How To Avoid Bank of America Overdraft Fees

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An overdraft fee is generated when a checking account holder withdraws cash using their debit card or writes a check for an amount greater than the account’s current balance. The bank will either reject the transaction due to the insufficient funds or pay the transaction on your behalf — and you’ll incur the overdraft fee in either case. At Bank of America, you could pay $35 or more for overdrawing your account. Understand Bank of America’s overdraft policy so you can avoid this costly bank fee

How Much Bank of America Overdraft Fees Cost

No matter which type of Bank of America checking account you have, you’ll be subject to one of two overdraft fees if you attempt to withdraw too much money from your account. Bank of America fees include:

  • Standard Overdraft Item Fee: $35 when Bank of America covers the cost of your transaction
  • Standard Non-Sufficient Funds Returned Item Fee: $35 when a transaction is declined and returned unpaid

Bank of America caps the number of overdraft fees you can be charged in a day. Consumer accounts are subject to a total of four overdraft item fees and four returned item fees. Small business accounts can incur as many as eight overdraft fees and eight returned item fees per day.

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What Triggers an Overdraft Fee

Any type of withdrawal from your account that leaves you with a negative balance triggers an overdraft fee. But Bank of American will decline ATM withdrawals and everyday debit card payments when your account balance doesn’t cover the transaction.

How To Avoid Bank of America Overdraft Fees

You can do a few things to protect yourself from declined transactions and penalties for overdrawing your account. Here’s how to avoid overdraft fees:

  1. Check your account balance. Before using the ATM or writing a check, log on to your account and view the current balance. Continue with your transaction after you’ve verified that you have enough money in your account.
  2. Build a checking account buffer. Save up an amount, such as $100, to always keep in your account. Never touch this money or count on it to pay your bills. In the event you accidentally make a charge that’s a little over what you thought you had in the account, you’ll pay it from your buffer instead of generating an overdraft fee.
  3. Sign up for overdraft protection. Bank of America overdraft services provide overdraft protection by linking your checking account to your Bank of America savings account or credit card. This ensures that the bank will withdraw the difference from your linked account if you make a transaction that’s larger than your balance.
  4. Pay with a different account. Don’t risk incurring an overdraft fee if you know your checking account balance is running low. Instead, pay with funds from a savings account or use a credit card.

Another way to avoid overdraft fees is by using the Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® account. This no-frills checking account has no overdraft fee. Transactions will be declined or returned unpaid if you have insufficient funds in your account.

How To Get Bank of America Overdraft Fees Waived

Even when you are at fault, it might be possible to get an overdraft fee refund. Bank of America customers can call their local branch and politely ask to have the fee waived. This method works best if you’re not a repeat offender. Another option is to speak with a customer service representative by phone.

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About the Author

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance, travel, gardening and education. With more than 13 years of experience, her work has appeared in, Livestrong, eHow, USA TODAY, GlobalPost, and wiseGEEK.

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