The role of the bank is to provide a safe place to keep your money, and sometimes the opportunity to earn interest on your deposits. Services like checking and savings accounts provide convenient ways for you to pay your bills without the hassle of using cash. Most banks also offer credit cards that allow you to borrow money and pay for purchases over time with interest. Even though your bank probably offers a variety of convenient services, chances are they're not free.
Your bank will likely charge interest on money you borrow, and fees for some account services. However, the law requires your bank disclose all of its rules and fees when you sign up for any account or service. And once you've entered into that account agreement, the bank must notify you of any changes to those fees [source: FDIC].
Even though the charges are clearly stated upfront, that doesn't mean they feel fair when your monthly statement arrives. Some seem so petty, you can't help but wonder if the bank is using them just to make some extra cash. If this sounds like your bank, read on to learn about all kinds of bank charges and ways to avoid paying them.