7 Bank Fees Eating your Checking Account

Banking institutions make money a variety of ways.  Due to the current low-interest rate environment, the number 1 way that banks make money is through fees!  This post is dedicated toward the top 7 bank fees that are eating your checking account.  Make sure to come back next week to learn about ways to avoid these fees and keep more of your hard-earned cash in your bank account!

7 Bank Fees Eatingyour Checking Account


ATM Fees

Often times when you withdrawal money from an ATM that is not associated with your bank you are hit with two separate fees – one from the ATM machine you are using and another from your bank.  The national average for these fees when combined is $4.35.  While that may seem like a small amount, it can add up very quickly.

1x per week = $4.35

4x per month = $17.40

48x per year = $208.80

Overdraft Fees

An overdraft fee occurs when a transaction or withdrawal from a bank account exceeds the available balance.  Each transaction going over the available balance may cause its own overdraft fee.  The typical overdraft fee is $34.  According to a recent CNN article, the 3 largest banks in America made over $5.1 billion on overdraft fees in 2015.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Monthly maintenance fees are charged by some bank accounts for the regular upkeep of your checking account.  This takes care of the regular maintenance on your account – like producing and mailing statements.

Inactivity Fees

Do you have a bank account that you rarely use?  Make sure to take a look at your statement to see if you were hit with an inactivity fee. Every bank differs but this typically only happens if there’s no deposits or withdrawals on an account for a year or more.

Minimum Balance Fee

Many banks offer special perks to certain checking account types as long as you meet the requirements. One requirement often times is a minimum balance. If your financial situation has changed or you no longer use that bank account, make sure you are not being hit with a minimum balance fee.

Additional Checks

Most banks now charge for ordering a new book of checks.  I hate this bank fee the most.  Personally, I feel like it shouldn’t cost money to write checks.  Nonetheless, the fee for ordering additional checks is around $20 depending on the style of check and your financial institution.

Wire Transfer Fees

Need to send money to someone ASAP?  A wire transfer is an electronic method of transferring money from one person or entity to another.  The benefit of a wire transfer is that the funds will be available for use the same day sent and there is no hold placed on larger amounts transferred.  Depending on the financial institution, there may be two separate bank fees involved – a fee to send the wire transfer and then a fee to receive the wire transfer.  The fees can range between $15-30 depending on the financial institution.


Now that you know what fees are eating your checking out, let’s avoid them with this post: Keep More of your Money: Tips to Avoid Bank Fees.  Make sure to subscribe to Financially Fit and Fab below to be notified of upcoming posts.

7 Bank Fees Eatingyour Checking Account

Are Bank Fees Eating your Checking Account?  What Actions do you Take to Avoid Bank Fees?



7 Fees Killing your Bank Account


  1. Yes to everything. One way I have avoided bank fees is that I do not withdraw from any ATM other than my own back. Additionally, if I find that I need cash I use my debit card and get cash back. I try and have been trying more to not use cash at all because I get cash back rewards on my debit card. Overlimit fees, well let’s just say I’ve been there before and luckily for me I’m not afraid to call customer service. Knock on wood, the few times I have been in that situation I called Bank of America and explained throughly what happened and why. I made note of the fact that I have direct deposit and money coming on weekly. Each time they overturned the fees for me. Sometimes all it takes is calling them.

    1. Great job taking care of those fees! I wrote this post because I had an unfortunate fee last week but similarly I called my bank and had it removed.

  2. Funny l was just thinking how the monthly fees is eating away at my money 🙁 . Next time l am in the U.S, l might try to change to a no fee, but l am sure there will just be another way to suck it out of me. Ugh! I hate banks.. Thank goodness at least no more check fees. Thanks for letting me rant.

    1. I understand the rant! A bank with no fees would be great! My bank allows me to use 4 non associated banks ATMs per months which helps save on fees.

  3. How about I recently got hit with two of those fees: New checks and maintenance. The maintenance fee is something I keep forgetting about until I see it on my statements. I just need to set up direct deposit smh.

    Great post!

    1. It’s crazy how you don’t realize the bank fees until you see them on your statement. Setting up direct deposit is a great way most banks lets you escape fees!

  4. Monthly maintenance fees, ugh. Those seem to creep up every now and then. We have accounts at a few different banks, but our main bank seems to be legendary when it comes to changing their monthly requirements. After the first time we were caught after a change and disputing their notifying us of the change, we keep a close eye out for monthly notes they add to the online banking account.

    It does help though, even if you’re at fault, as the saying goes you catch more flies with honey. Being nice to the rep we spoke to about the charges and explaining our side and how we’ve been long time customers, they were glad to credit us the charges.


    1. I agree with you there! For most of the fees listed, banks are willing to remove them once or twice if you show you are a loyal customer!

  5. I knew nothing about inactivity fees prior to this post. I have a credit union account with a small amount of money that I never use. I’ll definitely check it out. Thank you!!

  6. See, that is too much! I make sure I have no bank fees when I look for an account. They add up too fast.

  7. You know what? This just reminded me {again} that I need to call about that fee that i recently started seeing monthly on my statement. Every month I say I am going to call and then I forget. UGH! I hate banks and their fees!

