Selflender logo Back to Data & Guides

History of Banking Fees and Charges in America

Banks often charge fees to their customers for a number of reasons when using their accounts. Let’s look at how banking fees and charges have changed over time, and why banks charge their customers to use different services.

Key Statistics


What are banking fees?

Banking fees are any charges that banks and other financial institutions impose on their customers for setting up accounts, account maintenance, and withdrawals or transfers.

These fees might be charged once or continuously depending on the type of fee and the type of account you have. They can include ATM fees, late payment charges, non-sufficient funds fees, and many other charges.

A survey of 1,114 adults on behalf of Self Financial found that 46% of Americans believe the way we bank needs to change, but how have these banking fees changed over time?

Different types of banking fees

The types of banking fees you might have to pay will vary depending on the bank, the account, and how you use the account. Here are some of the most common banking fees and how they work. [1] Banking Fees and Charges Definitions

ATM fees and charges

If you need to get cash from an ATM while you’re out and about, it could cost you depending on which ATM you use. If you use an ATM that is within your own bank’s network, you usually won’t be charged an additional fee. However, banks charge non-customers between $2.00 and $3.00 to make a withdrawal from an ATM. Some ATMs also have separate charges which will be identified when you are withdrawing money, so it’s important to be aware of this as well.

Let’s learn more about the non-network and international ATM fees from some of the top U.S. banks.

All of the banks analyzed charge at least $2.00 for a non-network withdrawal, and at least $2.00 for an international withdrawal, although some international fees are charged as a percentage of the withdrawal amount.

Of the banks that do charge some ATM fees, Capital One and Frost Bank’s are the cheapest at $2.00 for a non-network withdrawal. Capital One charges $2.00 plus 3% for a non-network international withdrawal. Many of the other banks charge the highest rate of $3.00 for a non-network withdrawal, but Santander charges the most for a non-network international withdrawal at $6.00.

Bank Non-Network ATM Withdrawal Fee Non-Network International ATM Withdrawal*
Bank of America $2.50 $5.00
Capital One $2.00 $2.00 plus 3%
Chase $3.00 $5.00
Citi $2.50 N/A
First Horizon Bank $3.00 $3.00
Comerica Bank $2.00 $5.00
Fifth Third Bank $3.00 $5.00
HSBC Bank Fee is set by machine operator Fee is set by machine operator
KeyBank $3.00 $5.00
PNC Bank $3.00 $5.00
Regions Bank $3.00 $5.00
Santander $3.00 $6.00
TD Bank $3.00 3%
US Bank $2.50 $2.50
Union Bank Fee is set by machine operator Fee is set by machine operator
Wells Fargo Fee is set by machine operator $5.00
Huntington National Bank $3.00 3%
Bank of the West $3.00 2%
City National Bank $2.50 3%
Frost Bank $2.00 Fee is set by machine operator
Associated Bank $3.00 3%

Source [3] ATM Fees List

*Some banks may charge an additional fee if your ATM withdrawal is in a foreign country or foreign currency. Information is correct as of February 2023.

Checking account fees from different banks

Many of the top U.S. banks charge fees for a basic checking account, depending on your balance and how much you deposit. Below we can see the monthly fees from some of the most popular bank accounts, and the balances and deposits you’d need to avoid these fees.

Some banks will accept either the minimum balance or the minimum direct deposit to waive the fee, and some will accept a combined average balance across multiple eligible accounts.

Account Monthly Fee Minimum Balance to Waive Fee Direct Deposit Amount to Waive Fee
Chase Total Checking $12 $1,500 $500 (total)
Bank of America Advantage Plus $12 $1,500 $250 (single)
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking $10 $500 $500 (total)
Citibank Basic Banking Account $12 $1,500 Any amount + one bill payment
U.S. Bank Smartly Checking $6.95 $1,500 $1,000 (total)
PNC Bank Virtual Wallet® Account $7 $500 $500 (total)
Truist One Checking $12 $500 $500 (total)
TD Convenience Checking $15 $100 None
Capital One 360 Checking® Account None None None
Citizens One Deposit Checking $9.99 None Any amount
AVERAGE $10.77 $950 $541.67

Source [2] Checking Account Fees at the Top U.S. Banks

The information in this table is correct as of March 2023 and is subject to change.

Which bank charges the highest checking account fees?

Of the top banks listed above, TD Convenience Checking has the highest monthly account fee at $15, however they require the one of the lowest minimum balances at just $100 to avoid this fee. Second to this Bank of America, Chase Total Checking, Citibank, and Trust One Checking all charge a $12 monthly fee, but Trust One Checking requires the lowest minimum balance to waive the fee at $500.

Which bank charges the lowest fees?

