Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank N.A.; Members FDIC

Banking Basics

How to Avoid Monthly Maintenance Fees in 2022

Many banks charge monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts, which can add up quickly. Some banks don’t have any monthly fees associated with their accounts, but there are ways to avoid the ones that do. Learn how to avoid monthly maintenance fees at traditional banks and save money.

Melanie Lockert • May 26, 2022

Banks may charge monthly maintenance fees in exchange for their services. Ironic, right? You may be thinking, why should I have to pay a company to open an account that you’re already giving your money to? Both online and brick-and-mortar banks can charge these monthly maintenance fees, which can easily add up over time.

Many financial institutions will charge a monthly maintenance fee if you don’t meet certain requirements. It’s important to be aware of maintenance fee charges as a consumer, and it’s also wise to know how to avoid paying them.

In This Article

  1. What Is a Monthly Maintenance Fee?
  2. How Do I Avoid Monthly Maintenance Fees?
  3. Monthly Maintenance Fees Charged by the Largest U.S. Banks
  4. FAQs
  5. Final Thoughts: Say Goodbye to Monthly Fees8 👋

What Is a Monthly Maintenance Fee?

A monthly maintenance fee is a fee charged by a financial institution to a customer for utilizing a checking or savings account if certain requirements aren’t met. This fee is typically withdrawn from your account each month automatically. For example, some banks may charge a monthly maintenance fee if your account balance is under a certain threshold.

Not every financial institution charges these fees, and they don’t always apply to every type of account offered. Banks that do charge monthly maintenance fees often allow account holders to avoid them by meeting certain requirements. 

How Do I Avoid Monthly Maintenance Fees?

Monthly maintenance fees can add up quickly, especially if you have multiple accounts. So, you probably want to choose a financial institution that allows you to waive the fees. Typically, this involves meeting certain requirements when it comes to managing your funds. These can include things like:

  • Keeping a certain account balance
  • Accepting monthly direct deposits
  • Having other products or accounts from that same bank
  • Being in a specific age range

Some banks make it possible to waive monthly maintenance fees, and they’re required to disclose any fees upfront. When you’re shopping around for a new checking or savings account, be sure to read the fine print carefully to see which fees may be thrown your way and if there are ways to avoid them. 

Monthly Maintenance Fees Charged by the Largest U.S. Banks

Not all banks charge a monthly maintenance fee. But, many large financial institutions do. 

Banks will tack on different amounts for their monthly maintenance fee, and it’s part of how they make their money. Here’s a closer look at some of the fees at the biggest banks in the U.S. and how you can avoid them.

Disclaimer: Fees for each bank may vary based on location.

Bank of America Monthly Maintenance Fees¹

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid Bank of America Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$4.95
  • Are an owner of this account who qualifies as a Student under age 25 enrolled in school or an educational or vocational program
  • Or are an account owner who is under the age of 18
  • Or are enrolled in Preferred Rewards (first 4 checking accounts)
Savings$8
  • Maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $500
  • Or link your Bank of America Advantage Relationship Banking account to your savings account (waiver applies to first 4 savings accounts)
  • Or enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and qualify for the Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Honors tier (first 4 savings accounts)
  • Or have an account owner who is under the age of 18
  • Or have an owner of the account is under 25 and qualifies as a Student enrolled in school or an educational or vocational program

Chase Monthly Maintenance Fees²

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid Chase Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$12
  • Have an electronic deposit made into this account totaling $500 or more
  • Or have a balance at the beginning of each day of $1,500 or more 
  • Or have an average beginning day balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of this account and linked qualifying deposits or investments
Savings$5
  • Have a balance at the beginning of each day of $300 or more 
  • Or $25 or more in total Autosave or other repeating automatic transfers from your personal Chase checking account 
  • Or Chase College Checking account linked to this account for Overdraft Protection
  • Or an account owner who is under the age of 18
  • Or a linked Chase Better Banking Checking, Chase Premier Checking, Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking, or Chase Private Client Checking account

U.S. Bank Monthly Maintenance Fees³

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid U.S. Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$6.95
  • Have a combined monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more
  • Or keep an average account balance of $1,500 
  • Or are 65 or older
Savings$4
  • Have a $300 minimum daily ledger balance
  • Or have a $1,000 average monthly collected balance
  • Or an account owner who is under the age of 18

TD Bank Monthly Maintenance Fees4

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid TD Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$5.99Not applicable
Savings$5
  • Maintain a $300 minimum daily balance

