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Monthly maintenance fees common to bank accounts

Learn more about common monthly account fees and how you can avoid them

Monthly maintenance fees are common among many institutions, and while fee schedules and amounts vary, they’re an annoying reality of many bank accounts. Being aware of the monthly maintenance fee can help place you in a better position to get it waived or avoid it altogether if you find an account that doesn’t have one.

What is a monthly maintenance fee?

Monthly maintenance fees, often called monthly fees for short, are fees that financial institutions charge in exchange for keeping your account open. The fees are usually charged or deducted from your balance at the beginning or end of every month, as stated in your account contract. Many traditional banks see monthly fees as standard practice, while some will only charge them on accounts that offer more features, such as:

  • Rewards programs
  • Higher interest rates
  • Waived transaction fees
  • Discounts on other banking products
  • Account packages
  • Free transfers

What is the average monthly maintenance fee cost?

On average your monthly maintenance fee could be between $10 and $15, which adds up to $120–$180 a year. But the exact amount depends on the specific bank account you choose. Some banks won’t charge monthly fees at all while others may offer ways to waive them.

If you’re looking for fee-free accounts, you’re more likely to find those at online banks than you are traditional banks. That’s because online institutions are able to cut operating costs by not having branches and pass down the savings in the form of fewer fees.

What banking products have a monthly maintenance fee?

Monthly maintenance fees are common on basic deposit accounts such as checking accounts, savings accounts and money market accounts. However, there are a range of other banking products that have monthly fees, so you should speak with your bank and read the terms and conditions before committing to anything.

Compare accounts with no monthly maintenance fees

$
Name Product Account type Annual Percentage Yield (APY) FDIC or NCUA insured amount Minimum balance to earn interest Minimum deposit to open Offer Estimated total balance
UFB Secure Savings
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
UFB Secure Savings
Traditional savings,Custodial account

5.25%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
$1,052.50
Customers Bank High Yield Savings Through Raisin
Not rated yet
Customers Bank High Yield Savings Through Raisin
Traditional savings

5.30%

$0
$1
$1,053
Valley Direct High Yield Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Valley Direct High Yield Savings Account
Savings app

