Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services, credit, and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

Bank Fees

If you are considering a new bank account, take the time to research the account’s requirements, bank fees, and charges you may be asked to pay once you open a new account.

Find out what fees you can expect from consumer checking and savings accounts at the following banks, from overdraft fees to ATM fees.

What are bank fees?

Bank fees are what financial institutions charge customers to set up and maintain their accounts. Bank fees can include monthly service charges to keep the account running, penalties for certain activities (like overdrawing funds), and fees for certain transactions (like using out-of-network ATMs).

The types of bank fees you can be charged – and the dollar amount for each – vary from bank to bank. Some financial institutions offer “fee-free” accounts, meaning customers may not have to pay monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, and overdraft fees.

7 types of bank fees

Before opening a new account, research all the fees the bank might charge you. Here are some of the most common bank fees to look out for:

  1. Monthly maintenance fees
  2. Minimum balance fees
  3. Non-sufficient funds fees
  4. Overdraft fees
  5. ATM fees
  6. Foreign transaction fees
  7. Excess funds fees

Monthly maintenance fees

Some financial institutions charge a monthly fee to keep the account open. Monthly maintenance fees typically range from $5 to $12, but some banks waive the charge if you meet certain requirements, like keeping a high enough minimum average balance or getting your paycheck via direct deposit.

Some accounts aren’t charged these fees at all. You can get all your favorite checking account features – peer-to-peer payments, mobile check deposit, getting your paycheck early, and more – without paying monthly fees.

Minimum balance fees

Banks may also charge you if you don’t keep enough money in your account. Read the fine print to find out how much you need to keep in your checking account to avoid minimum balance fees – or look for a bank that doesn’t charge minimum balance fees at all.

Non-sufficient funds fees

Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, also called insufficient funds fees, are what some banks charge if you spend more money than you have in your checking account, whether it’s with a debit card, paper check, or automatic bill pay.

When you don’t have enough money to cover the purchase, your bank will decline the transaction and may charge an NSF fee (an average of $34¹). Some banks may continue to charge a fee for every declined transaction. Take care to fund your account when your balance runs low. 

Overdraft fees

Some banks offer overdraft protection, meaning they’ll let transactions go through, even if you don’t have enough money in your account. 

However, many banks charge you for this service. It’s called an overdraft fee, and it typically costs $35 per transaction², even if you only overdrew your account by a few cents.

Overdraft fees can add up quickly. Find an account that offers fee-free overdraft to avoid these costs.

ATM fees

Using an ATM is convenient – but it can also be costly. When you use an out-of-network ATM, your bank might charge you a fee, and you might also pay a fee to the ATM operator. 

To avoid ATM fees (they average $4.66 per transaction³), choose an account that has access to a large network of fee-free ATMs.

Foreign transaction fees

Traveling abroad can be expensive, from flights to hotels to all the good eats. But you may also need to spend a portion of your vacation budget on foreign transaction fees.

Some institutions and card issuers charge these fees as a percentage of every card transaction in another country (usually 2% to 4%).

If you plan to travel outside the U.S., look for a financial institution that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Excess transaction fees

These charges can occur when you make too many withdrawals – typically more than six, based on previously established Regulation D requirements4 – from your savings account in a single statement period.

You can avoid these fees by primarily relying on your checking account for everyday spending, but you can also find savings accounts that don’t include these fees.

Other bank fees

Financial institutions can charge a range of fees outside the ones mentioned above. Here are some other bank fees you might encounter:

  • Paper statement fees: Banks may charge you if you get your monthly account statement in the mail. Opt into e-statements to avoid this fee.
  • Check ordering fees: Some banks give you free checks; others charge you when you need to order more.
  • Card replacement fees: Hold on tight to your debit card. You may have to pay a fee if you lose yours and order a new one.
  • Wire transfer fees: You’ll typically pay a fee for outgoing domestic and international wire transfers. Depending on your bank, you may also pay a fee if you’re on the receiving end of a wire transfer.
  • Account closing fees: Some banks charge early closure fees (if you close your account too soon after opening it).

Compare fees before opening an account

When looking for a new spot to bank, you should compare interest rates, customer reviews, account requirements, and any fees you might be charged.

Chime’s mission is to provide helpful and easy banking services to those underserved by traditional banks. That’s why Chime doesn’t charge monthly fees for checking and savings accounts.

You won’t pay minimum balance fees, foreign transaction fees, or overdraft fees through Chime accounts either. To make banking on the go more convenient, Chime customers also have access to more than 60,000 fee-free5 ATMs in the U.S.

Check out our competitor fee pages to see how Chime compares:

Chase ®
banking fees

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PNC®
banking fees

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Bank of America®
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Citibank®
banking fees

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Wells Fargo®
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FAQs

Still have questions about bank fees?

What banks have no monthly fees?

Several banks, credit unions, financial institutions and financial technology companies offer checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees. For instance, financial technology companies like Chime partner with banks to avoid monthly maintenance charges. Some other financial institutions offering bank accounts with no monthly fees include Axos6, Ally7, Capital One8, SoFi9, and Varo.10

 

What are typical bank fees?

