Last Updated: March 10, 2023
If you’ve ever been charged overdraft fees, you know how frustrating they can be—not only do they come with a hefty price tag, but they can also be difficult to get refunded.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to get overdraft fees refunded in a few easy steps. We’ll also provide some tips on how to avoid these fees in the future, and discuss whether they affect your credit score.
Let’s get started!
What Is an Overdraft Fee?
An overdraft occurs when you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a transaction. This can happen if you write a check or make an ATM withdrawal for more than what’s in your account, or use your debit card to make a purchase that exceeds your account balance.
Overdraft fees are typically around $35 per transaction, and can quickly add up if you have multiple overdrafts in a single day. In addition to the fees, your bank may also charge interest on the amount of money you’ve overdrawn.
|DID YOU KNOW: Statistics on credit scores show that as of 2020, about 21.5% of consumers have over 800 FICO credit scores.|
How Much Is an Overdraft Fee?
Although they can vary from bank to bank, overdraft fees typically range from $25 to $35 per transaction, although many banks won’t charge one for overdraft amounts of less than $5 or so. In addition, some banks don’t charge overdraft fees at all, or charge an amount lower than the typical range. Nevertheless, as you’ll incur a separate charge for each overdraft transaction, be careful not to make too many so you don’t have to pay quite a hefty amount.
Here’s an example of overdraft fees for some of the major financial institutions:
|Bank||Overdraft Fee||Extended Overdraft|
|Bank of America||$10||N/A|
|PNC Bank||$36||$7 daily|
|The Huntington National Bank||$37.50||$25 every 5 days|
|Wells Fargo Bank||$35||$0|
|Chase Bank||$34||$15 every 5 days|
Having seen the typical range of these fees for some of the major financial institutions, depending on your situation, you might want to consider increasing your credit card limit!
How to Get Overdraft Fees Refunded?
If you’re like most people, you probably hate getting charged overdraft fees—after all, who wants to pay extra for something that could have easily been avoided in the first place?
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get overdraft fees refunded. Read on below to find out exactly what to do.
Steps for Getting Overdraft Fees Refunded
If you’re hoping to get a refund on your overdraft fees, here’s what you need to know:
1. Get Yourself Prepared
Although requesting an overdraft refund can be time-consuming, having all your documentation ready will make the procedure go much more smoothly. When you call your bank, you should have the following information prepared:
- The amount of the overdraft fees cost
- When the fees were incurred
- What transactions resulted in an overdraft on your account
- Your postal code
- Your social security number
- Your banking information
Before asking for an overdraft fee refund, go through your online or physical bank statements to see all the transactions and fees associated with your account, as having this information on hand may facilitate your communication with the bank customer service agent.
2. Call Your Bank
Once you’ve prepared all your information, it’s time to call your bank. It’s better to do this right away than to wait until you see you’ve been charged an overdraft fee, since you can end up paying more if you allow these fees to accumulate. You can find the number you should call printed on the back of your debit card as well as on the bank’s website and mobile app.
When it comes to requesting overdraft fee refunds and getting overdraft fees waived, phone calls are frequently the most effective method. However, you might also be able to send your bank a secure message via the internet, but although this option seems more simple, not all banks offer it.
3. Explain What Happened and Make a Request
Be honest and upfront with your bank about why you incurred the overdraft fee to give them a better understanding of your situation and possibly make them more likely to refund the fee. For example, some of the reasons why clients may experience overdraft fees and want to get bank overdraft fees refunded are delayed job payments, having some financial difficulties, getting laid off, or making an unexpected transaction.
Also, it’s good to offer a timeline for when you’ll be in good standing again to let the bank know you’re working to resolve the problem on your part.
4. Point Out Your History as a Customer
You may have a better chance of getting an overdraft fee reimbursed if you’ve been a consistent customer and don’t have a history of overdraws or late payments. Include this information throughout your conversation, and if you’d like, prepare what you’re going to say in advance to guarantee you don’t forget anything.
5. Always Be Polite
When trying to get overdraft fees back, don’t forget to be persistent but kind. The agent you’re talking to can automatically approve the refund of your overdraft fee, but if they don’t, make sure to maintain your composure and refrain from arguing or using foul language. If the agent you’re speaking with isn’t amenable to being convinced, consider asking to speak to a supervisor.
