Can You Overdraft a Savings Account? Answered

Short Answer: Savings account overdraft policies vary by bank. Some banks allow you to overdraft your savings account but will charge an overdraft fee similar to a checking account overdraft fee — anywhere from $25 to $37. Other banks will block transactions to prevent overdrafts, but individual banks may still charge a fee for attempted transactions with insufficient funds. Below, we have details of savings account overdraft policies at large banks like Bank of America, Citibank, and PNC Bank.

Can You Overdraft a Savings Account?

Whether or not you can overdraft your savings account depends on the bank you use and the type of account you have. Some banks block transactions that would overdraw your savings accounts, while others allow overdrafts on savings accounts but will typically charge an overdraft fee.

Since savings accounts are not directly linked to debit or credit card transactions, you’re most likely to face the possibility of overdrawing your account when transferring or withdrawing funds. Bank tellers will typically deny your transfer or withdrawal if you do not have sufficient funds. And, while ATMs do have daily withdrawal limits (as previously reported), ATMs and online transfers are not always set up to reject overdrawn transactions.

For details on how much you can overdraft your checking account, see our related article.

Overdraft Fees for Savings Accounts

If your bank allows overdrafts on savings accounts, any overdrawn transactions will likely incur a fee. Most banks do not offer overdraft protection for savings accounts; instead, your account balance will remain negative until the overdraft amount and all penalties are paid off.

Fees can be anywhere from about $25 to just under $40 per overdrawn transaction, depending on your bank. Additional fees — often called extended overdraft fees or sustained overdraft fees — may accrue if your account remains negative for several days. These fees, if any, and the terms will be listed in your account contract.

Transaction Limits for Savings Accounts

In addition to overdrafts, savings account holders should be aware of transaction limits. Savings account contracts typically allow unlimited deposits; however, federal law only allows six online, phone, or preauthorized withdrawals and transfers per statement. (The law does not limit teller or ATM transactions.) Withdrawal limit fees are usually between $5 and $10 per excess transaction. If you have a history of excessive transactions, your bank may convert your savings account to a checking account.

Savings Account Overdraft Policies at Popular Banks

To learn about savings overdraft policies, we contacted customer service representatives for several large banks and reviewed the account disclosures for individual banks.

The following policies were consistent among all of the banks we contacted:

  • Overdraft protection is not available for savings accounts.
  • Banks charge overdraft fees directly to your overdrawn account, sending the balance further into the negative.

Keep in mind, policies may vary depending on your account agreement. If you are facing an overdraft fee, it’s best to check your contract and/or call your bank’s customer service department for information specific to your account.

Ally Bank

  • Overdraft policy: Ally Bank’s online savings account may process or deny an overdrawn transaction. Both paid and returned transactions incur a penalty; Ally Bank has a maximum of one fee per day.
  • Overdraft or returned transaction fee: $25 per transaction
  • Extended overdraft fee: None

Bank of America

  • Overdraft policy: Bank of America may authorize or decline a scheduled transaction that would overdraw your account. The decision is made at the bank’s discretion. Bank of America will deny ATM transactions if have sufficient funds in your account. There is a maximum of four overdraft/returned payment fees per day. If your account is overdrawn by $1 or less, Bank of America will waive the fee.
  • Overdraft or returned transaction fee: $35 per transaction
  • Extended overdraft fee: None

Chase

  • Overdraft policy: Chase may authorize or deny a transaction that would overdraw your account. All ATM withdrawals equal to or greater than your current balance will be denied. There is a maximum of four overdrafts/returned payment fees per day. Chase waives fees on withdrawals that overdraw your account by $5 or less.
  • Overdraft or returned transaction fee: $34 per transaction
  • Extended overdraft fee: None

Citibank

  • Overdraft policy: Citibank will deny ATM withdrawals greater than your available account balance. There is a maximum of four overdraft fees/returned payment fees per day.
  • Overdraft or returned transaction fee: $34 per transaction, unless you have the Access Account Package — which does not approve overdrawn transactions or charge insufficient funds fees.
  • Extended overdraft fee: None

Discover Bank

  • Overdraft policy: The Discover Bank online savings account will deny transactions of any kind if you have insufficient funds. Discover does not charge a returned payment fee.
  • Overdraft or returned payment fee: None
  • Extended overdraft fee: Not applicable

Fifth Third Bank

  • Overdraft policy: Fifth Third Bank may authorize or decline a transfer or withdrawal that would overdraw your account. There is a maximum of five overdraft fees per day. If your account is overdrawn by $5 or less, Fifth Third Bank will waive the overdraft fee.
  • Overdraft or returned transaction fee: $37 per transaction
  • Extended overdraft fee: None for consumer savings accounts; for business savings accounts, there is an $8 per day fee if you don’t bring the account current within five business days

PNC Bank

  • Overdraft policy: PNC Bank may authorize or decline a transaction that would overdraw your account. There is a maximum of four overdraft fees per day. PNC Bank waives the overdraft fee if your account is overdrawn by $5 or less after all of the day’s transactions post to the account.
  • Overdraft or returned transaction fee: $36 per transaction
  • Extended overdraft fee: $7 per day if your account remains negative for five or more calendar days; maximum fee of $98

Similar Articles

Leave a Comment

Terms of Use