The Fee Divide: How To Keep Fees At Bay

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The Fee Divide: How To Keep Fees At Bay

A recent survey tells us if you are Black or Hispanic, you are more likely to pay higher monthly banking fees compared to white Americans. Explore ways to offset this fee divide with three key steps.

Fee Inequalities

A recent Bankrate survey revealed white checking account holders paid $4.72 in monthly bank fees, while Black and Hispanic customers paid $12.45 and $18.29, respectively. Black and Hispanic customers reported fewer no-fee accounts and significantly higher fees than the overall average.

Although several factors drive this disparity between white and non-black account holders, the racial wealth gap and income gap may be contributing factors. Those with less financial means have lower account balances which can result in higher monthly bank fees.

New America reported in “The Racialized Cost of Banking” that the average cost of maintaining a checking account was $262.09 higher for Hispanics, $190.09 higher for Black Americans, and $25.53 higher for Asian Americans compared to white customers.

New America reported in “The Racialized Cost of Banking” that the average cost of maintaining a checking account was $262.09 higher for Hispanics, $190.09 higher for Black Americans, and $25.53 higher for Asian Americans compared to white customers.

Additionally, the report revealed:

  • Banks charge communities of color more for opening and maintaining basic, entry-level checking accounts. The minimum opening deposit is substantially higher in majority black neighborhoods ($80.60) and in neighborhoods without a racial majority ($97.00) than in white neighborhoods ($68.50). Opening deposit requirements are almost the same in majority Latinx ($68.60) as in white neighborhoods.
  • It is cheaper to maintain a checking account opened in a white neighborhood. A minimum balance of only $625.50 is required to avoid fees in a majority white neighborhoods, compared to $748.80 in majority Latinx neighborhoods, $870.50 in majority black neighborhoods, and $957.10 in other neighborhoods.

This raises concerns about systemic biases and unequal access to equitable financial services.

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#BankBlack To Avoid Fees

Bank with a bank built by our community, for our community! Let’s review the steps you can take to make sure fees are a thing of the past:

1. Choose a Fee-Friendly Account

Online banks and credit unions often have more customer-friendly fee structures compared to traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Look for accounts with no monthly maintenance fees.

Our Black Wall Street Checking account was built to put power back in your hands. No monthly fee here!

With just a $25 dollar deposit, you can open your OneUnited Bank checking account today.

2. Maintain a Minimum Balance

Some checking and savings accounts waive monthly maintenance fees if you maintain a minimum balance. Ensure you are aware of the minimum balance requirement for your account and consistently keep it above that threshold to avoid fees.

Fees won’t get you down or derail your plans to save! Stay ahead of the savings game with our BankBlack Savings account. Simply maintain a minimum balance of $200 a month to avoid maintenance service charges.

3. Set Up Direct Deposit or Regular Transfers

Many banks offer fee waivers if you have a regular direct deposit into your account. At OneUnited Bank, you can get paid up to two days early when you set up direct deposit. Alternatively, you can set up automatic transfers from another account to meet the minimum balance requirement. These automated transactions can help you avoid monthly maintenance fees.

Yes, with one direct deposit during the month, our monthly maintenance service membership fee will not be charged for the month on your BankBlack Savings account!

Even better, an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) credit or an AutoSave deposit transfer counts as a direct deposit. We are making it easier to limit the burden of fees!

A black man is smiling while using a laptop.

Keep a close eye on your account balance, transactions, and any potential fees. Be sure to activate Card Command in your OneUnited Bank mobile banking app to receive instant purchase notifications when you shop with your debit card. Timely awareness of overdrafts, low balances, or other alerts can help you take swift action.

Our mission is to offer affordable financial services and build our community’s wealth. Leave fees behind and #BankBlack!

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