    1. Definitely give your bank a call! That is the one way they take advantage of the situation – if you don’t check your bank statement, or forget to call about it. Good luck!

  8. This doesnt apply to me. I always pull my money out of my bank…or if I dont…I just go to a store like Walmart or Walgreen and get cash back that way. I dont not like to be charge those extra ATM fees.

    1. Banks aren’t always bad. Pulling your money out immediately is one way to avoid fees, but then you also don’t receive the interest the banks give you on your money.

  9. These hidden fees DEFINITELY add up! Thank you so much for the reminder because I need to be on the lookout.


  10. I am totally against those extra bank fees and do everything possible to avoid them! Great post and Thanks for sharing!

    1. I am with you! I hate the bank fees as well. Hopefully more and more people can notice they are eating their bank accounts!

  11. Man years ago I decided to stop blowing my money on ATM fees, they were killing me. Ever since I did that I vowed to never pay for an ATM fee or anything. I’m proud to say I don’t have any fees coming out of my account.

    1. Great! Congrats on avoiding bank fees! When I was younger, I was the same way. I felt like $3 here and there was nothing but it can add up!

  12. Those banks like to squeeze out money anyway they can..

    The bank account we have doesn’t charge us any fees and we never go into overdraft so we do our best to keep our money.


    1. Banks are looking for money everywhere! It is crazy! Congrats on finding a bank that helps you avoid all of those fees.

  13. Those fees are the reason I left banks a few years ago. I only deal with Credit Unions. They don’t have as many fees. The ones that they do have are much less than what a bank would charge.

  14. I hate those monthly maintenance fees. Thankfully I have been able to avoid them and the others you mentioned most of time.

  15. ATM fees are THE WORST. I always try to make sure I take some cash out before a trip so I don’t have to worry about tracking down my bank if I need any!

  16. I found out from my credit union that they’ll refund ATM fees if we have to use a different ATM because ours is down. Check on this at your local bank/credit union, because for a little while, it always seemed like our ATM was down.

    1. Wow! That is awesome that your bank will refund ATM fees if they are have technical difficulties.

  17. I am traveling abroad in June so I contacted my bank to ask about their international ATM fee and of course my bank (BOA) has the highest fee at 3% of withdrawal. Bummer! Give me my money, yo!

    1. That is a crazy high fee that bank of america has! I try to avoid ATM machines when out of the country. On my last trip, I did use a credit card for certain larger expenses but there were no international transaction fees. Have a great time on your trip abroad.

  18. I was so frustrated after I opened my last bank account. I should’ve read the small print BUT I did ask if there was a monthly fee if the balance went below a certain dollar amount and the banker said NO. He thankfully reversed the fee that I was charged at the end of the month but that was so annoying!

    1. Wow! That is crazy that you asked about monthly maintenance fees ahead of time but discovered the fee on your bank statement. I am glad the banker reversed the fee for you! The small print can be so overwhelming. I feel like I read it after an issue arises instead of before, unfortunately.

  19. Luckily the one of these fees i’ve ever gotten was the atm fee once when i didn’t realize i would need cash. i always make sure there is enough money in my account to avoid any kind of fees.

  20. It’s crazy how little fees can add up to so much without people realizing it! Just say no to unnecessary fees! 🙂

  21. Overdraft fees–Speak to your bank about overdraft protection. EVERYBODY should have this! It’s an account, usually a line of credit, set up so that it sweeps money into your checking account to cover your overdraft. If there is a transfer fee, it’s significantly lower than the overdraft fees and replaces them completely. Sometimes you can do it from a savings account, credit card, or HELOC. I seriously recommend talking to your bank about setting this up if you don’t have it and have been hit with overdraft fees.

    ATM fees–Everyone on here seems to have gotten it. Don’t use out-of-bank ATMs unless it’s an absolute emergency. Frankly, avoid non-bank ATMs entirely (gas stations, grocery stores, bars, etc). Their fees are higher and they probably aren’t secure. Who knows how many times the guys at that BP gas station check that ATM per day? Probably none.

    Maintenance fees/minimum balance fees–Usually one and the same. Keep the minimums and treat that number as zero. See if direct deposits function as an alternative way to avoid those fees.

    Check printing fees–Not actually charged by the bank but by the check printing company. My bank actually doesn’t make a profit when you place a check order (I was shocked, actually). I wrote an article about a cheaper place to order them online. If it’s okay with Tia, I’ll post a link to the article (the article contains affiliate links).

    Getting your fees refunded–I’ll give you some advice for how to approach your banker for a fee refund. Do it rarely and do it nicely. We’re limited on how much we can give back, as we should be as they are fees for services being provided by a for-profit business. It’s one of the few–if only–businesses in the world where it’s deemed acceptable to use a service and then demand a refund despite it being perfectly satisfactory. So the bank is only going to entertain the fee refunds occasionally. So do so sparingly. And when you do speak to a banker for a refund, do so politely. You don’t have to grovel or brown-nose, but understand that any refund is a courtesy. You are significantly less likely to get a refund from me by slamming your statement on my desk and yelling at me or trying to convince me that the banks are stealing your money than you are by politely showing me where the fee was charged and asking if there’s any way I can help you. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to get one or two fees refunded if you’re nice to us.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

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