Overdraft Fees: Compare What Banks Charge

Spencer TierneyFeb 3, 2021
Overdraft Fees: Compare What Banks Charge

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An overdraft fee is often one of the most expensive fees from a financial institution, but not all charge the same amount. And some don’t even have an overdraft fee.

» Looking to lower fees? Jump ahead to financial institutions with low or no overdraft fees.

Overdraft fees by institution

Financial institution

Overdraft coverage fee (per item)

Max fees per day

Total possible cost in a day (excludes extended overdraft fees)

$0 (a $28 fee will be charged initially, but as of Aug. 2, 2021, Alliant will refund all overdraft fees within 1-2 business days; and $0 for transfer from linked accounts)

N/A

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $28 (to be refunded within 1-2 business days)

$0; you have six business days to bring your balance back to positive to avoid your account being limited

N/A

$0

$35

4

$140

$35

4

$140

$36 (or $12.50 transfer fee per day from linked account)

6

$12.50 (transfers from linked account) to $216

$38, $32 in Calif. (or $12, $7 in Calif., transfer fee per day from linked account)

6

$7 or $12 (transfers from linked account) to $228 ($192)

$36 (or $10 transfer fee per day from linked account)

4

$10 (transfers from linked account) to $144

$25 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

Generally 5, may be higher with transactions involving BECU loan payments

$0 (transfers from linked account) to generally $125, may be higher with transactions involving BECU loan payments

$35 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

4

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $140

$25 (or $0 transfer fee from an overdraft source)

4

$0 (transfers from an overdraft source) to $100

$34 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

3

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $102

No overdraft fees

N/A

N/A

$34 (or $10 transfer fee per day from linked account)

4

$10 (transfers from linked account) to $136

$37 (or $12 transfer fee per day from linked account)

7

$12 (transfers from linked account) to $259

Comerica

Up to $38 (or $8-$16 transfer fee per day from linked account)

5

$8-$16 (transfers from linked account) to $190

$29.95 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

6

$0 (transfers from linked account) or $179.70

$30 (or $10 transfer fee from linked account)

4

$10 (transfers from linked account) to $120

No overdraft fees

N/A

N/A

$37 (or $10-$12 transfer fee from linked account)

5

$10-$12 (transfers from linked account) to $185

$35

3

$105

$38.50 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

5

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $192.50

$38.50 (or $12.50 per day from linked account)

5

$12.50 (transfers from linked account) to $192.50

$20 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

3

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $60

$36 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

4

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $144

$36 (or $12 transfer fee per day from linked account)

5

$12 (transfers from linked account) to $180

$35 (or $12 transfer fee per day from linked account)

6

$12 (transfers from linked account) to $210

$36 (or $12.50 transfer fee per day from linked account)

6

$12.50 (transfers from linked account) to $216

$35 (or $3 transfer fee per day from linked account)

5

$3 (transfers from linked account) to $175

$30 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

2

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $60

$33 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

5

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $165

$29 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

3

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $87

$36 (or $0 transfer fee from linked account)

4

$0 (transfers from linked account) to $144

$35 (or $12.50 transfer fee from linked account)

3

$12.50 (transfers from linked account) to $105

What is an overdraft fee?

When a transaction drops your checking account balance below zero, a financial institution will choose to reject or cover the transaction. You may be charged fees in either case. The charge for a rejected transaction or check is known as a nonsufficient funds fee, while the charge for an approved transaction is called an overdraft fee. Some providers charge multiple nonsufficient funds or overdraft fees per day if you make many transactions with a negative balance, meaning you could owe hundreds of dollars in penalties.

You can read our explainer on how to avoid overdraft fees. As a rule, it’s best to opt out of overdraft coverage for ATM or one-time debit card transactions if you think you will have issues with overdrafts. When you opt out, the negative debit or ATM transaction will be declined and you won’t be charged a fee.

If not paying your overdraft fees has gotten you placed into Chexsystems, you may want to look into opening a second chance checking account. These accounts are designed to help consumers qualify for a new checking account even with marks on their banking record.

Next: Second chance checking
Need a fresh start with your banking? Take a look at second chance checking accounts across the U.S.