Checking and savings accounts often carry several common bank fees, including:

  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Minimum balance fees
  • Overdraft fees
  • Non-sufficient funds fees
  • ATM fees
  • Foreign transaction fees
  • Excess transaction fees
  • Paper statement fees
  • Check ordering fees
  • Card replacement fees
  • Wire transfer fees
  • Account closing fees

Why do banks charge fees?

Banks charge fees to earn a profit or cover costs. For instance, some banks charge monthly maintenance fees on checking and savings accounts to cover operational costs.

However, banks can also make money from loan interest rates and interest on securities they hold (like bonds).11

Chime makes money through interchange fees (paid for by merchants) when you use your debit card. Chime members don’t pay monthly service fees, minimum balance fees, or in-network ATM fees5.

 

Do banks make money from fees?

Fees are one of many ways banks make money. In addition to customer fees, banks may make money through interchange fees (what they charge merchants for accepting card payments), loan interest rates, and interest rates on securities they hold.

Government and media pressures in recent years have led many banks to eliminate overdraft and NSF fees.12 Even without these, banks have remained profitable – from other fees, like monthly service fees and ATM fees, and from other revenue sources.

How to avoid bank fees?

The best way to avoid bank fees is to switch to a financial institution that doesn’t charge them. If your bank does charge fees, find out if there are ways to avoid them. For example:

  • You may be able to waive monthly maintenance fees by meeting certain criteria, like maintaining a higher average minimum balance or receiving payments via direct deposit.
  • You can likely avoid ATM surcharges by finding ATMs in your bank’s network.
  • You can opt out of overdraft fees for your debit card13 and always ensure your checking account is funded well enough to avoid non-sufficient funds fees.

How do you argue bank fees?

Some bank fees, like monthly maintenance fees, may not be up for debate. But if you accidentally incur an overdraft fee, it’s worth discussing it with your bank.

As soon as you realize you’ve incurred an overdraft fee, call your bank’s customer service line. Explain what led to the accidental overdraft and ask if they can remove the charge. If you have a long history with the bank – and no previous overdrafts – the bank may be willing to work with you.

How do I waive bank fees?

Banks that charge monthly maintenance fees may offer a way to waive the cost. Often, it’s as simple as maintaining a minimum average balance requirement or receiving a certain amount of money each month via direct deposit. Read the fine print of your account for specifics.

That said, you don’t need to worry about getting your monthly maintenance fees waived if your bank doesn’t charge them in the first place. Financial technology companies like Chime don’t charge any monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees, or overdraft fees.

Will I be charged an overdraft fee through Chime?

No. If you do not have sufficient funds in your Chime Checking Account, or have reached your SpotMe®14 limit (if enrolled), then your Chime Visa® Debit Card will be declined. There is no fee for declining transactions or for utilizing SpotMe.

 

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

Third-party trademarks referenced for informational purposes only; no endorsements implied.

The use of any third-party trademarks, logos, or trade names are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement by the owner.

1 Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Consumers on course to save $1 billion in NSF fees annually, but some banks continue to charge these fees” as of May 10, 2023:
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/consumers-on-course-to-save-one-billion-in-nsf-fees-annually-but-some-banks-continue-to-charge-them/

2 Information from FDIC’s “Overdraft and Account Fees” as of May 10, 2023: https://www.fdic.gov/resources/consumers/consumer-news/2021-12.html

3 Information from Bankrate’s “How much are ATM fees?” as of May 10, 2023: https://www.bankrate.com/banking/how-much-are-atm-fees/

4 Information from the Federal Register’s “Regulation D” published document as of May 10, 2023: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/04/28/2020-09044/regulation-d-reserve-requirements-of-depository-institutions

5 Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees apply except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven location or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM. Other fees such as third-party and cash deposit fees may apply.

6 Information on Axos Bank’s Essential Checking Account: https://www.axosbank.com/Personal/Checking/Essential-Checking

7 Information on Ally’s Interest Checking Account: https://www.ally.com/bank/interest-checking-account/

8 Information on Capital One’s 360 Checking Account: https://www.capitalone.com/bank/checking-accounts/online-checking-account/

9 Information on SoFi’s Checking and Savings Account: https://sofi.com/banking

10 Information on Varo’s bank account: https://www.varomoney.com/bank-account/

11 Information from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Banking’s “ABC’s of Banking” as of May 10, 2023: https://portal.ct.gov/DOB/Consumer/Consumer-Education/ABCs-of-Banking---Banks-and-Our-Economy

12 Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Banks’ overdraft/NSF fee revenue declines significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels” as of May 10, 2023:
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/research-reports/banks-overdraft-nsf-fee-revenue-declines-significantly-compared-to-pre-pandemic-levels/

13 Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Understanding the Overdraft ‘Opt-in’ Choice” as of May 10, 2023:
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/understanding-overdraft-opt-choice/

14 Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions. [Links: STRIDE || BANCORP]

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