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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.
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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 This fee is typically withdrawn from your account each month automatically.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.
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
- Holding multiple accounts at the same institution
- 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. If you are looking to open a new account, make sure you read the account disclosures.
*Amount varies based on individual SpotMe limit. Estimate is based on Bankrate’s 2022 Checking Account and ATM Study. https://www.bankrate.com/banking/checking/checking-account-survey/
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 Fees4
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid Bank of America Monthly Maintenance Fee|
Chase Monthly Maintenance Fees5
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid Chase Monthly Maintenance Fee|
U.S. Bank Monthly Maintenance Fees6
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid U.S. Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee|
TD Bank Monthly Maintenance Fees7
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid TD Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee|
**There’s no fee for the first year with a recurring transfer of $25
Citibank Monthly Maintenance Fees8
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid Citibank Monthly Maintenance Fee|
**Fee also waived for account owners who are 62+ or a joint account includes a minor
Wells Fargo Monthly Maintenance Fees9
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid Wells Fargo Monthly Maintenance Fee|
PNC Monthly Maintenance Fees10
|Account Type||Monthly Fee||How to Avoid PNC Monthly Maintenance Fee|
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. Other types of accounts, such as certificates of deposit (CDs), may charge fees or have monetary penalties.
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.
There’s a better way to avoid fees altogether: sign up for Chime to avoid monthly service fees² and get paid up to two days early with direct deposit³!