Some providers don’t charge overdraft fees if an account is overdrawn by $5 or less at the end of the business day. So if you buy a $6 sandwich with $2 in your account, you would be exempt from a fee.

If you're looking for financial institutions with no or low overdraft fees, here are a few of our recommendations.

Institutions with low or no overdraft fees

Chime

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
  • No overdraft program or fees.

  • Free overdrafts up to $200 with SpotMe.

  • Highly rated mobile apps.

Chime, a nontraditional banking service, offers a program called SpotMe. Eligible customers who meet the requirements can overdraft up to $200 with no fee. Transactions that would overdraw the account by more than $200, or overdraft transactions by ineligible members, are generally declined. There are no overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees. The bank also has an early direct deposit program, so you can get your paycheck up to two days early.

Capital One 360

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
  • Free transfers from linked savings accounts.

Capital One 360 offers free overdraft protection transfers from a linked Capital One 360 savings account, and more conventional overdraft coverage at $35 per charge, which has a one business day grace period. If you don’t opt into these services, your transactions will be declined by the bank, free of charge except a $9 fee for any returned checks.

Discover Bank

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
  • No overdraft fee.

  • Offers free overdraft protection via linked account.

With Discover, you can link a qualifying savings or money market account for free transfers if you don’t have enough cash in your checking account. Otherwise, the bank will return the transaction that would cause a negative balance, at no charge to you.

TIAA Bank

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
  • Free transfers from linked accounts.

The online financial institution TIAA has a free overdraft protection transfer service from a linked account. Outside of this, you’d pay a $30 nonsufficient funds fee for each declined transaction, up to two per day, except for one-time debit card and ATM transactions.

Charles Schwab Bank

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
  • Free automatic transfers from savings and brokerage accounts.

This investment brokerage’s checking account doesn’t have fees for overdraft protection services. When you overdraft with your debit card, Schwab automatically pulls money from your linked Schwab One brokerage account or your Schwab savings account for free. If funds are not available, each transaction will trigger a $25 nonsufficient funds fee, up to $100 a day.

Overdraft protection

Outside of the financial institutions without any overdraft coverage fees, you can generally find a cheaper option with overdraft protection transfers.

These are opt-in programs that link a second account to your checking account. An overdraft would trigger a transfer from the second account to cover the transaction. The linked account can be a savings account, credit card, line of credit or even another checking account, depending on the provider’s policy. The cost of this transfer is around $10 or $12, although it can be cheaper. Sometimes the service is even free.

» Looking for a savings account with low fees and good rates? Read NerdWallet’s list of best savings accounts.

Make the most of your cash
Track all your spending at a glance to understand your trends and spot opportunities to save money.

How to get overdraft fees waived

If you’re charged an overdraft fee, here are some ways you may be able to get it waived.

  1. If you don’t have a history of negative transactions, contact your provider’s customer service department and ask if they will waive it.

  2. Ask about forgiveness policies. Some institutions have once-a-year fee forgiveness programs for customers in good standing.

  3. Ask about “rewind” programs. If you have an electronic deposit scheduled for your account that would have covered the overdrawn transaction, some providers will consider waiving the fee if the deposit arrives soon enough, usually by the next morning.

Overdraft fees, especially from overdraft coverage, are some of the steepest fees that financial institutions charge. Knowing these fees might help you decide whether to opt out of the programs or find cheaper overdraft alternatives that your provider offers.

» Want to learn more? Read NerdWallet’s explainer on overdraft fees for more on overdraft programs.

One logo
Learn More

Deposits are FDIC Insured

One Spend

One logo
APY

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Chime logo
Learn More

Deposits are FDIC Insured

Chime Spending Account

Chime logo
APY

N/A

Monthly fee

$0

Citibank, N.A. logo
Learn More

Member FDIC

Citi Priority Checking

Citibank, N.A. logo
APY

0.01%

Monthly fee

$30

LendingClub Bank logo
Learn More

Member FDIC

LendingClub Rewards Checking

LendingClub Bank logo
APY

0.10%

Monthly fee

$0

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