Updated: Aug 06, 2020

Survey: U.S. Household Paid More Than $1.1 Billion in Checking Account Maintenance Fees in 2019

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When a checking account often acts as the financial hub of personal finances, it’s not a great feeling to have to pay monthly fees on the essential bank account.

In an ongoing survey that looked at consumer habits when it comes to usage of their checking accounts, MyBankTracker found that U.S. households paid $1.1 billion in monthly maintenance fees on basic checking accounts from the top 5 U.S. banks in 2019.

Commonly, basic checking accounts have monthly service charges that can be waived by either direct deposits or a minimum balance. Unfortunately,

Here are notable highlights from the survey:

Notable Trends

  • U.S. households were charged more than $1.1 billion in monthly services charges in the top 5 U.S. banks
  • 20.45% of U.S. households have checking account balances of less than $1,000 AND no direct deposit
  • More consumers are using mobile check deposits, increasing to 17.4% of respondents in 2019

Percentage of respondents who’ve had a daily balance of less than $1,000

Year Percentages
2016 66.07%
2017 63.66%
2018 61.92%
2019 70.23%
2020 (up until 10/7/2020) 63.96%

Percentage of respondents who’ve had at least one overdraft incident (past year)

Year Percentages
2016 35.21%
2017 36.48%
2018 38.94%
2019 45.56%
2020 (up until 10/7/2020) 38.70%

Percentage of respondents who relied on the following factors when picking a bank

Year Customer reviews Low fees
2016 16.67% 49.52%
2017 20.63% 30.80%
2018 19.73% 44.95%
2019 17.29% 50.71%
2020 (up until 10/7/2020) 17.61% 47.97%

Percentage of respondents who used the following methods to make deposits

Year Mobile deposit Direct deposit
2016 11.96% 32.95%
2017 10.37% 38.92%
2018 14.61% 39.90%
2019 17.40% 39.16%
2020 (up until 10/7/2020) 16.45% 36.27%


MyBankTracker conducts an ongoing survey on checking account usage during the calendar year of 2019 with 6332 respondents in the United States.

The average monthly maintenance fees for checking accounts are based on the most basic offerings from Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and U.S. Bank (configured with the option to receive paper statements).


FDIC. (2020, March). Statistics at a Glance. https://www.fdic.gov/bank/statistical/stats/2020mar/fdic.pdf

FDIC. (2019, June). Top 50 Commercial Banks and Savings Institutions by Total Domestic Deposits.

FDIC. (2018, October). 2017 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. https://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/2017/2017report.pdf