you wont get your coffee.

Returned Deposited Item Fees


If your friend doesnt actually have these three dollars, itll cost you.

Okay, so those fees suck, but theyre at least a little bit your fault, which cuts your ability to be furious by the tiniest amount. After all, if you kept better track of your finances, you wouldnt incur them. But youd also have to make sure every friend of yours does the same, or you might find a “Returned Deposited Item Fee” in your account. This is charged because the money someone else attempted to deposit into your account wasnt available in their bank account. How dare you impose this inconvenience on your bank! This is bad enough that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent an official “hey, cut it out” notice in 2022.

Cash-Handling Fees

Banks despise cash. If its not already in their coffers, its simply filthy bits of linen floating in the wind that theyre unable to invest at no return to you. So, youd think it would be in their best interest for you to cram as much circulating cash as possible into your bank account. But that doesnt mean theyre not going to charge you for the privilege. If you make a lot of cash deposits in a month — for example, if youre paid in tips — you might start incurring “cash-handling" fees. Its enough to make you scream “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT FROM ME” at the monolithic front of your local big bank.

Double ATM Fees

Another classic grievance is ATM fees charged for withdrawing your money. Given how unpopular cash is with most people (people who still use cash, no need to tell us all about it, though that wont stop you), this is basically a drug money withdrawal fee, but still. The worst part is that if youre not careful about staying in your banks “network” youre probably going to get hit with two fees: one from your bank, and one from the ATMs bank. That loose floorboard in your room is looking awful nice right now, I bet.

Face-to-Face Fees

Public Domain

Thanks for coming in! Unfortunately, were going to have to charge you $5 for the wear you introduced to our door handle.

If you get particularly sick of the minefield of fees enabled by online banking, maybe youll throw up your arms, say fuck it, and go back to the stone age: actually physical using a bank teller. To this I regret to inform you: no dice. The economical chessmasters are once again three moves ahead. You can now be charged for the privilege of speaking to an employee. Sure, hiring tellers costs money, but that, you know, feels like part of what a business is.

Paper Statement Fees

Given the absolute miserly machinations of banks, youd think they were operating on razor-thin margins, not racking up incredible amounts of revenue off of handling your money. So if you think theyre going to send you mail for free, youre horribly mistaken. If you receive paper statements from your bank, youre probably paying for it, possibly even a couple dollars per statement issued.

Returned Mail Fees


“And so, the trap is set.”

The most devious bit of bank mail fees is that it gives them a chance to double-dip, something that you should know by now is basically the closest a bank can get to feeling human sexual satisfaction. If you get paper statements, but theyre delivered to the wrong address, like, I dont know, anyone whos ever lived in more than one apartment in a big city? You might be getting charged first for them to send the statement, and then again to receive it when it's returned. A beautiful, boomerang-like scam.

Excess Transaction Fees for Savings Accounts

If you think that the difference between a checking account and savings account isnt for much more than organization, be careful. You might even be a brain genius that thinks that leaving all your money in your savings account all the time will let you benefit from the higher interest while letting you take money out whenever. If you tried this, youd likely notice something real quick: a bunch of “excess transaction fees” for taking money out of your savings account too many times a month. To be fair, which I really dont want to be, part of this is federal regulation thats meant to keep savings accounts for just that — saving.

Bank of America SafeBalance

Lets jump from something they can point at someone else for to a truly ghoulish fake helping hand once offered by Bank of America. Knowing that overdraft fees can be a problem for customers, they stepped in to fix it! By offering a new, kind, guardian-angel sort of program called “SafeBalance,” where for the low, low monthly fee of $4.95, they wouldnt charge you overdraft fees. Guillotine looking awful sharp today.

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