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February 23, 2021

Greetings Thrifty Friends,

Every time you spend money there is an opportunity to save. Some opportunities are more subtle than others. You might be using coupons when you buy canned peas, but are you paying fees on your debit card, your ATM withdrawals or for your overdraft protection?

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Keep pinchin' those pennies,

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Get the Best Consumer Protections by Paying With a Credit Card

But keep your balances and finance charges in check by making payment in full each month. If you regularly carry a balance, use the lowest-rate card you can find for purchases. Consider taking advantage of low or zero percent balance-transfer offers that some card issuers have promoted recently, and pay off the balance before the rate goes up after the introductory period.

Opt Out of Costly Debit Overdraft Protection

Instead, link your checking to your savings account and tell the bank to draw from there if your checking balance runs short. Fees for those transfers are typically only $5 to $10, compared with an average of $35 per debit card overdraft or bounced check.

Avoid ATM Fees

If you need pocket cash, use your own bank's fee-free ATMs or take advantage of the no-fee cash-back feature commonly offered by grocery, drugstore, and other retail chains when you pay with a debit card.

Pass Up Prepaid Debit Cards

They typically come with an array of fees for card activation, using an ATM, adding money to the balance, checking the balance, monthly service, and for each purchase transaction.