Several online banks have decided to draw a line on inactivity fee during confinement.
© Unsplash – Markus Spiske
Online banks are deemed to be free, but they are not always without condition. In most cases, it will be necessary to justify a certain level of income, and be active every month to get an account (and a map) for free. In the absence of a recorded transaction, the banks reserve the right to charge a fee for inactivity.
This amount can quickly represent a budget for the account holder. By default, BforBank charges 9€ charge per quarter for a Visa First, which would not have been used at least 3 times over the period. For Boursorama Bank, the Visa Ultim or Visa First will be charged 15€ per month for absence of transaction.
Since the beginning of the confinement, the household consumption is in free fall – and this inevitably impacts on the number of operations performed by each of the French.
Fortunately, online banks have shown a rather dovish and they are, for the major part of them, removed the inactivity fee on the period. This is for example the case of BforBank, which has decided to reimburse any costs of inactivity on the months of April, may and June. The customers will be taken – and then reimbursed of their expenses in the event of non-use of their bank card (Visa Classic or Visa Premier).
La satisfaction de nos clients est au cœur de nos préoccupations. En cette période difficile, @BforBank est aux côtés de ses clients et a décidé de rembourser les éventuels frais d’inactivité, liés à la non utilisation de la carte bancaire, pour les mois d’avril, mai et juin 💳 pic.twitter.com/vOqKhfZ60P
— BforBank (@BforBank) May 7, 2020
For Boursorama Bank, even the sound of a bell. The first bank in the French line decided to refund all costs of inactivity that would have been collected in march, April or may. This applies to all Visa cards Ultim and Visa First (15€ per month) that the card is Welcome (5€ per month), has entrusted us with Benoit Grisoni during an exchange in the month of April.
The bank is the cheapest of France does ” not penalizing the people who can’t use their card because they respect the containment measures “. It should be noted that the Visa Classic card of Boursorama Banque (offered in condition to justify the€ 1,000 of income per month) is not subject to the inactivity fee.
As for Fortuneo, online bank undertakes not to charge ” any charge of inactivity in the case of non-use of Classic cards, Fosfo and Gold during the month of April only “. His counterpart, ING, which offers a Full is also free of charge, continues to require domicile 1 200€ of income per month not to charge for the use of the account (5€). The premium card Mastercard World Elite of Fortuneo will not be charged, under the condition of domiciliation of 4 000€ each month – including during the confinement.
The latest arrival on the market of on-line banking, Orange Bank (see our opinion on Orange Bank here) has decided to lower its requirements in terms of inactivity. Since the month of April, it does demand more than a single transaction per month to not to charge fees. This concerns only its free offer and unconditionally : Visa card Premium of the bank is not subject to the inactivity fee.
The banks pay are not affected
In recent years, the paid offers have developed in the bank online. They remain, however, very much less expensive than a bank of traditional network (215€ in bank fees per year, on average), and their flexibility is widely appreciated by a younger clientele. These banks ” pay ” do not charge logically no inactivity fee.
Among them, one can cite, for example, Monabanq, the formula Hello Premium Hello bank! or even all the bank accounts simplified as My French Bank, Eko or even Nickel. On the side of the neo-banks, such as Revolut or N26, there is no inactivity fee – whether formulas, free or paid.
Attention, this is not because a bank online is free that it is competitive – and vice-versa. It is thus necessary to compare each of the bids to determine which best meets his needs. To help you, we have put in place a comparator of online banks and new banks that will give you all the elements to better understand the market.