Savings Account Costs and Limitations

While savings accounts typically are free, there are limitations and potential costs. Accounts generally have minimum balances they require you to maintain.

Banks often will charge a monthly fee, an annual fee, or both if you do not maintain this minimum balance. The fees will be withdrawn from your account, so there is a possibility you also could be charged overdraft fees if the account balance goes below zero.7

Credit unions don’t charge fees the same way banks do. Instead, most put a hold on a specified dollar amount that you must deposit when you open your account. For example, if the amount being held is $25, you’ll need to deposit that money to start your account, and you won’t have access to it for as long as your account is open.

When you close the account, you’ll get that money back. Credit unions may charge overdraft fees and require minimum balances for their accounts. Because their requirements vary, you must check with one of their representatives to verify.8 9

Some banks or credit unions will charge no fees for a savings account if you also have another account with that institution.10 For example, opening a checking account may give you access to a savings account with no additional fees, but if you close your checking account while keeping the savings account, the fee structure likely will change.

Because savings accounts are designed for savings, there also is a limit to the number of withdrawals that can be made. The Federal Reserve sets this number at six, as of 2020.11

If you make more withdrawals than this, the bank likely will change your account to a checking account or another similar transaction account, which may come with a different fee structure.11

Check with your individual bank to see how they address this.

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