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5 Ways to Avoid Bank Account Maintenance Fees

Published July 1, 2024
Natasha Etzel

Our Banking Expert

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. APYs are subject to change at any time without notice.

Bank fees are the norm. Luckily, there are ways to avoid paying these fees.

If you have a bank account, you may be paying monthly account maintenance fees without realizing it, and over time, these fees can add up and impact your financial health.

Find out how to avoid bank account maintenance fees so you don't part ways with your money for no reason.

Banks make money off extra fees

Bank fees, like account maintenance, foreign transaction, and overdraft fees, are how banks make money. But these fees deplete account holders' bank account balances.

Being aware of these fees and understanding how to avoid them is key if you don't like giving your money away for free.

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Some bank accounts impose account maintenance fees

You should ask about the account maintenance fee rules when opening a new bank account. These fees are not uncommon and in many cases, they can be $5 to $15 per month or more.

The good news is most banks outline steps that you can take to avoid them. Each bank and bank account may have its own rules. By following the rules, you can avoid parting ways with your money.

Here are a few ways you may be able to avoid being charged an account maintenance fee.

1. Meet the minimum bank account balance

Many banks allow customers to avoid paying maintenance fees by meeting the minimum bank account balance requirements. Your bank may outline an average monthly balance or daily balance that you need to maintain to do this.

As long as you keep, at minimum, a certain amount of money in your bank account, you'll be able to save yourself money on fees.

2. Make a certain number of purchases with your debit card

Another way to avoid this fee is by making a certain number of purchases with your debit card each month. If you do this, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived.

For those who use their debit card infrequently, check to see if there are other ways to avoid fees.

3. Enroll in direct deposit

Sometimes, banks reimburse account maintenance fees for customers who enroll in direct deposit. You may also need to meet minimum monthly deposit requirements to qualify.

Doing this is an excellent way to keep more of your money and makes payday more convenient.

4 . Meet specific age requirements

Some banks reduce or eliminate fees if a customer meets specific age requirements. Typically, this is available to college students, young adults, and elderly customers.

Check to see if your age can help you save money.

5. Open multiple bank accounts with one bank

You may be able to skip out on account maintenance fees by being a loyal customer and maintaining multiple bank accounts with one financial institution.

Note: Keep in mind that your bank will have its own requirements for fees to be waived, reduced, or reimbursed. Some of these options may not apply in your situation, so check with your bank.

Check your bank account's terms to avoid surprise fees

Are you paying checking account fees without realizing it? Reviewing account terms and details is essential no matter who you bank with, and could save you from paying surprise fees.

Don't give away unnecessary money to your bank through fees. You're just making your financial institution richer and hurting yourself.

Instead, learn what you can do to avoid excess fees to keep more money in your bank account and reach your personal finance goals sooner.