Savings Account Monthly Fee Comparison At Top U.S. Banks

Stashing your money away in a savings account is a great step in taking control of your financial future.

However, it’s important to know the fees that are associated with your account.

One of those important fees is the monthly maintenance fee, which is charged by many savings accounts.

Typically, this fee applies during the months when you do not meet certain requirements set by the bank for your savings account.

If you are unable to waive the monthly fee, it will defeat the purpose of you opening up a savings account in the first place -- you're losing money on a bank account that is designed for saving money.

We've looked at the top 20 U.S. banks and analyzed the monthly maintenance fees charged for their most popular savings accounts by the top U.S. banks.

Find out what you can do to avoid them and what other options are available (because there are savings accounts that don't charge any monthly fees).

Monthly Maintenance Fees for Standard Savings Accounts at Top U.S. Banks

Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee Minimum Balance To Waive Fee
Bank of America
Custodial Savings Account
$5 $300 minimum daily balance (or you can pay $5 every month)
Chase
Regular Savings Account
$5 $300 minimum daily balance
Santander Bank
Regular Savings Account
$1 $100 minimum daily balance (or you can waive the fee if you also hold any Santander checking account)
U.S. Bank
Standard Savings Account
$4 $300 minimum daily balance, or $1,000 average monthly collected balance
PNC Bank
Standard Savings Account
$5 $300 minimum monthly balance (or set up an auto-transfer of $25 or more each month from your PNC checking account to your savings account)
TD Bank
TD Simple Savings Account
$5 (or $4 if you choose online statements only) $300 minimum daily balance
Ally Bank
Online Savings Account
$0 for all savings accounts N/A
Union Bank
Regular Savings Account
$4 $300 minimum daily balance (or deposit $25 or more monthly into your savings account)
Wells Fargo
Way2Save Account
$5 $300 minimum daily balance (or maintain one auto-transfer from your Wells Fargo checking account to your savings account)
Regions Bank
LifeGreen Savings Account
$0 N/A
Citizen's Bank
Green Savings Account
$4.99 $200 minimum daily balance
BB&T
Regular Savings Account
$5 $300 minimum daily balance (or maintain one auto-transfer of $25 or more per month)
Fifth Third Bank
Relationship Savings Account
Goal Setter Savings Account
$5 $500 minimum monthly balance (or you can waive the fee if you have a Fifth Third Checking Account or are enrolled in Fifth Third Military Banking)
Suntrust Bank
Essential Savings Account
$0 N/A
KeyBank
Key Active Saver Account
$4 $300 minimum daily balance (or maintain one auto-transfer of $5 or more per month from your KeyBank checking account to your savings account)
M&T Bank
Relationship Savings Account
$7.50 $500 minimum daily balance (or you can have this fee waived if you have a Plus or Premium Checking Account)


Maintenance Fees Analyzed

According to banking analysis by MyBankTracker, the average monthly fee for standard savings accounts charged by most banks is around $4, with the lowest fee being $1 from Santander and the highest fee being $7.50 from M&T.

Compare those fees to banks like Ally and Suntrust, who don’t charge any monthly maintenance fee, regardless of the minimum balance you maintain in your account.

Similarly, the average minimum balance to waive a maintenance fee is about $300 for a standard savings account and about $4,000 for a premier savings account. That is quite the difference, so make sure you are investing in a savings account you know you will comfortably be able to maintain money in.

It’s also important to pay attention to when exactly your bank counts your minimum balance.

Certain banks, like Fifth-Third and PNC, require that you maintain a monthly minimum balance of $500 and $300 (respectively), whereas banks like Bank of America and Chase, expect you to have a daily minimum balance of $300 or more in your account.

According to our analysis, most banks check your balance daily as opposed to monthly, so make sure that you’re staying above your minimum balance on a daily basis and not withdrawing from your savings account in excess.

What is a daily ledger balance? You might have seen that banks count your minimum balance by your minimum daily ledger balance.

A minimum daily ledger balance is defined as your beginning day balance.

So, to get a better idea, consider this example: Monday morning you have an account balance of $315. Great, you’re above the minimum daily ledger balance required by most banks. However, throughout the day on Monday you find that you need some money, so you withdraw $20 from your savings account.

Your daily ledger balance will still show that you have $315 in your banking account, even though you only have an available balance of $295 ($315 - $20 = $295). A minimum daily ledger balance doesn’t take into account your daily transactions until the end of a business day.

So, as long as you deposit that $20 back into your account by the end of the day on Monday to stay above the $300 minimum balance requirement, you will not be charged a monthly maintenance fee.


Monthly Fees on Accounts Designed for Saving

Simply put, banks are a for-profit organization - which means that if there is a way for them to make some extra money, they are going to do so, and it will most likely be at your expense.

Although being charged a fee by a bank you’ve been loyal to can feel like the worst kind of betrayal, banks have to make money one way or another --- and let’s face it, we need banks to continue operating.

We need to have a secure place to keep growing our money -- the mattress can certainly be a safe spot to store your money but it’ll never grow interest under there.

So, although we are being charged fees, like this monthly fee, we can only hope banks will use this extra money they’re charging us to improve and support all of the customer-friendly services and incentives they offer to us, their loyal patrons.

