How to Avoid Monthly Maintenance Fees in 2020

By Melanie Lockert
March 4, 2020

What if you asked a friend to watch over your precious jewels and she said, “Yeah, no problem.” But later on, she hit you up for a monthly fee for babysitting your jewelry. How would you feel, especially as she didn’t tell you upfront about this so-called fee? Probably a little peeved, right?

Unfortunately, this kind of scenario happens all the time in the form of monthly maintenance fees at numerous banks. It’s true. Many financial institutions charge a monthly maintenance fee if you don’t meet certain requirements. As a consumer, it’s important for you to be aware that your bank may be charging you fees. Along these lines, you should know how to avoid paying them.

What is a Monthly Maintenance Fee?

A monthly maintenance fee is a fee charged by a financial institution to a customer if certain requirements aren’t met. For example, some banks may charge a monthly maintenance fee if your account balance is under a certain threshold.

These fees are charged by banks to help “maintain” your account, kind of like a service fee. Banks thrive off of managing your money and if you carry a high balance in your account, you may get hit with a fee.

How Do I avoid Monthly Maintenance Fees?

Paying a monthly maintenance fee can be annoying. What’s worse: you may not even realize you’re getting charged. I remember a friend of mine telling me she was scrolling through her Bank of America account and noticed she was being charged a fee.

Just how much was she paying? The Bank of America monthly maintenance fee was $12 per month. In order to avoid the fee, she had to have a certain balance or sign up for direct deposit. The issue? She didn’t have a steady job at the time and her income was irregular.

My advice to her was to break-up with the big bank and open a bank account that had a free checking account and no fees.

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Monthly Maintenance Fees Charged by The Biggest Banks in The U.S.

Not all banks charge a monthly maintenance fee. However, many large financial institutions do charge monthly fees and these charges vary from bank to bank.

Here’s a closer look at the monthly maintenance fees at big banks and how you can avoid them.

Bank of America monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $12 per month
  • How to avoid Bank of America’s monthly maintenance fee: Maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 each day or make one direct deposit equal or greater than $250 per month.

Chase monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $12 per month
  • How to avoid Chase’s monthly maintenance fee: Maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 each day, have $500 or more in your account through direct deposit per month, or have $5,000 or more in various qualified accounts.

US Bank monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $6.95 per month with electronic statements or $8.95 per month with paper statements.
  • How to avoid US Bank’s monthly maintenance fee: Maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 or make $1,000 or more total in direct deposits every month.

TD Bank monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $15 per month
  • How to avoid TD Bank’s monthly maintenance fee: Maintain a minimum daily balance of $100.

Citibank monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $12 per month
  • How to avoid Citibank’s monthly maintenance fee: Have $1,500 in qualified accounts or make one eligible direct deposit and bill payment each month.

Wells Fargo monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $10 per month
  • How to avoid Wells Fargo monthly maintenance fee: Complete 10 qualified debit card transactions, make direct deposits of $500 or more to your account, or maintain a $1,500 balance every day.

PNC monthly maintenance fee

  • Fee: $7 per month
  • How to avoid PNC’s monthly maintenance fee: Make direct deposits of $500 or more or maintain a $500 minimum balance each month.

Say Goodbye to Hidden Fees 👋 

As you can see, monthly maintenance fees vary by bank accounts and each financial institution has different requirements so that their customers can avoid them. While you may be able to meet the requirements to avoid bank fees, there is a better way to never worry about paying maintenance fees again.

You can avoid maintenance fees altogether and enjoy getting paid up to 2 days early by banking through Chime.

Melanie Lockert is the founder of the blog and author of the book, Dear Debt. Her work has appeared on Business Insider, Time, Huffington Post and more. She is also the co-founder of the Lola Retreat, which helps bold women face their fears, own their dreams and figure out a plan to be in control of their finances.

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