How to get overdraft fees refunded at different banks

Some banks waive overdraft fees with timely follow-up.

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  • Some national banks charge up to $35 a day in overdraft fees.
  • If you contact your bank within one day and have an acceptable reason, the fee can be refunded.
  • If you don't get a refund, repair your account and see if your bank offers overdraft protection.
  • Read on Insider how to qualify for a bank account if you have a bad banking history.

Still charged by several national banks such as Chase and Bank of America, overdraft fees apply when you overdraw money from your account. These fees can be as much as $35 for each overdraft.

Fortunately, you may be able to get a refund of your overdraft fee if you fix the problem promptly and have an acceptable reason for waiving the fee.

How to get overdraft fees refunded

Once you see an overdraft fee on your account, talk to a customer representative at your financial institution to see if the fee is waived.

Here's a rundown of specific scenarios in which ten of the largest banks often waive overdraft fees:

  • Bank of America: Bank of America does not have a specific policy for waiving overdraft fees. You'll need to call customer support to see if you might be eligible for a refund.
  • Chase: Track with Overdraft Assistant, you won't have to pay an overdraft fee if you overdraw $50 or less or deposit money into your account within one business day. Chase Overdraft Assist is available for all checking accounts except Chase First Checking, Chase High School Checking and Chase Secure Checking.
  • Wells Fargo: With overdraft returns, Wells Fargo will waive or refund overdraft fees and insufficient funds fees if a direct deposit is made to your bank account by 9:00 a.m. in your time zone the day after you withdraw funds from your account. Let's say you have 100 USD in your account and take out 150 USD. If you deposit your paycheck by the next morning, Wells Fargo will refund the overdraft fee.
  • City bank: Citibank does not list a specific situation for waiving overdraft fees. You'll need to call or message customer service through the bank's mobile app to find out if the fee will be waived.
  • US Bank: US Bank only charges an overdraft fee if your bank account is less than $5. You must call customer service to request a refund if you are overdrawn more.
  • Trust Bank: Truist Bank will waive the overdraft fee if your transaction is under $5. Call customer service if your account has a higher negative balance.
  • PNC Bank: PNC Bank allows a refund of the goodwill fee if you overdraw within the first year of opening your PNC Virtual Wallet student account. On all PNC accounts, you will receive a refund if the account has a negative balance of $5 or less.
  • TD Bank: TD Bank Beyond checking account comes with overdraft payback. Overdraft Payback will refund the first two overdraft fees on your account each year (up to $70 USD).
  • Fifth Third Bank's Momentum Checking Account: Fifth Third Bank offers "Extra Time" with Fifth Third Bank's Momentum Checking Account. If you deposit money into your account before midnight ET the following business day after you overdraw your account, you won't have to pay an overdraft fee.
  • Citizens Bank One Deposit Checking Account: Citizens Bank waives the overdraft fee if you have a negative balance of $5 or less. All checking and money market accounts also come with Citizens Peace of Mind. Peace of Mind will notify you if your account is overdrawn and will refund money if you deposit money into your account by 10 p.m. ET on the next business day. Remember, you won't get a refund if you transfer money through Citizen's mobile app or ATM, or deposit a check from another bank.
  • Regions Banks: Regions Bank will refund an overdraft fee one time if you contact them within one day of your account being overdrawn.

If your situation doesn't fit these circumstances, contact your bank anyway. Your bank may still be able to waive the fee if it's your first time overdrawing or you've been with the bank for a long time.

What to do if you can't cover your overdraft fees

Unfortunately, you can't always refund an overdraft fee. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps you should take to avoid any negative repercussions in the future.

Repair the account as soon as possible

Although it might leave a sour taste in your mouth, paying the overdraft fee is the best option. To fix the problem, you'll need to deposit enough money into your account to bring it back to a positive balance.

Overdraft fees can pile up if you don't pay off your account soon. Avoiding using your bank account will only add to the problem. Some banks will close your bank account if your account is inactive or if you have significant overdraft fees.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumer reporting agencies may report your closed bank account to other institutions if you decide to open another account in the future. A bank account history can impact you for up to seven years, so it's best to repair your account as early as possible.

Sign up for notifications

Some institutions send alerts when your account balance is low.

PNC Bank, Bank of America and Chase email and text message alerts to notify you when your account falls below a certain amount or you make a large transaction.

Get free overdraft protection

Some institutions also offer free overdraft protection. With free overdraft protection, you won't have to pay an overdraft fee or a fee for using overdraft protection. Instead, a bank usually transfers money from another bank account and takes over the amount withdrawn.

Not all institutions offer free overdraft protection. So check first to see if your bank offers overdraft protection. Then, check the program to make sure no fees apply.

Most institutions list these fees in a fee schedule. Look online for a list of fees. If none is available, request it from your bank.

Stay up to date on your account balance

After you deposit money into your account and pay your overdraft fee, keep your balance by checking it regularly.

Find a time frame that works for you – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly – and set up a reminder so you don't forget.

If you don't quite understand how your bank statement works, read this explanation here.

Consider switching banks if you're still having trouble

If you still have a hard time managing your account, it may not be the best account for you. You should consider switching banks to one that better suits your needs.

Many online banks and credit unions either have free overdraft protection or do not charge overdraft fees. Check this list for possible checking account options.

Note: According to a statement from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, banks have relied on overdraft fees and insufficient funds fees as a source of revenue in recent years. As a result, the CFPB will be scrutinizing banks more closely. You have the option to file a complaint if you have concerns about how your bank charges fees.

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