A Glossary of Bank Account Fees

Bank account charges defined to help you understand types of bank fees better

You may see bank account fees on your monthly statements and wonder what they are and where they come from. Each account has its own fees and guidelines, so review the literature you receive on your account to learn specifics. But, this basic list of bank fees will give you an idea of the types of bank fees you can look for.

  • CD fees: If you decide to invest in a certificate of deposit, or CD, try to leave your money in the account for the duration of the investment period. If you access the money before your time is up you will need to pay a fee. The reason banks offer high interest rates on CDs is because you are guaranteeing that money will remain in the bank for a set period of time. When you remove your funds early you are breaking your agreement with the bank. Even a breakable CD may charge a fee if you dip into the funds more than once.
  • Check fees: You may also see check fees if you write more than your allotted number of checks a month. This is commonly seen with money market accounts as they have restrictions on the number of withdrawals you can make.
  • Closing fees: In order to insure their investment in you, banks may charge a fee for any account closed within a certain time period from the date it is opened. This fee is to cover any of the expenses the bank laid out opening the account that they would have been able to recoup through the general business practices had you left the account open. However some banks, including Citizens Bank, do not charge a closing fee on consumer checking accounts.
  • Excessive activity fee: Generally occurring on some checking and savings accounts, an excessive activity fee is charged if you withdraw too often from a restricted account. Savings accounts may have limits like six withdrawals a month to encourage you to leave your money in the account.
  • Inactivity fee: You may incur an inactivity fee for making too few transactions in any given month. These transactions could be debit card purchases, direct deposits or ATM withdrawals. Be sure to closely monitor your accounts so you don't dip below the minimum required balance or make too few transactions a month.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: This type of bank fee is assigned to some accounts in order to cover routine expenses and may be waived on some accounts if you meet predetermined requirements.
  • Overdraft fees: A fee charged by the bank when they pay an overdraft on your account. Overdraft fees  occur when you withdraw more than what is in your account. After a certain period of time, as set forth by the details of your account, you may face sustained overdraft fees. Continuous overdraft fees are smaller fees, in addition to the initial overdraft fee, charged on each day a negative balance remains in your account.
  • Paper statement fees: In order to encourage customers to receive online statements, which are more convenient for both the bank and consumer, bank account charges are assigned for each monthly paper statement sent out. Your bank will notify you in advance of this charge to give you ample time to sign up for online statements. If you choose to receive paper statements you will have to accept the fees that accompany them.
  • Returned Items Fees:You may see bank account charges for Returned Items on your statement. This is a fee charged by the bank when an item is returned unpaid because the Available Balance in your account is less than the amount of the item. Keep an accurate account of your transactions so you are not writing checks for money you don't have.

Talk to a Citizens Bank representative for information on specific bank account fees

The above list of bank fees is only meant to serve as a basic understanding of the types of bank fees you may face. Not every bank account charges these fees, and you should talk to your account manager to determine which bank account fees apply to you and how your good banking practices could help you avoid bank fees. For more information on Citizens Bank account fees, call 1-877-360-2472.


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