What you need to know about inactivity fees.

What Is a Minimum Balance Fee?

This unpleasant fee often kicks in when your account balance drops below a certain amount.

3 min read

Let’s face it, many traditional banks charge all kinds of hidden fees with their accounts. They’re known as “hidden” fees because you might not usually find out about them until they appear in your account. The burden of knowing about these fees is often placed on the account-owner, leaving many feeling helpless and unsettled. One of the biggest culprits, is the minimum balance fee. 

N26 never charges hidden fees, especially minimum balance fees. However, we want you to be aware of these sneaky charges so that you can avoid them in the future, no matter where you choose to bank. It’s part of our mission to provide simple, straightforward financial resources so that you can take control of your money and your future.

What is a minimum balance fee?

A minimum balance fee is a fee that many banks charge when your account balance drops below a certain amount. For instance: If the minimum balance required in your checking account is $500, but you only have $400, you would be charged a minimum balance fee. These are often disguised as maintenance charges, with exceptions for account holders that maintain a monthly minimum balance in their account.  

How much is a minimum balance fee?

According to Bankrate, minimum balance fees or account service fees in the U.S. are on average around $5 for non-interest yielding accounts and about $16 for interest yielding  accounts, although they can be even higher at some banks.

Banking basics

Banking jargon can be confusing—but it doesn't have to be. Find simple explanations to popular banking terms.
Learn the basics
Banking basics.

Does N26 charge a minimum balance fee?

No. N26 does not charge minimum balance fees. One of the advantages of being an N26 customer is that you can avoid common bank fees like this one — or minimum balance payment fees, or maintenance fees, or foreign transaction fees.

How can I avoid minimum balance fees?

You shouldn’t have to pay a fee just because your account balance is lower than your bank thinks it should be. There are a few simple things that you can do to stop paying minimum balance fees for good.

Tip #1: Choose an account that does not charge minimum balance fees, like N26. Some digital banks have done away with this practice, allowing you to manage your money on your terms. 

Tip #2: Do your research before opening a new bank account. Before you sign up, check to see what fees they charge for various situations. Ask plenty of questions: Is there a minimum balance required on the account? What about a monthly maintenance fee? Make sure that the account is the right fit for you and your needs.

Tip #3: Always read the fine print. We know this one is hard, but you want to pay special attention to any numbers that appear in the text. It’s a tedious task, but it’s better than getting stuck with fees that you weren’t expecting.

The bank you'll love

✓ 100% mobile ✓ No hidden fees ✓ No paperwork ✓ Free virtual Mastercard ✓ Free ATM withdrawals
Get started (new tab)
An elevated hand holding a transparent N26 Standard card.

Say goodbye to hidden fees with an N26 account

Make it easy on yourself and avoid all types of hidden fees with N26. We’re here to help you take control of your finances, and do not believe in surprising you with unexpected fees for basic account services. Discover the difference when you bank and live your way with an account that works for you.

Find similar stories

By N26

Love your bank

Related articles

These might also interest you

What’s an offshore account? A step-by-step guide to banking internationally

Offshore bank accounts used to get a bad rap, but in fact, they’re regular bank accounts — just located outside your home country. Learn what an offshore account is and how to open one.

Three Polaroid photos, the first one shows mother and son celebrating a birthday, the second one a couple on vacations, and the third on a couple renovating a room.

Buy Now, Pay Later: how to use installment shopping responsibly

Digital options to postpone your payments and easily create monthly installment plans are here to stay. What do you need to know to use Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services responsibly?

A couple reviewing the bills.

What is paid time off and how does it work?

What does PTO stand for and what do you need to know? Our guide explains the difference between paid time off and vacation.