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Overdraft Fees: Compare What Banks Charge

Aug. 10, 2018
Overdraft Fees: What Banks Charge
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An overdraft fee is one of the most expensive fees banks charge, but not all banks charge the same amount. And some don’t even have an overdraft fee.

When a transaction drops your checking account balance below zero, a bank or credit union will choose to reject or cover the transaction. Some banks call the fee for a rejected transaction a nonsufficient funds fee and the fee for covering a transaction an overdraft fee, but this varies by bank. Still other banks charge multiple overdraft fees per day if you keep making transactions with a negative balance, meaning you could owe hundreds of dollars in penalties.

You can read up on the basics with our explainer on overdraft fees and options. But as a rule of thumb, it’s best not to opt into overdraft coverage for ATM or one-time debit card transactions. Your transaction will simply be declined, and you won’t be charged a fee.

Here’s a closer look at what banks charge for overdrafts.

Banks with no overdraft fees
Simple

at Simple,

Member, FDIC

Simple

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
  • No overdraft program or fees
  • No monthly account fees
Chime

at Chime,

Member, FDIC

Chime

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
  • No overdraft program or fees
  • Cash back rewards program
Easy to avoid overdraft fees

Capital One 360

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
  • Free transfers from linked savings accounts
Discover

at Discover,

Member, FDIC

Discover Bank

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
  • Offers fee forgiveness program
TIAA Bank

at TIAA Bank,

Member, FDIC

TIAA Bank

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
  • Free transfers from linked accounts

Charles Schwab

NerdWallet has rated this bank:
  • Free automatic transfers from savings and brokerage accounts

Overdraft fees by bank

Financial institutionOverdraft coverage fee (per item)Max fees per dayTotal possible cost in a day
Alliant Credit Union$28UnlimitedNo limit
Ally Bank$251$25
Associated Bank$354$140
Bank of America$354$140
BB&T$366$216
BBVA Compass$38 ($32 in Calif.)6$228 ($192)
BMO Harris Bank$364$144
Boeing Employees Credit Union $255$125
Chase$343$102
Citibank$344$136
Citizens Bank$357$245
ComericaUp to $385Up to $190
Connexus Credit Union$29.95No maximum number; up to $300 negative balance--
Consumers Credit Union$30UnlimitedNo limit
Fifth Third Bank$375$185
HSBC Bank$353$105
KeyBankUp to $395Up to $195
M&T Bank$38.505$192.50
Nationwide$256$150
Navy Federal Credit Union$203$60
PNC Bank$364$144
Regions Bank$366$216
Santander Bank$356$210
SunTrust$366$216
TD Bank$355$175
Union Bank$335$165
USAA$252$50
U.S. Bank$364$144
Wells Fargo$353$105

Some banks 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 $7 sandwich with $2 in your account, you’d be exempt from a fee.

Use the calculator below to see what overdraft fees and other bank charges might cost you over your lifetime.

Other overdraft programs

Outside of the banks without overdraft coverage fees, you can generally find a cheaper overdraft service at your bank called 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 bank’s policy. The cost of this transfer is around $10 or $12, though it can be cheaper.

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

Overdraft fees, especially from overdraft coverage, are some of the steepest fees that banks charge. Knowing these fees might help you consider to opt out of the programs or find cheaper overdraft alternatives that your bank offers.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: spencer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.