Dave Ramsey Warns These Are Some of the Sneakiest Bank Fees You Could Pay

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page. APY = Annual Percentage Yield

KEY POINTS

  • Bank fees are charged by many financial institutions.
  • Dave Ramsey warns that one particular fee -- the maintenance fee -- can be especially sneaky.
  • You'll want to make sure you avoid having to pay it.


Is your bank charging you this sneaky fee?

Your bank should help make managing your money easier. You can deposit money into your checking account and use those funds to pay bills or cover other costs. And you can put money into savings to help you grow a pot of cash you can use to accomplish financial goals.

Sometimes, though, your bank actually ends up costing you money by charging you fees. And finance expert Dave Ramsey has a warning about one particular sneaky cost that your bank may impose on you.

Are you being charged this sneaky bank fee?

So, what's the fee Ramsey warned about? It's a monthly fee just for being a customer of that particular bank.

"Maintenance fees are some of the sneakiest," Ramsey warned. "You agree to them when you open an account, and you may not even realize it until they show up on your statement six months later."

As Ramsey explained, these fees fall into two categories: minimum balance fees and inactivity fees. The first is charged if your balance falls below a set minimum amount that your bank sets. And the second is assessed if you don't use your account often enough as defined by the bank.

Ramsey warned that these fees can creep up on you and can be confusing to avoid because of the complex rules banks impose. "Your ability to avoid maintenance fees depends on a few variables, like linking your checking and savings accounts, spending a set amount of money, or keeping a minimum balance in your account. If you fail to meet one of those variables -- bam! Fee!"

How can you avoid monthly maintenance fees?

The good news is, there are ways to avoid being hit with these "sneaky" fees that can end up costing you in the end. Ramsey has some suggestions for doing so. "Get on your guard so you know which fees your specific bank charges," he advised. "Or better yet, find a bank that doesn't charge fees at all."

If you want to avoid the hassle of trying to avoid sneaky maintenance fees, you may want to look into an online bank as these tend to charge less than brick-and-mortar banks. But whatever bank you're considering, you should read the fine print and ask any questions you might have about exactly what fees could be assessed and what you have to do to get fee waivers.

You should also think long term when picking a bank, as closing an account can be a hassle. If a bank waives the fee if you have direct deposit, for example, but you're going to be quitting your job soon to be a stay-at-home parent, then you may not want to open that account because your direct deposits will soon stop and the fees will start.

You should also check your online account regularly and carefully. If your bank starts charging you a surprise fee, as Ramsey warns it might, it's best to catch it early. You can take steps to address the issue leading to the charge before your account is drained and may even be able to ask the bank to refund the fee in some cases.

By heeding Ramsey's warning, you can make sure that putting money into your bank account doesn't end up causing you to have less cash in the end.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you 11x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts could earn you 11x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class accounts that landed a spot on our short list of the best savings accounts for 2024.

Two of our top online savings account picks:

Rates as of Mar 02, 2024 Ratings Methodology
Advertisement
SoFi Checking and Savings American Express® High Yield Savings
Member FDIC. Member FDIC.
Rating image, 4.75 out of 5 stars.
4.75/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00/5 Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

APY: up to 4.60%

APY: 4.35%

Min. to earn APY: $0

Min. to earn APY: $1

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow