Dear Liz: My online savings account has been taken over by another bank, which started charging a fee to transfer funds to external accounts. I feel like my savings are trapped and I want to move them.
But if I try to transfer the money to another bank, will I have to pay the fee?
Answer: Perhaps yes, but a one-time fee is better than being nickel-and-dimed to death.
One of the big advantages to online savings accounts — besides better interest rates — has been the freedom to save and move your money around without paying onerous fees. It’s unfortunate your new bank has changed the rules, but you’ll find plenty of competitors that will be delighted to accept your money without charging account or transfer fees.
Consider chatting up one of the bank’s phone representatives or branch tellers to see whether there’s a way to get your money out for free. If not, pay the transfer fee and consider it a small price to get free.