Checking Account Fees: How Much Are They and How Can They Be Waived?

If you’re considering opening a checking account, you’re probably aware that most checking accounts charge a variety of fees from monthly maintenance fees to debit card replacement fees to ATM fees. We looked at the fees charged by 10 banks across 16 no interest checking accounts and 15 high yield checking accounts. Almost all of these banks charge monthly maintenance fees for checking accounts, but in most cases, these fees can be waived if certain conditions are met. These conditions typically require a minimum daily or average balance or a monthly direct deposit of a specific amount. Some of the accounts listed below are only available in specific states.

Average Checking Account Fees

Checking accounts with the lowest monthly fees or minimums to waive monthly fees do not usually earn interest. Monthly account fees for the 16 no interest checking accounts we evaluated range from $0 to $15, and only two checking accounts have fees that cannot be waived. These accounts are ideal for individuals looking for a simple banking experience and who like the convenience of brick-and-mortar locations.

AccountMin. to OpenMonthly FeeMonthly Fee Waiver
TD Bank Simple $0 $5.99 -
Citibank Access Account $0 $10 One direct deposit or combined average balance of $1,500 across eligible Citibank accounts
Citibank Basic Banking $0 $12 One direct deposit and one bill payment or combined average balance of $1,500 across eligible Citibank accounts or account owner is 62+ years old
TD Bank Convenience $0 $15 Average daily balance of $100
U.S. Bank Silver $25 $6.95/$8.95 Linked package money market savings account and direct deposits of $1,000+ or average daily balance of $1,500+
PNC Standard Checking $25 $7 Average monthly balance of $500 or direct deposit of $500 or account owner is 62+ years old
U.S. Bank Gold $25 $10.95/$12.95 Linked U.S. Bank personal loan, line or credit card
Bank of America Core Checking $25 $12 Direct deposits of at least $250 or average daily balance of $1,500+
Chase Total Checking $25 $12 Direct deposits of at least $500 or average daily balance of $1,500+ or combined average daily balance of $5,000 across eligible Chase accounts
BB&T Back to Basics $50 $0 -
BB&T Fundamentals Checking Account $50 $5 -
Capital One Essential Checking Account $50 $8.95 Average daily balance of $300 or direct deposit of $250
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking $50 $10 10 debit card purchases per month or direct deposits of at least $500 or average daily balance of $1,500+ or linked WF Campus debit card
BB&T Bright Banking $50 $12 Direct deposit of at least $500 or average statement balance of $1,500 or combined balance of $6,000 across eligible BB&T accounts or personal BB&T mortgage
SunTrust Essential Checking $100 $7 10 banking transactions per statement or direct deposit of $500 or daily balance of $500 or 5-year student waiver
SunTrust Balanced Banking $100 $12 Daily balance of $3,000

TD Bank and BB&T offer checking accounts with fees that cannot be waived: TD Bank’s Simple Checking Account and BB&T’s Fundamentals Checking account. Citibank and TD Bank are the only two banks that offer no interest checking accounts with no minimum to open. BB&T also offers a checking account with no monthly maintenance fee; however, it is only available in select states. 

High Yield Checking Account Fees

We evaluated 16 high yield checking accounts on minimums to open, monthly maintenance fees and APYs offered. Monthly maintenance fees ranged from $0 to $35 on these accounts, and 80% of these accounts had minimums to open of $25 or more. Interest bearing checking accounts make sense for individuals with high average balances and who want access to brick-and-mortar branches. 

