5 Common Requirements to Avoid Checking Account Fees

April 11, 2016

As interest rates remain low, banks have become increasingly reliant on charging account fees to produce revenue. One area where this has become evident is with checking accounts, as the number of banks offering free checking has declined substantially over the last several years. Although still possible to avoid checking account fees, there is now a lot more required on the part of the customer. Here are five of the most common requirements banks impose on customers in order to avoid fees:

  1. Minimum balance – Many banks require you to keep a specific amount of money in your checking account at all times. If you go below the amount, you get penalized and charged a fee. We all have times in our life when our finances fluctuate, so sometimes this is easier said than done.
  2. Direct Deposit – This is a requirement where you set up direct deposit of your paycheck or other regular deposits to your account in order to avoid a fee. Some banks base these charges on the number of times you deposit each month. Others base it on the amount of your deposit.
  3. Relationship Requirement – There are banks that let customers avoid checking account fees when they keep higher aggregate balances in linked accounts. Although this allows customers to leverage their entire banking relationship to avoid fees, account fees tend to be higher when these balance requirements are not met.
  4. Check Card Usage – Other banks allow you to avoid paying monthly fees if you use your debit card for purchases or payments a certain number of times.
  5. Paper statement – Some banks charge a fee to mail you a monthly statement. Ironically, many customers don’t review these statements and may not even realize they are being charged for this. The fee is typically small ($2 – $3 per month), but it adds up quickly. In order to avoid this fee, customers must elect to receive their statements electronically.

Whether or not these accounts work for you depend on your banking habits and financial situation. Some customers have no problem meeting these requirements while others find it more challenging. At ENB, we like to keep things simple for our customers so they can spend less time tracking fees and more time focusing on their future financial success. We offer truly FREE checking, which means no account fees, period. To learn more about truly FREE checking, contact us or stop in one of our local branches to open an account.