Banking and Finance

Everything You Should Know About Monthly Fees of Banks

July 27, 2021

According to some studies, people lose nearly $170 a year just in monthly bank fees. Others report that over the course of a decade you can lose out on at least a $1,000 in hidden fees and maintenance costs simply for having an open account with a bank. 

There’s more to having a bank account than simply depositing and withdrawing money, and the operating costs are something that you should take a hard look at before opening an account with any bank as they can cause you to lose more money than you’re putting away if you’re not careful.

From overdraft fees to maintenance fees and even minimum balance fees, here’s everything you need to know about monthly bank fees in order to ensure you’re optimizing your savings and staying on top of your finances.

What Are the Different Kinds of Monthly Bank Fees?

What Are the Monthly Service Fees for Banks?

monthly fees
Monthly Fees of Checking Accounts of U.S. Top Banks

When signing up for a new bank account you might realize that the bank charges what they call a monthly service fee or a monthly maintenance fee. Banks usually charge these fees to cover the costs associated with maintaining accounts as well as the costs of offering certain perks and rewards programs. Oftentimes, if you’re receiving a perk such as coverage on overdrafts or waived fees on international ATM withdrawals, you’ll likely have to pay a monthly bank maintenance fee in return, which makes sense.

Oftentimes, monthly service fees aren’t that high, and you can actually have them waived if you meet certain requirements. The Chase monthly service fee, for example, is $12, but you can have it waived if you set up direct depositing or keep a minimum of $1,500 daily balance in your checking account. For most of their checking and savings accounts, the Bank of America monthly maintenance fee is the same, $12, unless you meet the $1,500 minimum daily balance, are under 24 and are studying, and via a few other methods.

The Citibank Basic Banking Account also comes with a $12 monthly fee while the Wells Fargo monthly maintenance account fee for the Everyday Checking Account is $10 but can be waived as well.

Which Banks Have Minimum Balance Fees?

On top of monthly service fees that banks will often charge straight to your account unless you meet the minimum requirements to waive them, some banks also charge minimum balance fees. This is similar to the maintenance fee and oftentimes included in the same category, in that you can have the fee waived if you keep the minimum balance in your account. If you’re opening a new account, you might see two different columns or numbers under “monthly maintenance fee” and “minimum balance to waive the fee.” They’re the same thing, but the minimum balance required varies from bank to bank.

Here is a basic list of the fees and minimum balances required from top US banks at the moment:

  • The U.S. Bank Easy Checking account comes with a monthly fee of $6.95 and a minimum balance of $1,500 required to waive that fee.
  • The BB&T Bright Banking account is the same as both the BOA monthly maintenance fee and Chase’s; it’s $12 a month if you don’t meet the $1,500 required balance to waive the fee.
  • The TD Convenience Checking account comes with a monthly fee of $15 but the minimum balance required to waive that fee is only $100.
  • The PNC Bank Virtual Wallet account is actually one of the cheapest, with a monthly maintenance fee of only $7 and a minimum balance requirement of just $500 to waive the fee.
  • The overall cheapest monthly maintenance fees? The Capital One 360 Checking Account, which has $0 in maintenance fees and a $0 minimum balance requirement.

How Can I Reduce My Monthly Bank Fees?

Great question! And, as we move into a (likely) global recession, it’s a smart move on your part to consider reducing expenses wherever you can.

To reduce your monthly banking fees, we’d suggest first shopping around for the right account. As you can see, different banks offer different accounts that each come with their own maintenance fees and minimum balance requirements. If you know that you won’t be able to meet a $1,500 minimum balance requirement, consider opening an account at a bank like PNC or TD Bank as they have lower requirements to meet.

As well, you’ll want to make sure you read the fine print before signing up for the account to ensure you won’t be charged for anything else outside of service fees. Also, you’ll want to regularly check your bank statement to make sure you haven’t missed and hidden fees or charges that you weren’t aware of.