26 Common Hidden Bank Fees You Can't Afford to Ignore
Being stung by hidden bank fees is frustrating; having one fee lead to another is even worse.
7 min read
Everybody loves surprises… except when they’re from your bank. Being stung by hidden bank fees is frustrating; having one fee lead to another is even worse. It’s also something you could avoid if you knew where to look for them. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a detailed list of 26 hidden fees to help you next time you’re about to do your banking. Be sure to bookmark it.
1. Maintenance fee
Maintenance fees are similar to service fees. If you fail to meet certain requirements (like not setting up a direct deposit or not enrolling in paperless statements), your bank may charge you a monthly fee of anywhere from $3 to $30 per month just to “maintain” your account.
2. Minimum balance fee
Some banks require you to keep a minimum amount of money in your account at all times (this can also be included in the requirements for fee #1). If your balance falls below that threshold, you’ll pay a minimum balance fee.
3. Overdraft fee
Let’s say you have $100 in your account but you spend $150. As you’ve overspent, your bank covers the difference and hits you with an overdraft fee. This is typically around $35.
4. Extended overdraft fee
If it takes you more than a day to pay back the overdrawn money, your bank might charge an extended overdraft fee of anywhere from $2-$10 per day until you pay the money back. This amount is on top of the original $35 overdraft fee (see #3).
5. Nonsufficient funds fee
Unlike fees #3 & #4 where the bank covers your insufficient funds, an NSF fee occurs when the bank doesn’t cover you. If you’ve written a check, it may bounce (which could result in you being charged fee #6). If you’re using a debit card, your card may be declined.
6. Returned item fee
If you write a check and it bounces – meaning it is returned to your bank because you didn’t have enough money in your account to cover it – you’ll have to pay a returned item fee.
7. Stop payment fee
You may be charged a stop payment fee if you need to cancel a check. This fee isn’t small, either: it can easily be over $30 depending on your bank. Be aware, too, that you may also have to pay fee #8 if you stop a payment.
8. Check image service fee
Here’s a scenario: You send a check only to later realize it has been lost in the mail. As you don’t want a stranger cashing your lost check, you cancel it. Your bank is now required to send you an image of the canceled check along with your monthly statement. If you’ve opted to receive paper statements (fee #9 on our list) you’ll pay a check image service fee for the canceled check.
9. Paper statement fee
There may be times in life when you need a paper copy of your monthly bank account statement (applying for a new apartment, filing your taxes, etc.). To cover the cost of printing and mailing these copies to you, your bank may charge you $2 to $3 a month.
10. Account statement copy fee
Your bank may charge you an account statement copy fee (usually around $3 to $5) if you need any extra photocopies of old checks, deposit slips, or monthly statements.
11. Returned mail fee
If you move and forget to update your address, your bank might charge you a returned mail fee if any snail mail they send you is returned as undeliverable. Generally speaking, this fee is around $5 (and it’s pretty ridiculous in our opinion).
12. Card replacement fee
If your debit card is lost or stolen, your bank may charge a card replacement fee, which covers the cost of producing and mailing your new card to you. Most banks offer expedited shipping if you need your card in a hurry.
13. ATM operator’s fee
You know the situation: you’re out with friends on Friday night and you need cash to cover your share of the dinner bill. Your bank isn’t nearby, so you’re forced to go to the closest ATM. If it’s not an ATM affiliated with your bank, you’ll be charged an ATM operator’s fee (anywhere from $2.50 to $10, depending on the type).
14. Out-of-network ATM fee
If you thought #13 was bad enough, there are times when your own bank may charge you an additional fee because you didn’t use its ATM. In other words, you pay two fees – one from the ATM operator and one from your own bank. This out-of-network ATM fee is usually around $2-$3.50. Talk about adding insult to injury.
15. International ATM withdrawals
Need to withdraw money from an ATM while abroad? Your bank may require you to pay anywhere from $2 to $7 plus a percentage based on the total withdrawal amount.
16. Foreign transaction fee
Picture the scene — you’re in London and you treat yourself and a friend to a fancy dinner. You pay with your debit card. Because the purchase wasn’t made in US dollars (USD), your bank charges a 2-3% foreign transaction fee. In other words, that dinner that would’ve been $60 ends up being $61.80. The extra fee may seem small, but it can quickly add up.
17. Excess activity fee
Some banks limit the number of online transactions you can make from your savings account to around 6 per month, though your bank may lower the limit at its discretion. If you go over it, the bank will charge you an excess activity fee.
18. Inactivity fee
If your account is inactive for anywhere between one to five years (depending on your state of residency), your bank will charge you an inactivity fee (usually around $50). Once the fee is deducted from your account, they’ll send the rest of your money to your state treasury.
19. Account closure fee
If you close your bank account too quickly (usually within 90 to 180 days), your bank will charge an account closure fee. Setting up an account isn’t easy, so this fee is the bank’s way to stop you from undoing their hard work.
20. Online bill pay fees
If you use a mobile payment service with your bank (e.g. POPMoney or Zelle), you may have to pay an online bill pay fee to cover the transaction. While this fee is usually just a few dollars, some banks may charge a percentage of the amount you’re sending.
21. ACH bank transfer fee
An ACH bank transfer is when you move money from one bank to another. If you have accounts with multiple banks and want to redistribute your money, your bank may require you to pay an ACH bank transfer fee of at least $3. The transfer can take anywhere from 1-5 days to process.
22. Wire transfer fee
Wire transfers are similar to ACH bank transfers (fee #21) in that they move money from one place to another. Unlike ACH transfers, however, wire transfers are quicker and can be used to transfer money internationally. The drawback is that they are much more expensive – a wire transfer fee is usually around $25.
23. Cashier’s check fee
If you need to send a check for a sizeable amount via snail mail and want added security, the best thing to do is to obtain a cashier’s check from your bank. Be aware, however, that you will have to pay a cashier’s check fee of up to $10 for this added security.
24. Teller fee
If your bank requires you to visit a retail branch and speak with a teller for customer support, it might come with a price tag (in this case, a teller fee).
25. Cash deposit fee
If you make a significant cash deposit of upwards of $10,000, your bank may charge you a cash deposit fee. Although these fees may seem tiny in isolation (e.g. 20 cents for every $100), they do add up.
26. Investigation fee
If you believe your account has been exposed to fraudulent activity, you can request an investigation from your bank. In return, your bank may charge you an investigation fee.
With N26, banking is fast, flexible, and transparent. Open an N26 account directly from your phone and experience banking with no hidden fees. Yes, that’s right — no minimum account balance, no insufficient funds fee, no maintenance charges, and no foreign transaction fees when you shop using your N26 card internationally.
The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
Maybe some of these will interest you