10 Common Fees and Charges on Savings Account and How to Avoid Them

Saving money is smart, but sometimes the fees and charges on your savings account can surprise you. Banks have a list of fees that might reduce your savings without you even noticing. We’re here to guide you through the 10 most common fees and charges that come with savings accounts. More importantly, we’ll show you simple ways to avoid them or lessen their impact. Whether you’re just starting to save or you’ve been at it for a while, understanding these fees can help you keep more of your money.

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1. Monthly Maintenance Fees

It’s common for banks to charge a monthly fee to keep your account running, but you don’t always have to pay it. Here’s how you can avoid or lower these fees.

  • Choose the Right Account: Every bank offers different kinds of savings accounts. Some come with no monthly fees at all, especially if you agree to save a certain amount of money in your account or if you use other services from the bank.
  • Monitor Your Balance: Most banks will waive the monthly fee if you keep a certain amount of money in your account. Make it a habit to check your balance regularly to ensure it meets the bank’s minimum requirement.

2. ATM Fees

Withdrawing money from ATMs not owned by your bank can lead to extra charges. If you take out money often, these charges can add up.

  • Use Your Bank’s ATMs: Always look for ATMs that belong to your bank. Most banks have a locator on their website or app to help you find the nearest one.
  • Plan Your Withdrawals: Think about how much money you’ll need for the week or month and withdraw it all at once from your bank’s ATM. This way, you won’t have to pay extra fees for using other ATMs.

3. Overdraft Fees

If you spend more than what’s in your account, the bank might cover it but will charge you a big fee for the favour.

  • Opt-Out of Overdraft Protection: You can tell your bank that you don’t want overdraft protection. This means any purchase that would put your account in the negative just gets declined, and there is no fee involved.
  • Set Up Alerts: Most banks will let you set up an alert to tell you when your account balance is getting low. This way, you can add more money before you accidentally go over.

4. Minimum Balance Fee

Some accounts require you to keep a certain amount of money in your account. If you go below this, you might have to pay a fee.

  • Understand the Requirements: Know exactly how much money you need to keep in your account to avoid the fee. This information is usually in your account agreement or on the bank’s website.
  • Choose an Account Without Minimum Balance Requirements: If keeping a certain amount in your account is tricky, look for one that doesn’t need a minimum balance.

5. Account Inactivity Fees

Some banks charge a fee if you don’t use your account for a set period. This could mean no deposits, withdrawals, or any other transactions for several months or years. These fees can slowly drain an account you might be saving for the future.

  • Keep Your Account Active: The simplest way to avoid inactivity fees is to keep your account active. You don’t need big transactions; even small ones can keep your account in the clear.
  • Close Unnecessary Accounts: If you have multiple accounts and some of them are just sitting idle, it might be time to close them. Before you do, check if there are any dormant fees or if closing the account could impact your credit score.

6. Foreign Transaction Fees

When you use your debit card abroad or make online purchases in foreign currencies, you might be charged extra fees. These fees can make your purchases more expensive than expected.

  • Use Travel-Friendly Cards: Some banks offer debit cards designed for travellers, which means they don’t charge extra for making purchases in other countries. It’s worth asking your bank if they have such cards and what you need to do to get one.
  • Consider Other Payment Methods: If you’re travelling or buying things from international websites, think about using local cash or a prepaid travel card. These options might help you avoid foreign transaction fees altogether.

7. Excess Transaction Fees

Sometimes, there’s a limit to how many withdrawals or transfers you can make from your savings account without paying a fee. Going over this limit can cost you.

  • Monitor Your Transactions: Monitor how often you’re using your savings account. Knowing how many transactions you’ve made in a month can help you stay within the limit and avoid extra charges.
  • Use a Checking Account for Regular Transactions: If you find yourself making a lot of transactions, it might be better to use a checking account for your day-to-day expenses. Checking accounts usually allow more transactions without fees.

8. Online Transfer Fees

Sending money to someone else’s account, especially with a different bank, might lead to a charge for each transfer.

  • Use Internal Transfers: If possible, transfer money to accounts within the same bank. These transfers are often free.
  • Explore Free Transfer Options: Many banks now offer ways to send money online without fees, like through mobile apps or online banking. Check if your bank offers a free service for sending money to other accounts.

9. Paper Statement Fees

Some banks charge you a small fee for sending a paper statement in the mail.

  • Switch to E-Statements: You can avoid this fee by choosing to receive electronic statements instead. Most banks offer this option, and it’s simple to make the switch through your online banking portal or by calling customer service.
  • Review Your Account Settings: Log into your online banking and check your preferences. Make sure you’ve opted for electronic statements to save on fees and help the environment.

10. Replacement Card Fees

Losing your debit card or needing a new one for any reason might mean paying a fee for the replacement.

  • Keep Your Card Safe: Being careful with where you keep your card can prevent loss or theft. Consider using a cardholder or a specific spot in your wallet or purse for your card.
  • Understand the Replacement Process: Familiarise yourself with your bank’s policy on card replacements, including any fees. Some banks offer the first replacement for free or at a reduced cost.


Fees and charges on a savings account can diminish your savings if not carefully managed. By staying informed and making smart choices, such as selecting accounts with favourable terms and using banking services wisely, you can keep more of your money where it belongs – in your account. Always read the fine print and ask your bank about ways to avoid or minimise fees. Your savings account should help you grow your wealth, not deplete it with unnecessary charges.

Pursuing MCA from the University of Delhi, Saurabh Saha is an experienced blogger and internet marketer. Through his popular technology blogs: TechGYD.COM & Sguru.org, he is helping several brands to gain exposure in front of high-quality web visitors.