7 Banking Fees That Might Surprise You - Refresh Financial

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7 Banking Fees That Might Surprise You


Banks. Some of you winced when you read that, didn’t you? There can be good reason for that. It doesn't always  feel  like your bank has your best interest at heart. Rather, they can seem like faceless profit machines that will do anything just to squeeze an extra penny out of you. Like these seven banking fees:

Paper statements

You could be paying an extra dollar a month, sometimes more, just to get your bank statement sent to you in the mail. This is not entirely a bad thing, though. Most Canadians have internet access these days, so printing off a paper statement when you could easily view it online, is just wasteful.

Returned mail fee

So, you’ve decided you don’t care much for trees anyway, and opted for the paper statement despite it being a waste. You’d better not move! If your paper statement (or any other bank mail, for that matter) gets returned, you will likely face another fee on top of your paper statement fee. Getting your statements online is probably the best way to avoid both of these fees.

Stop payment

If you ever write a cheque for a transaction that falls through, but the other party doesn’t give you your cheque back, it’s best to put a stop payment on said cheque. However, you are likely to pay a decent sized fee to put a stop payment on a cheque. This fee can be upwards of $20 each time.

Foreign transaction fees

This is the fee your bank charges you to convert foreign funds to Canadian dollars. You can incur this fee while using your bank card or credit card on vacation and it usually ranges from about 1 to 3 percent. If you’re on vacation and using your cards a lot, you can amass a pretty hefty bill.

Flesh and blood fee

This is when you get charged a fee for using living, breathing tellers in-branch or on the phone, instead of online banking or ATMs. Yes, they charge you for speaking to their staff.

Minimum balance requirements

This applies most often to savings accounts. If you don’t maintain a minimum balance, your bank will penalize you by way of a fee. It’s best to familiarize yourself with all these little rules surrounding your accounts so you know what you have to do to avoid fees like this one.


There is often a limit to the transactions you get for free every month with each account you have. This limit tends to be smaller with savings accounts. You can expect to be penalized with fees if you’re using your savings account like a chequing account. It is best to use each of your accounts for what it designed to be used for, to avoid fees like this.


While these are fairly common fees, people are often still surprised by them. This is also just a small selection of the fees you are susceptible to when making use of a big bank. There are no fee accounts out there, but even those come with some surprising fees every now and again.

Did you know about all of these fees? Are there other fees you know about that might be surprising? Let us know in the comments!

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