How To Get Overdraft Fees Refunded

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There may be nothing quite like the sting of being fined for not having enough money. Both checking accounts and savings accounts can sneak in and charge overdraft fees when you least expect them, so how can you counteract that and keep the money in your account?

How To Get Refunded for Overdraft Fees 

Even if your finances feel wobbly, there are ways to keep your bank account balance steady. Overdrawing your account can happen, even when you think you have sufficient funds. No matter what your bank offers there are many ways you can bounce back from any overdraft fee your financial institution sends your way. Here are three steps to take to get your overdraft fee refunded:

  • Step 1: Total up the charges
  • Step 2: Contact your bank
  • Step 3: Don’t back down

Step 1: Total Up the Charges 

Preparedness always helps when disputing or redeeming any overdraft fees whether it’s from a mobile banking transaction or an in-store purchase. When totaling your overdraft fees here are key points to consider and have ready to answer:

  • How much were you charged in overdraft fees?
  • Why were you charged those overdraft fees?
  • What transaction caused the overdraft fee?

Step 2: Contact Your Bank 

Buckle up because it’s time to contact customer service and weave through some red tape. If you have been a loyal customer and don’t have a history of frequent overdraft infractions, then getting a refund shouldn’t be too difficult. 

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Though many banks offer the online banking feature of secured messaging, often just calling your bank will be the most effective way to get your money back. Even if you have opted out of overdraft protection, you may be surprised by how easy it is to get a refund just by calling in.

Step 3: Don’t Back Down

There is a reason you have heard the adage of the squeaky wheel getting the oil. Most likely, when you call in, the representative will immediately grant your refund request. However, if you do run into some resistance, don’t back down. You can ask to speak with a supervisor or just call the general customer service line again and speak with someone else as the odds are in your favor. 

How To Avoid Overdraft Fees 

If you don’t want to worry about getting overdraft fees refunded you can always take measures to avoid these fees altogether. 

  • Budget tracking apps: Many apps can help you keep a budget so you know when you are getting low and how you are spending your money.
  • Switch banks: If you are unhappy with your current bank’s fees or service, you should shop around and find the right fit for you.
  • Turn on mobile banking app notifications: Turn on alerts and notifications from your mobile banking app to keep you updated on exactly where you stand financially. 
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Final Take

You should be rewarded for being a loyal customer of your bank, not penalized. Don’t just assume overdraft fees are an inescapable part of the banking business. Be sure to reach out to your bank for a refund, especially if you have been a loyal customer without a history of incurring overdraft fees, and see just how easily you can keep your money in your bank account where it belongs. 


Here are answers to frequently asked questions about refunding overdraft fees.
  • Can you get overdraft fees waived?
    • Yes, you can get overdraft fees waived by following these steps:
      • Step 1: Total up the charges
      • Step 2: Contact your bank
      • Step 3: Be firm and don't back down
  • Are banks required to refund overdraft fees?
    • Though banks are not legally required to refund your overdraft fees, if you are a loyal customer and don't have a history of these fees the likelihood is high that you will get refunded if you request it.
  • Do overdraft fees affect your credit score?
    • No, typically your banking history is separate from your credit card history. However, if you fail to pay the bill that caused the overdraft it may show up on your credit report as a bad debt.
  • What do banks charge for overdraft fees?
    • Here are some examples of common overdraft fees, which can vary per item and time period, from major banks:
      • -Chase: $34
      • -Citi®: $34
      • -Wells Fargo: $35

Information is accurate as of March 20, 2023. 

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About the Author

Caitlyn Moorhead has written content for a variety of businesses and publications. After graduating from Central Michigan University cum laude, she moved to New York City where she wrote columns, articles and plays for several years before relocating to Austin, Texas in the fall of 2020.
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