AccountMin. to OpenMonthly FeeMonthly Fee WaiverAPYAPY Min.
Citibank Account $0 $25 Combined average monthly balance of $10,000 across Citibank accounts 0.01% None
TD Bank Premier $0 $25 Average daily balance of $2,500 0.05% $2,500 min.
Citibank Citigold Account $0 $30 Combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or $100,000 across eligible Citibank accounts  0.01% None
U.S. Bank Premium $25 $10.95/$12.95 Account owner is 65+ years old or average account balance of $5,000 0.01% - 0.02% No min. for 0.01%
$10,000 min. for 0.02%
PNC Performance Checking $25 $15 Average monthly balance of $2,000 or combined average monthly balance of $15,000 across eligible PNC accounts or $2,000 in direct deposits 0.01% $2,000 min.
U.S. Bank Platinum $25 $17.95/$19.95 Combined average balance of $25,000 across eligible US Bank accounts or relationship with U.S. Bank Trust Services 0.01% - 0.02% No min. for 0.01%
$50,000 min. for 0.02%
Chase Premier Plus Checking $25 $25 Combined average daily balance of $15,000 across eligible Chase accounts or automatic payments on Chase first mortgage from checking account 0.01% None
PNC Performance Select Checking $25 $25 Combined averagy monthly balance of $5,000 in checking account and up to 8 other PNC accounts or combined average monthly balance of $25,000 across eligible PNC accounts or direct deposit of $5,000 0.01% $2,000 min.
Wells Fargo Preferred Checking $50 $15 Combined balance of $10,000+ each month across eligible WF accounts or direct deposits of at least $1,000 or linked WF Home Mortgage 0.01% $500 min.
SunTrust Select Checking $100 $15 Direct deposits of at least $2,000 or daily balance of $2,000 or combined balance of $10,000 across eligible SunTrust accounts 0.01% None
Bank of America Interest Checking $100 $25 Combined balance of $10,000+ each statement cycle across eligible BoA accounts 0.01% - 0.02% $50,000 min. for 0.02%
SunTrust Signature Advantage $100 $25 Combined daily balance of $25,000 across eligible SunTrust accounts 0.01% - 0.05% No min. for 0.01%
$10,000 min. for 0.03%
$25,000 min. for 0.05%
Chase Premier Platinum Checking $100 $25/$35 Combined average daily balance of $75,000 across eligible Chase accounts 0.01% None
BB&T Elite Gold $100 $30 Combine balance of $25,000 across eligible BB&T accounts or combine outstanding blance of $25,000 in personal loans or home equity line of credit or personal BB&T mortage with $150,000 original loan amount 0.01% None
Capital One High Yield Checking Account $500 $0 Combined monthly minimum balance of $5,000 across eligible Capital One accounts or Capital One home loan to keep account 0.20% None (introductory 0.40% APY for first 12 months)

Overall, the APYs on these interest bearing checking accounts are fairly low. For example, an APY of 0.01% will only yield $1 a year on a checking account with a $10,000 balance. For better returns, consider opening a high yield savings account or investing your money with a brokerage.

Other Checking Account Fees

On top of monthly maintenance accounts, checking accounts can charge a variety of other fees. This includes fees for overdrawing your account, wire transfers, replacing lost or stolen debit cards and much more. Below we list some of the common fees associated with these checking accounts.

Checking AccountOverdraft FeeIncoming Wire TransferOutgoing Wire TransferCard Replacement Fee
Citibank Citigold Account $34 $0 $35 $0
Chase Premier Platinum Checking $34 $0 $35 $0
Citibank Access Account $34 $15 $35 $0
Citibank Basic Banking $34 $15 $35 $0
Citibank Citibank Account $34 $15 $35 $0
Chase Total Checking $34 $15 $35 $0
Chase Premier Plus Checking $34 $15 $35 $0
TD Bank TD Premier $35 $0 $25 $0
Bank of America Interest Checking $35 $0 $30 $0
TD Bank TD Simple $35 $15 $25 $0
TD Bank TD Convenience $35 $15 $25 $0
Capital One Essential Checking Account $35 $15 $25 $0
Capital One High Yield Checking Account $35 $15 $25 $0
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking $35 $15 $30 $0
Wells Fargo Preferred Checking $35 $15 $30 $0
Bank of America Core Checking $35 $15 $30 $5
PNC Performance Select Checking $36 $0 $0 $0
US Bank Premium $36 $0 $3 $5
US Bank Gold $36 $0 $3 $5
US Bank Platinum $36 $0 $3 $5
US Bank Silver $36 $0 $3 $5
SunTrust Essential Checking $36 $15 $25 $0
SunTrust Select Checking $36 $15 $25 $0
SunTrust Signature Advantage $36 $15 $25 $0
BB&T Elite Gold $36 $15 $25 $0
BB&T Back to Basics $36 $15 $25 $5
BB&T Fundamentals Checking Account $36 $15 $25 $5
BB&T Bright Banking $36 $15 $25 $5
PNC Standard Checking $36 $15 $30 $8
PNC Performance Checking $36 $15 $30 $8
SunTrust Balanced Banking N/A $15 $25 $0

If you’re looking to minimize fees, you might want to consider an online checking account. Many of online checking accounts are interest bearing, have no monthly maintenance fees and have low rates for other fees. These accounts are ideal for individuals who don’t need access to brick-and-mortar banking branches and who don’t write checks frequently.

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