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Understanding the Fees Associated with Bank Accounts as a Ghanaian Expat Worker

02 Jun 2023

Bank accounts are vital to effective financial management for all sizes of people, corporations, and organisations. An expat worker from Ghana must have a thorough understanding of the fees associated with bank accounts to make informed judgments regarding the selection of a bank and the management of their finances. Many expats send money to Ghana through banks. But most need to know different types of bank accounts and their fee system. This blog will provide an overview of the different types of bank accounts available, the costs associated with each account, and some advice on minimising these expenses.

Types of Bank Accounts

Several types of bank accounts are available, each with a unique set of features and associated costs. The following are some of the most common types of bank accounts:

Savings Account

A savings account is a type of bank account that allows you to save money and receive interest on the account's balance. The expenses associated with savings accounts are often cheaper than those associated with other accounts; nevertheless, the interest rates related to savings accounts may also be lower.

Checking Account

A checking account is a type of bank account that enables you to carry out financial operations, such as withdrawals and deposits, through paper checks or electronic transfers. The fees associated with checking accounts are often higher than those associated with savings accounts; however, checking accounts offer more features and perks, like overdraft protection and debit cards.

Money Market Account

A money market account is a form of savings account generally providing interest rates higher than ordinary savings accounts. Money market accounts will likely charge greater fees and demand higher minimum holdings.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A CD is a savings account requiring you to deposit a specified amount for a set length, ranging from three months to several years on average. To open a CD, you must first open a savings account. CDs often give investors interest rates higher than those offered by savings accounts; nevertheless, CDs also come with penalties for making early withdrawals.

Fees Associated with Bank Accounts

Fees Required to Open an Account

When you open a bank account for the first time, you might have to pay a cost known as an account opening fee. This cost could be higher or lower than average, depending on the bank you choose and the kind of account you decide to open. This cost might be waived by some financial institutions, depending on the type of account the consumer has or if they are a new customer. As a worker who is living abroad, it is critical for you to inquire with your bank about whether or not they waive any fees for foreign customers.
If you choose to send money to Ghana online via ACE Money Transfer, you save enough since the firm offers competitive exchange rates with the lowest transfer fees on global money transfers.

Costs Incurred Each Month for Upkeep

Most financial institutions will charge a monthly maintenance fee to keep your account active. This cost is subject to change based on the financial institution you use and the kind of account you have. If you own a particular minimum balance in your account or if you have other accounts or loans with the bank, you may get this fee waived at some financial institutions. When selecting a bank and the kind of account you want, an expat worker must consider the monthly maintenance charge.

The Cost of Transactions

Transaction fees are costs applied to specific actions you take with your account, such as withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM), moving funds to another account, or making a transaction with your debit card. These costs are subject to change based on the financial institution you use and the kind of account you have. Depending on the bank, customers can do specific sorts of transactions or a certain number of times per month without incurring a transaction fee.

Fees Associated with Foreign Transactions 

If you work abroad, you may be required to conduct financial dealings in a local currency. If you do this, your bank may assess a fee for conducting business in a foreign country. This fee can either be a flat rate or a percentage of the total amount of the transaction. Some banks might only charge this fee for certain kinds of accounts or for customers who keep a specified minimum balance in their accounts.

Overdraft Fees

When you make a withdrawal greater than the amount of money now available in your account, you will be subject to overdraft fees. This could occur if you have payments set up to be made automatically and then fail to transfer funds to cover them or if you make an error in your budgeting. Because the fees associated with overdrafts may be costly, it is essential to keep a close eye on the balance of your account at all times and to avoid going into overdraft whenever it is possible to do so.

ATM Fees

You may be charged an ATM fee if you need to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) not owned by your bank. This cost may differ based on the bank you use and the location of the ATM. Certain banks may waive the fees associated with cash withdrawals at specified ATMs or for a predetermined number of times per month.
If you use ACE Money Transfer’s remittance solutions, you might know that you can make an economical money transfer to Ghana with fewer fees, high exchange rates, and ultimate security and speed.