The Capital One 360 Checking® Account charges no monthly fee with no minimum balance or minimum direct deposit, making this one definitely the lowest in terms of basic checking accounts.

Other banks that charge lower monthly fees are Citizens One and U.S. Bank. Citizens One charges $9.99 per month but has no minimum balance to waive this fee but it can be waived with a direct deposit of any amount. U.S. Bank charges $6.95 per month, but has a $1,500 minimum balance to waive the fee.

Change in banking fees over time

The average banking fees across the U.S. have changed over time, let’s take a look at some of the fees below and how they have changed since 2010.

Change in ATM and overdraft fees

The average person uses an ATM 3.8 times a month to withdraw cash, 2.5 times to deposit cash, and 2.2 times to deposit checks. [4] Demographics of ATM Use

In 1998, the average total fee for using an ATM outside of your bank’s network was $1.97. This included both the fee for using the other ATM and the average ATM surcharge. In 2021, this total fee had increased to $4.59, a hike of 133%.

Average overdraft fees in 1998 were $21.57, but this figure has increased by 55.6% to $33.58 in 2021. 

Year Avg Total ATM Fees for Out-of-Network Withdrawal
1998 $1.97
1999 $2.28
2000 $2.55
2001 $2.53
2002 $2.66
2003 $2.69
2004 $2.66
2005 $2.91
2006 $2.89
2007 $3.03
2008 $3.43
2009 $3.54
2010 $3.74
2011 $3.81
2012 $4.07
2013 $4.13
2014 $4.35
2015 $4.52
2016 $4.57
2017 $4.69
2018 $4.68
2019 $4.72
2020 $4.64
2021 $4.59
% Change +133%
Year Avg Overdraft Fee
1998 $21.57
1999 $22.62
2000 $23.74
2001 $24.70
2002 $25.30
2003 $25.80
2004 $25.81
2005 $26.90
2006 $27.40
2007 $28.23
2008 $28.95
2009 $29.58
2010 $30.47
2011 $30.83
2012 $31.26
2013 $32.18
2014 $32.74
2015 $33.07
2016 $33.04
2017 $33.38
2018 $33.23
2019 $33.36
2020 $33.47
2021 $33.58
% Change 55.6%

Source: Bankrate’s yearly checking account surveys

Change in minimum account balance fees

The minimum balances required on interest and non-interest checking accounts in the U.S. have changed considerably in recent years.

From 2010 to 2021, the minimum balance required on an interest checking showed a 154.8% increase from $3,883 in 2010 to $9,896.81 in 2021. There has been some slight fluctuation in this figure with a slight dip between 2016 and 2018, but it has generally followed an upward trend.

The minimum balance required for non-interest checking accounts more than doubled overall in this time period with an increase of 103.2% from an average of $249.50 to $507. However, this figure hit its peak in 2012 at $723.02 and has gradually decreased since then.

Year Min Balance on Interest Checking Accounts
2010 $3,883
2011 $5,587
2012 $6,117.80
2013 -
2014 -
2015 -
2016 $7,037
2017 $6,485
2018 $6,319
2019 $7,123
2020 $7,550.42
2021 $9,896.81
% Change +154.8%
Year Min Balance on Non-Interest Checking Accounts
2010 $249.50
2011 $587.82
2012 $723.02
2013 -
2014 -
2015 -
2016 $670
2017 $668
2018 $631
2019 $622
2020 $594
2021 $507
% Change +103.2

Source [5] Bankrate Yearly Checking Account Survey

Total annual banking fees

So how much would all of these fees add up to today if someone paid the average monthly fee, went into their overdraft, and always used out-of-network ATMs?

Each month this would amount to $82.18 in fees.

Fee Type Times per month Avg Monthly Charge Avg Annual Charge
Monthly Account Fee 1 $9.60 $115.20
ATM Use Out of Network 8.5 $39.00 $468.00
Overdraft 1 $33.58 $402.96
Total   $82.18 $986.16

Source [4] Demographics of ATM Use

How to avoid banking fees

With most banks, you’ll be able to avoid some or all of the fees associated with your account by taking a few steps.


Creative Commons License
You are leaving Self Close
Self Financial, Inc. and the issuer(s) of the Credit Builder Account and Secured Credit Card make no representation concerning and is not responsible for the quality, content, nature, or reliability of any hyperlinked site and is providing this hyperlink to you only as a convenience. The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification or monitoring by Self Financial, Inc and the issuer(s) of the Credit Builder Account and Secured Credit Card of any information in any hyperlinked site. In no event shall Self Financial, Inc. or the issuer(s) of the Credit Builder Account and Secured Credit Card be responsible for your use of a hyperlinked site.