 

**There’s no fee for the first year with a recurring transfer of $25

Citibank Monthly Maintenance Fees5

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid Citibank Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$12
  • Must make one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement period 
  • Or maintain a $1,500+ combined average monthly balance in eligible linked accounts

 **Fee also waived for account owners who are 62+ or a joint account includes a minor 

Savings$4.50
  • Maintain an average monthly balance of $500

Wells Fargo Monthly Maintenance Fees6

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid Wells Fargo Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$10
  • Maintain a $500 minimum daily balance 
  • Or have $500 or more in total qualifying direct deposits
  • Or an account owner who is 17 to 24 years old
  • Or have a linked Wells Fargo Campus ATM Card or Campus Debit Card (for college students)
Savings$5
  • Have a $300 minimum daily balance
  • Or one automatic transfer each fee period of $25 or more from a linked Wells Fargo checking account
  • Or one automatic transfer each business day within the fee period of $1 or more from a linked Wells Fargo checking account
  • Or one or more Save As You Go transfers from a linked Wells Fargo checking account
  • Or an account owner who is 24 years old or younger

PNC Monthly Maintenance Fees7

Account TypeMonthly FeeHow to Avoid PNC Monthly Maintenance Fee
Checking$7
  • Have $500 in monthly direct deposits
  • Have a $500 monthly balance in Spend + Reserve
  • Or an account holder who is 62 years old or older
Savings$5
  • Have an average monthly balance of $300 
  • Or account is linked to a select PNC checking account
  • Or set up an Auto Savings transfer of $25 or more each month from your PNC Checking account to your Savings account
  • Or an account owner who is under the age of 18

 

FAQs

How do I know if a bank charges a monthly maintenance fee?

Whether you’re opening an account online or in person, the monthly fees associated with that account are usually listed on the company’s website or at the brick-in-motor branch. Financial institutions are required to let you know about any monthly fees upfront so that you aren’t surprised down the line. It’s a good idea to first do your research and compare fees before opening an account.

Why do banks charge monthly maintenance fees?

Financial institutions are for-profit businesses and need to make money to survive. Monthly maintenance fees contribute to this profit and help cover operating costs. These monthly fees can help banks offset some of the costs involved with day-to-day operations and certain account features. The ability to waive fees might also attract new customers to make larger deposits each month, hold larger balances, and even use their account(s) more frequently.

What’s a service fee?

Financial instructions charge service fees to their banking customers for conducting a specific service related to their account, such as using an ATM that’s not in-network, or being charged a credit card fee when making certain purchases. These types of fees can also be called customer service fees or maintenance fees.

Are there other banking products that have monthly maintenance fees?

You’ll commonly see monthly maintenance fees associated with personal checkings and savings accounts, and sometimes with business accounts as well. You typically won’t find monthly maintenance fees associated with products like certificates of deposit (CDs), but those types of accounts can have other fees and penalties to keep in mind.

Final Thoughts: Say Goodbye to Monthly Fees8 👋

Monthly maintenance fees will ultimately vary, depending on the type of account you open and the financial institution you choose to hold your money. Each bank also has different requirements and ways to avoid these fees.

While you may be able to meet the requirements there’s a better way to avoid fees altogether: Open a checking account or savings account through Chime, and also get paid up to 2 days early9!

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

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 and Stride Bank N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

¹ https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/account-fees/ “Advantage SafeBalance Banking Checking Account, Advantage Savings Account”

² https://www.chase.com/personal/checking/total-checking
https://www.chase.com/personal/savings/savings-account

³ https://www.usbank.com/bank-accounts/savings-accounts/standard-savings-account.html
https://www.usbank.com/bank-accounts/checking-accounts.html “Easy Checking Account”

⁴ https://www.td.com/us/en/personal-banking/savings-accounts/simple/
https://www.td.com/us/en/personal-banking/checking-accounts/simple_b/

⁵ https://online.citi.com/US/ag/banking/citi-savings
https://online.citi.com/US/banking/checking/citi.action?ID=basic-banking-account

⁶ https://www.wellsfargo.com/checking/everyday/
https://www.wellsfargo.com/savings-cds/ “Ways2Save Savings Account”

⁷https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking/banking/savings/standard-savings.html
https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking/virtual-wallet-overview.html “Virtual Wallet”

8 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.

9 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

© 2013-2022 Chime. All Rights Reserved.