Banking and Finance

Hidden Savings Account Costs You May Not Know About

July 27, 2021

According to some studies, people lose nearly $170 a year just in monthly bank fees. And, while some of these fees are commonly well-known, a lot of them are hidden fees that you can avoid paying if you’re smart about it.

Which banks have hidden fees? Which savings account has the highest fees? We’ve got the answers for you in our guide to hidden savings account costs. Because, after all, savings accounts are designed to help you build your wealth, not deplete it.

Maintenance Fees for Savings Accounts

Most large banks charge a monthly maintenance fee for maintaining an active checking account, and the same fees apply to savings accounts, too.

The Bank of America Advantage Savings account, for example, requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open the account. And, you can expect to pay an $8 monthly/maintenance fee after the first six months unless you meet certain requirements.

Likewise, the minimum deposit required to open a Chase savings account is $25 and it costs $5 a month unless you choose to tie the account to a Premier Plus or Sapphire Checking account.

Random Banking Fees for Savings Accounts

Aside from the standard monthly maintenance fees for savings account, most large, traditional banks will also charge you other random fees for certain things, such as excess transaction fees, replacement ATM cards, paper statements, and minimum balance charges.

Let’s explore two of the most common.

Excess Transaction Fees for Savings Accounts

Did you know that federal law states that you can only make six withdrawals or transfers from a savings account per month? It’s true, but banks can also set their own rules, which is why they charge you for making more than six transfers a month.

Minimum Balance Charges for Savings Accounts

Depending on your bank and the type of savings account you have, you might find that you get charged if your balance goes below a certain limit each month. These minimum balance charges are likely hurting you more than you know.

Make sure you check with your bank to see what this limit is and find ways to ensure you don’t fall below that limit. Oftentimes, you’re able to set up an alert that will let you know when you’re getting close to the limit you set.

Missed Opportunity Costs

Hidden Fees

While missed opportunity costs aren’t direct savings account costs, they can be added to the overall costs of banking with a certain bank for sure. What are missed opportunity costs? They’re the cost you’re paying by missing out on a certain financial opportunity.

Other Account Options & Interest Rates

Savings accounts are a great way to grow your money over time. But, most savings accounts don’t offer an interest rate high enough to really notice that growth. To truly reap the benefits of this kind of bank account, it’s best to look for the highest APY savings accounts. These high-yield savings accounts offer a better interest rate, but that usually only goes up to just over 1%. 

And, while a high-yield savings account might be a good fit for you, it’s also important to ensure you’re checking out your bank’s other account options, such as CDs or certificate of deposits. These ten to pay higher rates but freeze up your liquid cash for at least a year or longer.

Consider a non-traditional way of saving money, such as opting for a Cheese Debit Card that offers a higher percentage in cashback when you spend as opposed to leaving your money in a savings account where it will only grow 1% a year.

Teaser Rates

Don’t be fooled by a bank’s teaser rates, which are one of the biggest opportunity costs you’ll pay when signing up for a new savings account. Similar to credit cards, some banks will offer a teaser or introductory interest rate when you sign up for a savings account. While these might look attractive, they don’t last forever.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions and weigh the pros and cons against the costs and benefits of the account. It may be better to choose to bank somewhere where your savings account comes with a consistently high(er) interest rate. A savings account bonus is great, but does it pay off for you in the long-run?

What’s the Best Bank for a Savings Account?

The truth is that most traditional banks offer pretty much the same in terms of savings accounts. If you’re opposed to banking with an online bank, you’ll find that your savings account options are limited in terms of the interest you’ll earn. 

Some of the most popular banks and savings accounts in 2020 are high-yield savings accounts and offer interest rates as follows:

  • Citibank: 1.10% APY
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: 1.05% APY
  • American Express National Bank: 1.00% APY
  • Capital One: 1.00% APY
  • PNC Bank: 1.00% APY
  • Citizens Access: 1.00% APY

What’s the better option? Banking with an online bank that offers a debit card that’s fully optimized for saving you more money.

Here're more you need to know about best debit cards, savings accounts and checking accounts:

The 6 Best Debit Cards That Pay Cash Back Rewards

The 5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards

Hidden Savings Account Costs You May Not Know About

Savings Account vs. CD: What's the Difference & How to Choose?

The Best Online Checking Accounts of All Time

The 6 Best No-Fee Checking Accounts