Table Of Content
What Is a Monthly Service Fee?
The monthly service fee is money clients must pay to maintain their bank accounts. The fee is usually deducted from your checking account by the end of each statement period.
With some banks, you have to pay a fixed monthly service fee in all cases. However, with most banks, you can avoid paying this fee if you meet a certain monthly requirement.
Here it is worth noting that there are several types of accounts where you have to pay maintenance fees, such as:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Money market accounts
- Investment accounts
Generally speaking, checking accounts tend to charge larger fees than savings or money market accounts. This makes sense since the primary purpose of deposit products is to earn some interest.
So if there are hefty fees, this will eat up all the earned interest. So this defeats the purpose of savings accounts. So this is why savings accounts have lower fees than checking accounts.
US Bank Checking Account vs. Savings Account Fees
To better understand how the account maintenance fees work, it is helpful to compare fees on US Bank checking accounts and savings accounts.
Here we can see that US Bank has the following fees for checking and savings accounts:
- Easy checking – This is similar to basic checking accounts. The monthly fee here is $6.95. You get a debit card, online and mobile banking access, and other benefits. You can waive this fee if you meet certain conditions, something we will discuss below in more detail.
- Gold Checking – This has a monthly service fee of $14.95. This account has an added benefit: you do not have to pay any fees on US Bank ATM withdrawals.
- Safe Debit account – This account has a fixed fee of $4.95 per month. This fee cannot be waived. It’s very similar to the basic checking account. The difference is that you cannot use checks here and cannot access overdraft.
- Platinum Checking – As the name suggests, this is an example of a premier checking account, where a client gets added benefits in exchange for higher fees. The service fee here is $24.95 per month, subject to waiving if you meet certain conditions. The added benefit is that you do not have to pay a fee for withdrawing money from ATMs, including non-US banks.
- Standard Savings Account – The monthly fee here is just $4. Here again, you can avoid that if you meet certain requirements.
How to Avoid US Bank Checking Account Fees?
As explained above, most of those fees are not set in stone. There are ways to avoid paying them. For example, with US Bank easy checking account, the monthly maintenance fee will be waived if you meet one of those three conditions:
- If the combined monthly direct deposits on the account are $1,000 or higher
- If you maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 or higher
- You are 65 or older
Each bank has its terms and conditions to waive monthly service fees. However, most cases revolve around keeping a minimum balance or receiving a certain amount of monthly payments.
So, in the above example, the easiest way to avoid paying service fees is to maintain a minimum balance of $1,500.
Another way to achieve this would be to arrange for your salaries, government benefits, and other sources of income to be paid via an electronic transfer to your checking account. You can save $6.95 monthly, up to $83.40 a year.
Now, if we look at the Platinum checking account, it does have a stricter requirement, where you have to keep a combined $25,000 on your checking and savings accounts or credit balances.
It is worth mentioning that it might be better to keep most of the money in the savings account since most checking accounts pay no interest. Even in those checking accounts that pay some interest, the rates are lower than on deposit accounts.
How to Avoid US Bank Savings Account Fees?
Fortunately, avoiding monthly service fees with savings accounts is, generally speaking, more accessible than doing so on checking accounts.
Returning to our example with US Bank standard savings account, here you can avoid payments if you maintain a daily balance on account of $300 or higher. So as we can see here, the minimum balance requirement is considerably lower than with any checking account. You also do not have to pay monthly service fees if you are under 18.
Some checking accounts and credit card accounts do offer the added benefit of waiving fees for the savings account. So this is something you might consider taking advantage of.
Therefore, as we can see from the above example, it does not take much of an effort or financial commitment to avoid paying service fees with savings accounts.
Does US Bank Offer a Checking Account With No Fees?
We have already discussed what the requirement for waiving monthly fees is. But the obvious question is this: are there any accounts at US bank with no monthly fees at all?
Well, the fact of the matter is that it is tough to find such checking accounts with major banks. However, the US Bank offers one checking account with no monthly maintenance fees.
This is called a student checking account. As the name suggests, this checking account is designed for students. So if you are not a student, then the only way to avoid paying monthly maintenance fees is to meet one of the requirements described above.
How are US Bank Monthly Fees Compared to Other Traditional Banks?
Generally speaking, in most cases, the US bank monthly fees for checking accounts are lower than with most traditional banks. This is true, especially when it comes to the major US banks.