Almost all banking accounts have them; checking, savings, money markets, CD’s, and so on and so forth. Banks charge a monthly fee if you are not keeping up with the requirements they have set for you to follow. These requirements could be to:

  • Maintain a minimum account balance
  • Set up an automatic transfer to have money deposited into that account every month
  • Have a direct deposit go right into that account every month
  • Be under the age of 18 (student) or over the age of 64 (senior)
  • Attain a certain kind of customer account/member status

While these fees tend to be consistent nationwide, certain fees may vary based on your location.

We strive to be as inclusive as possible, but we advise you check with your local branch or banking site to make sure these fees remain accurate for where you are situated.

Premium Savings Accounts

Depending on the type of savings account you have, your monthly maintenance fee might vary, as well as the requirements to have that fee waived.

Typically, if you have a savings account that is considered to be “Platinum” or “Premier”, your maintenance fee will be higher and the minimum balance to waive that fee will also be higher.

Wells Fargo, for example, charges $5 a month for their Way2Save Savings account and $12 for their Platinum Savings account, and to get those fees waived you need a $300 minimum balance for the Way2Save account and a $3,500 minimum balance for the Platinum account.

Here are some of the more premium savings accounts at the top U.S. banks:

Monthly Maintenance Fees for Advanced Savings Accounts at Top U.S. Banks

Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee Minimum Balance To Waive Fee
Bank of America
Rewards Savings Account
$8 $500 minimum daily balance
Chase
Chase Premier Savings Account
$25 $15,000 minimum daily balance
BMO Harris
Statement Savings Account
$5 $500 minimum daily balance (or you can have this fee waived by having a $25 auto-transfer every month deposited into this account)
TD Bank
TD Preferred Savings Account
$15 (or $14 if you choose online statements only) $20,000 minimum daily balance
Wells Fargo
Platinum Savings Account
$12 $3,500 minimum daily balance
Regions Bank
Regions Savings Account
$5 $300 minimum daily balance
Citizen's Bank
Platinum and Platinum Plus Savings Account
$0 N/A, but you can only open this savings account if you have a Citizen's Bank Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking Account
BB&T
MoneyRate Savings Account
$10 $2,500 minimum daily balance
Citibank
Access Savings Account
$4.50 $500 minimum monthly balance
Suntrust Bank
Select Savings Account
$7 $1,000 minimum daily balance (you can have this fee waived if you have a $25 per month auto-transfer from a SunTrust personal checking account to your savings account)
BBVA Compass
Compass ClearChoice Savings
$15 (charged quarterly) $500 minimum daily balance (or you can have this fee waived by having a $25 auto-transfer every month from your BBVA checking account to your savings account)

We defined more advanced savings accounts by the minimum deposit to open the account and the required minimum balance to waive the maintenance fee.


Ways to Avoid Monthly Fees

Maintain the minimum balance

Although this may be easier said than done, this one is a pretty standard requirement set by all banks that charge a monthly maintenance fee.

As long as you stay above their minimum balance, you will not be charged this fee.

You can consider configuring account alerts that will notify you when your account balance falls below a certain level.

Set up an auto transfer or maintain a checking account

Another widely used requirement by banks to get your monthly fee waived is to have a monthly auto-transfer set up. 

This means that money from your checking account will be taken out automatically every month and deposited right into your savings. The standard amount that has to be deposited is usually $25, although that may differ depending on where you bank.

Your bank may also require that this auto-transfer comes from a checking account that you have set up with the same bank you have your savings account with.

Check with your bank to see if this is a way to waive your monthly fee and to find out exactly what you need to do to make that happen.

Even better than having to deposit money into your account or set up an auto-transfer, many banks just require that you have a checking account that you maintain with the same bank as your savings account and that monthly maintenance fee will vanish on its own.

Look for a bank that doesn’t have monthly service fees

Instead of adding to your list of things to remember to do every month, consider switching to a bank that doesn’t charge monthly fees on its savings accounts. 

Online banks are the obvious choices here because they don't have to pay the costs of operating physical branch and ATM networks.

As a result, online savings accounts usually have no monthly fee. Even better, they tend to offer the best savings rates.

These are some of our top recommendations for savings accounts that don't carry any monthly fees:

Beware of Other Fees

In addition to monthly maintenance fees, you should also be aware of some other fees associated with savings accounts. 

When opening up a savings account, make sure you take note of:


Final Thoughts

Savings accounts from the big banks that have branches and ATMs will more than likely come with monthly fees.

But, it just doesn't make too much sense that you could lose money when your intention is to save money.

If you do end up finding yourself being charged a monthly maintenance fee, don’t freak out.

These fees are small and odds are that you’ll find a way to get it waived - so they aren’t worth the stress. Getting a savings account without a monthly fee will eliminate this worry.

Related Articles

Discover Vs. Ally Bank Savings Accounts Review
Save for a Home Down Payment Faster With 3 Lesser-Known Savings Accounts
Wells Fargo Bank Savings Account Review
Best Savings Accounts for First Time Home Buyers
American Express National Bank Personal Savings Account Review
Chase Savings Account Review

Ask a Question