Comparing Bank Fees

When comparing the fees charged by different banks, it is essential to consider the total cost of keeping an account at each bank. This covers not only the prices that are assessed for particular transactions but also the fee that is assessed monthly for account maintenance and any additional fees that may be connected to the account.

Using a comparison tool that allows you to input your banking requirements and determine which banks provide the most cost-effective solutions is one approach to evaluating the fees charged by different banks. You can also research the various banks in your area and the costs they demand and then construct a spreadsheet or chart that will allow you to compare these prices side by side.

Tips to Save Money on Bank Fees

As an expat worker, here are some ways to save money on bank fees:

  • Choose a bank that doesn't charge fees for people who live abroad or who keep a certain minimum amount.
  • Instead of a premium account, which often has higher fees, choose a simple account.
  • Overdraft fees can be avoided by checking your account balance and setting up automatic transfers to cover future bills.
  • Use ATMs that your bank owns to escape paying ATM fees.
  • If you need to do business in a foreign country, compare the fees different banks charge for foreign transfers to find the best deal. Also, you should use a foreign exchange service or an online money transfer site to avoid paying high foreign transaction fees.
  • Take advantage of your bank's free services, such as ATM withdrawals and fee-free transfers.
  • Only do deals or pay necessary fees, like taking out too much money from an ATM or exchanging money when you don't need to.
  • Talk to your bank to see if they can waive or lower certain purchases or accounts fees.
  • Consider using a digital-only bank or an online banking service, which often has lower fees than standard banks.
  • Learn about the fees with your bank account and check your records often to ensure you're not being charged for things you don't need.

Best Way to Send Money to Ghana

ACE Money Transfer is an alternative to banks and well-known money transfer service providers sending remittances to home countries. Using the ACE Money Transfer mobile app or website, you can make an instant online money transfer to Ghana without leaving your apartment. Ghanaian expats can make their first transfer without paying any fees. Cash pickup is an additional option if the recipient does not have a bank account. ACE Money Transfer is the best alternative to banks in sending remittances to their home country as it has no hidden charges, is instant, and secure.



As a part of the process of managing your finances as an expat worker from Ghana, it is essential to gain an understanding of the fees that are associated with bank accounts. It is possible to save money and successfully manage your finances if you compare the costs charged by various banks, as well as if you take steps to reduce the number of transactions and expenses that are not essential. To ensure that you receive the best possible deal from your financial institution, you must remember to routinely monitor your account statements and remain updated on any changes in fees or account policies.


What are the most common types of bank fees I might encounter as a Ghanaian expat worker in the UK?

The most common types of bank fees include monthly maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees, foreign transaction fees, overdraft fees, and wire transfer fees. Some banks might also charge for paper statements or chequebooks.

How can I avoid or minimise these banking fees?

You can minimise these fees by choosing a bank account that suits your needs, maintaining a minimum balance if required, using ATMs from your bank network, setting up direct deposit, and avoiding overdrafts. Some banks offer fee waivers or reductions for setting up certain services or maintaining certain behaviours, like using online banking or maintaining a minimum number of transactions each month.

Will my Ghanaian credit history affect my ability to open a bank account in the UK?

Generally, UK banks do not consider foreign credit history when opening a new bank account. They will, however, require proof of identity and proof of address. Some banks might have additional requirements, like a minimum initial deposit.

Are there any banks in the UK that offer special accounts or services for expats?

Yes, many UK banks offer 'expat' bank accounts specifically designed for people living and working abroad. These accounts may come with features beneficial to expats, such as multi-currency accounts, international wire transfers, and overseas ATM withdrawals. Always compare the fees and services of different banks to find the best fit for your needs.

What should I do if I don't understand a fee on my bank statement?

If you find an unfamiliar fee on your statement, contact your bank immediately. Banks are obligated to explain their fees, and if a mistake is made, they should correct it. It's crucial to monitor your account regularly and address any issues promptly.


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