For example, with Chase Total Checking Account, the monthly maintenance fee is $12. This is more than 70% higher than US Bank's easy checking account, but Chase also offer some options to waive it.
On the other hand, if we compare US Bank Platinum Checking Account to Chase Premium Plus Checking Account, the monthly fees here are very similar; they are close to $25. In fact, one can argue that the small 5-cent difference here is because US Bank is simply using psychological pricing strategy here by fixing the monthly fee at $24.95.
Here we can conclude that US Bank offers lower monthly maintenance fees when it comes to basic checking accounts, competing with some of the other major US banks such as Wells Fargo maintenance fees. At the same time, in the case of Premium type checking accounts, the US Bank offers similar rates to its major competitors.
How to Avoid US Bank Overdraft Fees?
One benefit that the US bank offers to its clients is that if the size of the overdraft is $50 or lower, they will not be charged overdraft fees on that day.
On the other hand, if the size of the overdraft is higher than $50, you will be charged an overdraft fee. The US bank also offers bank overdraft fee forgiveness if you pay off your negative balance by 11 PM during the next business day.
Another way to avoid this fee is to have a US Bank Safe Debit account. Here, you cannot use overdraft. So if the value of a transaction is higher than your available balance, then it will be rejected by the system. So with this account, you do not need to worry about overdraft fees.
How to Avoid US Bank ATM Fees?
You can save a considerable amount of money if you only withdraw from ATMs that belong to your bank. Since using other banks, ATMs have some hefty fees, which will be deducted from your account.
However, if you still have to use other bank ATMs from time to time, then there are other options to avoid paying fees.
You can avoid paying any US bank ATM fees if you have a Gold or Platinum checking account. There is one notable difference between those two accounts. With a Gold checking account, the only benefit is that you do not have to pay any ATM fees belonging to the US bank.
On the other hand, with a Platinum checking account, the benefit of no ATM fees also extends to all other banks. So this can be pretty handy if you use other banks’ ATMs.
How are US Bank's Monthly Fees Compared to Other Online Banks?
As we have seen from the above examples, US bank offers somewhat better rates in some cases than other major American Banks. However, this is not the case if we compare US banks to what online banks offer.
The fact is that several online banks, like Ally Bank, do not charge any maintenance fees on the checking account. So, if you want to avoid paying monthly service fees without maintaining any minimum balances, then choosing one of the online banks might be a better idea.
Which Checking Accounts Don't Charge Monthly Fees?
Here is the list of some of the checking accounts which do not charge any monthly fees:
- Ally Bank Interest Checking Account
- Capital One 360 Checking Account
- First Citizens Free Checking Account
- Schwab Bank Investor High Yield Checking Account
These are just some examples; there are indeed dozens of other checking accounts you might take advantage of which do not charge any maintenance fees.
In some cases, US Bank might offer better rates compared to some major US banks. However, when it comes to online banks, they might provide better value to the customers.
So whether or not US Bank is a good bank depends upon your priorities.
According to the US Bank website, the Qualifying deposits include:
- Direct deposits
- Branch deposits
- Mobile check deposit
- AHC Transfers
- Wire Transfers
A Daily balance refers to the actual balance on the specific account at the beginning and end of each day. On the other hand, the combined balance includes the total amount of money on checking, savings, and money market accounts.
For example, if an individual has a combined balance of $25,000 or higher, he or she does not have to pay a monthly maintenance fee on the US Bank Platinum Checking Account.
The US Bank does offer a $500 cash bonus to new business banking customers. However, for new clients to get a bonus, they must meet three requirements:
- Deposit $1,500 in new money within 30 days of opening the account
- Enroll in US Bank mobile banking or online banking
- Complete at least ten qualifying transactions within 60 days of opening the account
Once you meet those requirements, the bank will pay a $500 bonus to your current business account.
As of March 2023, the interest rates on US Bank savings accounts are at 0.01%, and the same goes for other major US banks. So there is not a significant difference here.
However, when it comes to online banks, they do offer higher interest rates. For example, Ally Bank pays 3.40% on its instant access deposits. This shows that in most cases, online banks offer more attractive interest rates on savings accounts compared to US bank
Most U.S. Bank cards don't require an annual fee.
For example, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee, and it also offers 4x points at restaurants, take-outs & deliveries, 2x points at supermarkets, gas stations & streaming servicesm and 1 point for 1 dollar on all other purchases .
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is a decent card with no annual fee and generous cash-back rewards – 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose, 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants, 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.