Being stung by hidden bank fees is frustrating. With Astat, you get better visibility and more control over all your money, and we only charge a fixed amount per month.
We can all agree, we all love surprises, except when they're from your chosen bank. Being stung by hidden bank fees is frustrating; having one fee lead to another is even worse. It's also something you can avoid if you know where to look for them. That's why we at Astat compiled a detailed list of 26 hidden fees to help you next time you're about to do your banking.
- Maintenance fee
Maintenance fees are similar to service fees. If you fail to meet certain requirements (like not setting up a direct deposit or not enrolling in paperless statements), your bank may charge you a monthly fee of anywhere from 110 NOK to 2000 NOK per month just to "maintain" your account.
- Minimum balance fee
Some banks require you to keep a minimum amount of money in your account at all times (this can also be included in the requirements for fee #1). If your balance falls below that threshold, you'll pay a minimum balance fee.
- Overdraft fee
Let's say you have 1000 NOK in your account, but you spend 1500 NOK. As you've overspent, your bank covers the difference and hits you with an overdraft fee, which is typically around 150 NOK.
- Extended overdraft fee
If it takes you more than a day to pay back the overdrawn money, your bank might charge an extended overdraft fee of anywhere from 2.50 NOK - 650 NOK per day until you pay the money back. This amount is on top of the original 150 NOK overdraft fee (see #3).
- Nonsufficient funds fee
Unlike fees #3 & #4, where the bank covers your insufficient funds, an NSF fee occurs when the bank doesn't cover you. If you've written a check, it may bounce (which could result in you being charged fee #6). If you're using a debit card, your card may be declined.
- Returned item fee
If you write a check and it bounces – meaning it is returned to your bank because you didn't have enough money in your account to cover it – you'll have to pay a returned item fee.
- Stop payment fee
You may be charged a stop payment fee if you need to cancel a check. This fee isn't small, either: it can easily be over 100 NOK depending on your bank. Be aware that you may also have to pay fee #8 if you stop a payment.
- Check image service fee
Here's a scenario: You send a check only to realise later it has been lost in the post. As you don't want a stranger cashing your lost check, you cancel it. Your bank is now required to send you an image of the cancelled check along with your monthly statement. If you've opted to receive paper statements (fee #9 on our list), you'll pay a check image service fee for the cancelled check.
- Paper statement fee
There may be times in life when you need a paper copy of your monthly bank account statement (applying for a new house, filing your taxes, etc.). To cover the cost of printing and mailing these copies to you, your bank may charge you 2 NOK to 45 NOK a month (or at least 12 NOK per page!).
- Account statement copy fee
Your bank may charge you an account statement copy fee (usually around 2 NOK to 100 NOK) if you need any extra photocopies of old checks, deposit slips, or monthly statements.
- Returned post fee
If you move and forget to update your address, your bank might charge you a returned post fee if any snail mail they send you is returned as undeliverable. Generally speaking, this fee is around 50 NOK (and it's pretty stupid, in our opinion).
- Card replacement fee
If your debit card is lost or stolen, your bank may charge a card replacement fee, which covers the cost of producing and posting your new card to you. Most banks offer expedited shipping if you need your card in a hurry. This fee might be up to 299 NOK, as a one-off fee for your lost card. BUT hey, you might find it in a jacket pocket, and guess what, you are out of pocket for these 299 NOK.
- ATM operator's fee
You know the situation: you're out with your employees on a Thursday night, and you need cash to cover the payment as you are there to celebrate your employees' hard work. Your bank isn't nearby, so you're forced to go to the closest ATM. If it's not an ATM affiliated with your bank, you'll be charged an ATM operator's fee (anywhere from 2.50 NOK to 1000 NOK, depending on the type).
- Out-of-network ATM fee
If you thought #13 was stupid enough, there are times when your bank may charge you an additional fee because you didn't use its ATM. In other words, you pay two fees – one from the ATM operator and one from your bank. This out-of-network ATM fee is usually around 2 NOK-50 NOK (or dependent on a per cent of the amount you ask to withdraw). Talk about adding insult to injury.
- International ATM withdrawals
Need to withdraw money from an ATM while abroad? Your bank may require you to pay anywhere from 25 NOK to 650 NOK plus a percentage based on the total withdrawal amount.
- Foreign transaction fee
Picture the scene — you're in London, and you treat yourself and a business partner (you are eyeing up for a partnership) to a fancy dinner. You pay with your debit card. Because you didn't purchase Norwegian kroner (NOK), your bank charges a fixed amount of 35 - 65 NOK plus a 1.5 - 3% foreign transaction fee. In other words, that dinner that would've been 600 NOK ends up being around 657 NOK. The extra cost may seem small, but it can quickly add up.
- Excess activity fee
Some banks limit the number of online transactions you can make from your savings account to around 6 per month, though your bank may lower the limit at its discretion. If you go over it, the bank will charge you an excess activity fee. And we all know we don't keep the business profits in the same account.
- Inactivity fee
If your account is inactive for anywhere between one to five years, your bank will charge you an inactivity fee (usually around 650 NOK). Once the fee is deducted from your account, they'll send the rest of your money to your allocated account.
- Account closure fee
If you close your bank account too quickly (usually within 30 to 180 days), your bank will charge an account closure fee. Setting up an account isn't easy, so this fee is the bank's way to stop you from undoing their hard work.
- Online bill pay fees
If you use a mobile payment service with your bank, you may have to pay an online bill pay fee to cover the transaction. While this fee is usually just a few kroner's, some banks may charge a percentage of the amount you're sending.
- ACH bank transfer fee
An ACH bank transfer is when you move money from one bank to another. If you have accounts with multiple banks and want to redistribute your money, your bank may require you to pay an ACH bank transfer fee of at least 100 NOK. The transfer can take anywhere from 1-5 days to process.
- Wire transfer fee
Wire transfers are similar to ACH bank transfers (fee #21) in that they move money from one place to another. Unlike ACH transfers, however, wire transfers are quicker and can be used to transfer money internationally. The drawback is that they are much more expensive – a wire transfer fee is usually around 45 NOK or dependent on the amount you are sending, so perhaps they will also charge you a percentage.
- Cashier's check fee
If you need to send a check for a sizable amount via snail mail and want added security, the best thing to do is obtain a cashier's check from your bank. Be aware, however, that you will have to pay a cashier's check fee of up to 100 NOK for this added security.
- Customer service fee
If your bank requires you to visit a retail branch and speak with a person for customer support, it might come with a price tag.
- Cash deposit fee
If you make a significant cash deposit of upwards of 100,000 NOK, your bank may charge you a cash deposit fee. Although these fees may seem tiny in isolation (e.g. 20 cents for every 1000 NOK), they add up
- Investigation fee
If you believe your account has been exposed to fraudulent activity, you can request an investigation from your bank. In return, your bank may charge you an investigation fee.
With Astat, banking is fast, flexible, and transparent. Open an Astat account directly from your phone and experience banking with no hidden fees. Yes, that's right — no minimum account balance, no insufficient funds fee, no maintenance charges, and EHF fees when you shop/spend/or pay using your Astat virtual card. Remember, we only charge a fixed amount of 429,- NOK per month.