6. Get a Second Opinion
If you’re not getting anywhere with your bank, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. You can call another customer service representative or even go into the branch and talk to someone in person.
|An overdraft occurs when you have insufficient funds in your account but need to pay for a transaction.|
|Overdraft fees are typically around $35 per transaction, and can quickly add up if you have multiple overdrafts in a single day.|
|You can always contact your bank and ask to get your overdraft fees back.|
|When asking for a refund, explain why the situation happened in the first place and remember to stay polite!|
How to Avoid Overdraft Fees?
Overdraft costs might be eligible for reimbursement after the fact, but how can you avoid them in the first place? If you wish to reduce future overdraft fees, take into account the following advice:
Set Digital Alerts
For a more individualized banking experience, you can frequently adjust notification and alert settings using online banking and mobile apps. Typically, you can configure alerts to notify you when the amount in your bank account reaches a specified level. Low balance notifications may keep you from going over your available balance, helping you avoid overdraft penalties.
Check Your Account Balance Regularly
Knowing how much money you have in your bank account reduces your likelihood of using more than you have and incurring an overdraft fee. So, instead of wondering how to get overdraft fees waived, try to regularly check your available balance through mobile banking or online accounts, or by calling your bank. If you need help keeping an eye on your account balance, consider using a budgeting program like Simplifi to monitor your spending and set financial objectives at the same time.
Pick a Bank That Doesn’t Charge Fees
While it may mean they don’t provide any overdraft protection services, certain banks don’t charge overdraft fees on all checking accounts. If you frequently overdraw your account and your current bank charges overdraft fees, switching to one that doesn’t may be worthwhile, just be sure to mind the additional costs like ATM and returned check fees.
Link to Another Account
To reduce the danger of an overdraft so you can stop wondering whether you can get overdraft fees refunded, several banks let you link backup accounts to your checking account—a different savings or bank account, credit card, or line of credit.
Your bank can then use the money from an alternative checking or savings account you linked to make up the difference if your account doesn’t have enough money in it to cover the purchase. To find out if this is a possibility for you, contact your bank.
Get a Prepaid Debit Card
As there are many kinds of credit cards, it’s totally understandable to be in a dilemma whether to choose a debit or credit card! However, in this case, a prepaid debit card could be the answer if you still struggle to balance your checking account. With these cards, you can deposit, withdraw, and spend money like with a debit card, but they’re not connected to checking accounts.
However, although prepaid debit cards usually don’t have overdraft services and associated fees available, you could be charged for declined transactions. Find a card that offers what you require while having little fees, and you won’t have to worry about getting overdraft fees waived.
Do Overdraft Fees Affect Your Credit?
Although overdraft fees generally don’t directly affect your credit score, if you consistently overdraw your account and don’t pay the fees, your bank may close your account. This can lead to negative marks on your credit report if the account is sent to collections. Keep in mind that using a prepaid debit card instead of a checking account can help you avoid overdraft fees, and may be a better option for those with poor credit.
Conversely, if you need to fix your credit score, you should consider some of the top companies offering credit repair in 2022!
So, there you have it—if you find yourself being charged overdraft fees, don’t despair, as there are ways to get bank overdraft fees refunded. By following the steps outlined above, you can increase your chances of getting a refund. And, if all else fails, remember you can always take your business elsewhere—there are plenty of banks and credit unions that don’t charge overdraft fees, so you don’t have to put up with them if you don’t want to.
It depends on your bank or credit union’s policies—some banks will refund multiple fees, while others may only refund one or two. If you’re not sure what your bank’s policy is, give them a call and ask.
Yes, in some cases you may be able to get other bank fees refunded as well, including things like monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, and foreign transaction fees. Again, it depends on your bank’s policies, so give them a call to find out what they can do for you.
If you’re still wondering how to get overdraft fees refunded, you aren’t alone. As explained in the article above, you first need to prepare all the info and explain why your situation happened. When calling your bank, be polite and let them know you’re a good customer who’s never had any problems before.