5.25%

$250,000
$0.01
$1
$1,052.50
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1 - 20 of 55
Name Product Fee ATM transaction fee Nonsufficient funds fee Foreign transaction fee
BMO Smart Advantage Checking
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
BMO Smart Advantage Checking
$0 per month
$36
2.8%
Earn a $400 cash bonus after $4,000 deposits in the first 120 days. Pay $0 monthly fees and no minimum balance. Access a large nationwide network of free ATMs. Member FDIC.
Cash Card by Cash App
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash Card by Cash App
$0 per month
$2.50
The Cash App Cash Card lets you pay for goods and services both online and in stores using your Cash App balance. Enjoy features like ATM access, direct deposit, instant discounts at select stores and a customizable card.
Chime Checking account
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Checking account
$0 per month
$0
0%
Save easily and access your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. Pay $0 monthly fees, and no minimum balance is required. Access 24/7 support and get daily balance and transaction alerts. FDIC insured.
Revolut
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Revolut
From $0 per month
$0
0.5%
Revolut is a global fintech that offers up to 40% off international transfers.
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
$0 per month
$0
0%
Earn up to 4.60% APY on savings by meeting deposit requirements, and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Members without deposit requirements will earn 0.50% APY on both savings and checking balances. Turn on automatic savings or use the Roundups feature to help you reach your savings goals faster. Get up to $2M of additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks.
Fierce Cash
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Fierce Cash
$0 per month
$0
Discover® Cashback Debit
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Discover® Cashback Debit
$0 per month
$0
$0
0%
The Discover® Cashback Debit account earns 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.
Key Smart Checking
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Key Smart Checking
$0 per month
Easily open this free checking account in about five minutes. Use EasyUp to effortlessly round up your debit card purchases to make saving a breeze, and conveniently bank from the KeyBank mobile app or find a KeyBank branch near you.
OnPath FCU High Yield Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
OnPath FCU High Yield Rewards Checking
$0 per month
Earn up to 7% APY on balances up to $10,000, plus access 30,000 free ATMs and up to $10 in out-of-network ATM fees refunded.
Current
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Current
$0 per month
$0
3%
Earn 4% APY on the first $2,000 in each savings pods. Also get budgeting tools, early direct deposit and up to 15x cashback points. All with no monthly fee or opening deposit requirement. Member FDIC.
NBKC Everything Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
NBKC Everything Account
$0 per month
$0
$0
0%
Earn 1.5% APY and set up savings goals. Plus, access to 37,000+ no-fee ATMs and get reimbursed up to $12/month in fees for out-of-network ATMs. FDIC insured.
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
$0 per month
$0
$0
3%
Earn up to 2% cashback rewards on everyday purchases. Pay $0 fees for overdraft, domestic wire transfer and monthly maintenance. Pair with Performance Savings account to earn 5.07% APY. Member FDIC.
Quontic Bank High Interest Checking
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Quontic Bank High Interest Checking
$0 per month
$0
0%
Earn 1.1% APY with qualifying transactions, and pay $0 in monthly or overdraft fees. Access your account with a nationwide network of 90,000+ no-fee ATMs. FDIC insured.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
$0 per month
$0
$0
1%
Earn up to 3.3% APY after meeting deposit and spending requirements. Get ATM free reimbursements at all domestic ATMs. Pay $0 monthly or overdraft fees. FDIC insured.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0 per month
$0
$0
1%
Pay $0 monthly and overdraft fees, and get reimbursed for domestic ATM fees. No opening deposit or minimum balance requirement. Get your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. FDIC insured.
Bluevine Business Checking
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bluevine Business Checking
From $0 per month
$0
$0
0%
Enjoy $0 overdraft, minimum deposit and transaction fees. Plus, get two free checkbooks a year, five sub-accounts featuring unique numbers, and earn up to 4.25% APY
Lili
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Lili
From $0 per month
$0
0%
Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit, automated savings, and no monthly fees with Lili Basic. Other packages include cashback rewards, 4.15% APY for savings, smart bookkeeping and financial reports, etc. FDIC insured.
First Citizens Bank Free Checking
$0 per month
2%
First Citizens Bank Free Checking stands out for its built-in finance tracking tool, Manage My Money. Available to residents in NC, SC, TN, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, KS, MD, MO, NM, OK, OR, TX, VA, WA, WV, and WI. FDIC insured.
Relay
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Relay
$0 per month
$0
$0
0%
Easily track income, expenses and savings for your business all in one place. With $0 account fees, $0 overdraft fees and $0 minimum balances, Relay’s business checking account and money management platform offer an affordable online banking solution to get your business off the ground. FDIC insured.
Yotta
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Yotta
$0 per month
$0
0%
Increase your chances of winning up to $10 million in cash prizes every time you spend $10 with your Yotta debit card and for every $25 in your checking account. FDIC insured.
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How to avoid a monthly maintenance fee

Although many banks charge monthly fees, it’s becoming more common for them to offer ways to waive them. And while these conditions may vary depending on the type of account and the institution you choose, a few common ways to waive fees include:

  • Direct deposit or bill payment. Make a given number of direct deposits or bill payments totaling a given amount each month.
  • Minimum monthly balance. Maintain a minimum balance in that account or in all connected accounts at that bank.
  • Link other accounts. Open other banking products or accounts with the same bank and link them to the main account.
  • Make a specific number of transactions. Some banks may waive the monthly fee once you meet a minimum number of transactions per month.
  • Rewards programs. Some banks may waive account fees for signing up for rewards or loyalty programs.
  • Meet eligibility requirements. Children, students, seniors, military members may qualify, so check with each bank to find out if you’re eligible.

Compare bank accounts that waive the monthly maintenance fee

Name Product Fee ATM transaction fee Nonsufficient funds fee Foreign transaction fee
Chase Total Checking®
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Chase Total Checking®
$12 per month
$0
$34
5%
Chase Total Checking® is easy to use and gives you access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. It offers a $200 signup bonus to new Chase customers. Member FDIC.
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Are there other types of recurring fees?

Besides a monthly maintenance fee, some banks charge other recurring fees that could eat into your balance if you aren’t careful. These include:

  • Minimum balance requirements. Some banks have minimum balance requirements and will charge a fee every month if you fail to meet them.
  • Paper statements. Although many banks have switched to online or eStatements, you may be charged a fee to receive paper statements, so you should make sure to opt out if possible.
  • Account inactivity. If you don’t make transactions or hold a balance in your account for an extended period of time, the bank could charge inactivity fees or even close your account.
  • Overdraft. While overdraft fees only apply when you make a purchase that brings your balance below zero, they can sometimes be applied multiple times until you bring your balance back in the black.

Bottom line

Bank accounts help you manage money and save for the future, but they often come with monthly fees. While most banks will waive these fees when you meet certain conditions, there are ways to avoid them altogether. Consider choosing a fee-free checking account if you want to ditch monthly fees for good.

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