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- Many banks charge monthly maintenance fees in exchange for their services.
- There are usually ways to waive the fees, such as keeping a minimum balance.
- Numerous banks don’t charge monthly maintenance fees at all, including Capital One 360 and Ally.
What is a monthly maintenance fee?
A monthly maintenance fee (sometimes called a monthly service fee) is money a bank charges you for working with the company. The fee is usually automatically withdrawn from your account each month.
In some cases, you’ll pay the fee no matter what. But many banks let you waive the fee if you meet certain requirements. For example, you may pay $10 each month — unless you maintain a $1,500 daily balance, in which case you’ll pay $0.
If a bank has multiple types of checking or savings accounts, different ones will probably come with different fees. Often, a more robust account charges a higher fee. A basic checking account may charge $5 per month, while a rewards checking account may charge $12 per month, for instance.
How to avoid a monthly maintenance fee
Most banks make it possible to waive monthly maintenance fees.
In many cases, you’ll need to maintain a certain balance. You could waive the fee if you keep a minimum daily balance or an average daily balance over the course of the month.
Some checking accounts let you waive the charge if you make a minimum number of purchases with your debit card each month. Others waive it if you make a certain amount in direct deposits.
Your ability to avoid the service fee renews every month. Maybe you don’t qualify to waive the fee one month because your balance drops below a certain amount. You can still waive it the following month if you keep a higher balance.
Monthly maintenance fees can add up quickly, especially if you have multiple accounts. So you probably want to choose a bank where you’re eligible to waive the fees. Or go with a company that doesn’t charge monthly service fees at all.
Monthly maintenance fees at biggest banks
Here are the largest banks in the US by number of branches. We’ve listed their monthly maintenance fees for checking and savings accounts, as well as how to waive them.
For institutions with more than one checking/savings account, we’ve listed the monthly maintenance fee for the most basic or popular account option.
Checking fee: $10 for Wells Fargo Everyday Checking. Waive it by maintaining a $500 minimum daily balance, making $500 in direct deposits, linking a Wells Fargo campus ATM or debit card, or being ages 17 to 24.
Savings fee: $5 for Wells Fargo Way2Save Savings. Avoid it by maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance, automatically transferring $25 from your Wells Fargo checking account, automatically transferring $1 per business day from checking, making one Save as You Go transfer from checking, or being under age 24.
Savings fee: $5 for Chase Savings. To waive it, start each day with a $300 balance, autosave $25, link it to Chase College Checking℠ for overdraft protection, be under age 18, or link it to a variety of other Chase accounts.
Checking fee: $4.95 for Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® Account. Waive it by signing up for the Preferred Rewards program or by being a student under age 24.
Savings fee: $8 for Bank of America Advantage Savings. Avoid it by keeping a $500 daily balance or by linking this account to another Advantage account.
Checking fee: $6.95 for Bank Smartly™ Checking. Waive it by setting up $1,000 in direct deposits per month, maintaining a $1,500 average balance, or if you have an eligible US Bank credit card. The monthly service fee is automatically waived for military members and customers under the age of 24 or over the age of 65.
Savings fee: $4 for US Bank Standard Savings. No fee with a $300 daily balance or $1,000 average balance, or if you are under age 18.
Checking fee: $7 for PNC Bank Virtual Wallet®. Avoid it by having a $500 monthly direct deposit to the Spend account, having $500 monthly balance in Spend + Reserve, or being age 62 and older.
Savings fee: $5 for PNC Bank Standard Savings. Avoid it by keeping a $300 average monthly balance, automatically transferring $25 per month into savings, or being under age 18.
Checking fee: $11 for Regions Bank LifeGreen® Checking Account. Waive it by maintaining a $1,500 average monthly balance, making one $500 direct deposit, or making $1,000 combined in direct deposits.
Savings fee: None for Regions LifeGreen Savings.
Checking fee: $15 for TD Bank Convenience Checking. Avoid it by maintaining a $100 daily balance or by being age 17 through 23.
Savings fee: $5 for TD Simple Savings. No fee if you keep a $300 daily balance, or if you’re under age 18 or over age 62. There’s no fee for the first year if you set up recurring $25 transfers from your checking account.
Banks with no monthly maintenance fees
Thankfully, there are plenty of banks and credit unions that don’t charge monthly fees at all, which makes banking more affordable and less confusing.
Most institutions without monthly maintenance fees are online companies. There are a few brick-and-mortar banks that don’t charge fees on certain accounts, so those could be good options if you’re set on in-person banking.
Here are the companies that don’t charge monthly maintenance fees:
Monthly maintenance fees can cost you a lot of money. Ideally, you’d choose a bank that doesn’t charge monthly fees, or one that makes it easy for you to waive them.