Any time you take out more money from your account than is in it, the bank will charge you an overdraft fee. Luckily, you can take a few steps to avoid overdraft fees from your bank’s checking accounts. The first step is ensuring your checking account balance is always above $0. Make sure to check your balance daily or at least weekly. Whenever you make a purchase that brings your balance below zero, make a deposit that same day if it comes to that.
Monitor Your Balance Daily
Keeping a close eye on your checking account balance in a FinTech app like Current is a good way to prevent overdraft fees. Many banks offer online and mobile tools that can help you check your balance at a glance. Some even allow you to set up alerts to know when your balance is close to zero.
An overdraft fee is a charge levied by your bank when your balance falls below a certain level. These fees are often triggered by purchases and transactions that need to clear your account. Some banks may even levy an additional fee if you deposit on the same day as the transaction.
You can use online or mobile banking tools to check your balance, but it may not include checks that have yet to clear. You can also go to your bank’s branch to check your balance. You can also check your balance at an ATM (automated teller machine).
In the past 12 months, more than one in ten adults paid an overdraft fee. These fees can range from a couple of dollars to more than $30.
Deposit Into Your Checking Account
Putting money into your checking account the same day a transaction causes it to go into overdraft will help you avoid paying overdraft fees. You may be accepted for ATM withdrawals or debit card purchases if you need more money in your account.
Most banks charge an overdraft fee, but you can avoid paying by keeping your balance in the black. This can be done by adding funds to your account or using an alternative overdraft plan from your bank.
It’s also a good idea to know when your balance is low. You can check your balance online, at a branch, or through a mobile app. You can also ask a customer service representative about the best ways to avoid overdraft fees.
If you regularly make electronic transfers, keep track of the amount and date of your deductions. You can also ask your bank for a low balance alert to let you know when you’re at risk of being declined for an ATM withdrawal or debit card purchase.
Opt-Out of Your Bank’s Overdraft Protection Program
Having overdraft protection is one of the biggest money-makers for banks. However, many consumers are unwittingly opting into these programs. Having your check or ACH payment declined can be embarrassing, leading to financial consequences. An overdraft can be avoided by opting out of your bank’s overdraft protection program.
When opening your checking account, you may have to opt for an overdraft protection program. Some banks automatically enroll customers, while others allow customers to choose overdraft coverage. Most banks charge $30 to $35 per transaction for overdraft fees, but some online banks offer overdraft protection for free.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is looking into overdraft programs. In 2011, the bureau found that banks use confusing rules to charge overdraft fees. They’re also looking into how transactions are processed. Especially when it comes to debit card purchases, they’re trying to determine how often transactions are processed in order of size.
Get a Refund
Getting a refund on an overdraft fee is possible, but knowing how to go about it is important. You can ask for a refund over the phone, in person, or by email. You will need to be polite and persistent to get your money back.
You will need to explain why you need a refund. This includes whether you are a loyal customer or if you are charged a fee for an extenuating circumstance. Examples of extenuating circumstances are illness or an unexpected charge. Having good reasons for requesting a refund can be important.
The first thing you should do when seeking a refund on an overdraft fee is to be polite. If you’re a good customer, you will be more likely to get a refund than someone who is a bad one.
You can ask to speak to a supervisor or manager if you still need to get a refund. You will also need to be polite when you request an overdraft fee refund in person. You can also ask for a refund via email or an online chat.