How Many Times Can I Overdraft My Account? Answered

Short Answer: Most banks do not set limits on the number of times you can overdraft your account. They do, however, charge overdraft fees — about $35 per transaction that overdraws your account — and, if your account remains overdrawn for an extended period of time, you may face additional fees, account closure, and even being sent to collections. For more details, including overdraft policies by bank, see below.

How Many Times Can I Overdraft My Account?

Most banks do not have a limit on the number of times you can overdraw your account, but they reserve the right to approve or deny transactions that would overdraw an account. After excessive use, some banks may choose to remove your overdraft coverage, meaning any transaction that would overdraw your account would be denied.

If your account balance is negative for an extended amount of time (time periods vary by bank; see below for more details), your bank may close your account, which will negatively impact your credit score. This can also make it difficult to open a bank account in the future. See our related research for information on what you can do if the bank closes your account.

Overdraft Fees

Each time you overdraw your account, you’ll likely pay a hefty fee of about $30 to $40. Multiple fees will make it difficult to bring your account balance back to positive.

Many banks won’t charge an overdraft fee (or may grant a request to forgive an overdraft fee) if you make a deposit covering the overdraft and bringing your account balance positive again on the same day the overdraft occurred. In some cases, you may be given one full business day. Additionally, some banks won’t charge an overdraft fee if your account is only overdrawn a small amount (typically $5 or less).

If you often find yourself overdrawing your account, you can talk to your bank about setting up overdraft protection by linking your checking account to a savings account or a line of credit. You can also utilize tools like online and mobile banking to keep an eye on your available balance and set up alerts to notify you when your balance drops below a certain amount.

Overdraft Policies by Bank

We reached out to several major U.S. banks to find out about their overdraft policies, limits, and fees.

Bank of America

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No specific limit, but the bank has the discretion to allow overdrafts or decline the charges.
  • Fees: If your account balance goes negative, there is a $35 fee each time your account is overdrawn by $1 or more; the bank can charge up to four $35 fees per day.
  • Policy: If your account remains negative, the bank may stop allowing additional overdrafts and start declining transactions. Your local branch also has the discretion to close your account, sent it to collections, and report it to the credit bureaus.
  • Sources: Bank of America corporate customer service representatives; Bank of America website

For more information, see our article on Bank of America’s cash withdrawal limit at the counter.

BB&T

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: Varies depending on the account’s age and standing. You must also opt-in for overdraft review, which means that your local branch will determine whether or not to allow or decline each overdraft request.
  • Fees: $36 for each transaction that overdraws the account by $5 or more; there is no daily limit for this fee. If the account balance is not made positive within seven days, another $36 fee will be assessed.
  • Policy: If your account remains at a negative balance for 60 days, BB&T may close it and report it to the credit bureaus.
  • Sources: BB&T corporate customer service representatives; BB&T website

BBVA

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No limit, but you must opt-in to receive overdraft coverage; the bank does not guarantee that all overdraft attempts will be approved.
  • Fees: $38 ($32 in California) each time your account is overdrawn by $1 or more; there is a limit of six $38 fees per day. If your account remains overdrawn, you will be assessed a $23 extended overdraft fee every seven days; there is a limit of four extended overdraft fees.
  • Policy: After reaching the maximum amount of extended overdraft fees, you will have two months to bring your account balance positive or the bank will close your account and send it to collections.
  • Sources: BBVA corporate customer service representatives; BBVA Free Checking overdraft management (paid partner link)

Chase

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No limit, but the bank reviews each attempted overdraft transaction and has the discretion to allow or deny it.
  • Fees: $34 for each transaction that overdraws the account by more than $5; there is a limit of three $34 fees per day.
  • Policy: If your account balance is not made positive within 60 days, it will automatically be closed by the bank.
  • Sources: Chase corporate customer service representatives; Chase website

Citibank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No limit, but only recurring payments that are automatically deducted from your checking account will be allowed to overdraft the account; Citibank will deny debit and ATM transactions if there are not sufficient funds.
  • Fees: $34 for each payment that overdraws the account; there is no daily fee limit.
  • Policy: Citibank will close your account if the balance is not brought positive within 60 days.
  • Sources: Citibank corporate customer service representatives

Citizens Bank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No specific limit, but you must first opt-in for overdraft coverage.
  • Fees: $35 for each transaction that overdraws the account by more than $5; there is a limit of seven $35 fees per day. If your account remains overdrawn, you will be charged a $30 fee on the fifth, eighth, and 11th business days.
  • Policy: If you do not bring the account balance positive within 30 days, Citizens Bank will close your account.
  • Sources: Citizens Bank corporate customer service representatives; Citizens Bank website

For more information, see our article on Citizens Bank’s ATM and in-person withdrawal limits.

Fifth Third Bank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No limit, but you must first opt-in for overdraft coverage.
  • Fees: $37 for each transaction that overdraws your account by more than $5; there is a limit of five $37 fees per day. There is an additional $10 extended overdraft fee for every seventh consecutive day that your account remains overdrawn; there is a limit of $40 total in extended overdraft fees.
  • Policy: If your account remains overdrawn for an extended period or you have frequent overdrafts, the bank has the discretion to close your account and send your negative balance to collections. Fifth Third Bank customer service representative could not provide a time frame for account closure.
  • Sources: Fifth Third Bank corporate customer service representatives; Fifth Third Bank website

PNC Bank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No limit for recurring payments, but there is a limit of one debit card transaction, and you must first opt-in for overdraft coverage.
  • Fees: $36 for each transaction that overdraws the account; there is a limit of four $36 fees per day. If the account remains overdrawn for five consecutive days, an additional continuous overdraft fee of $7 per day will be assessed for up to 14 days or until the account balance is brought back to positive.
  • Policy: After 30 days of being overdrawn, PNC may close your account or send it to collections.
  • Sources:┬áPNC corporate customer service representatives; PNC website

SunTrust Bank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: There is no set limit but, you must first opt-in for overdraft coverage; the bank approves and declines overdraft transactions at its discretion.
  • Fees: $36 for each transaction that overdraws your account by $5 or more; there is a limit of six $36 fees per day. An extended overdraft fee of $36 will be assessed if your account remains overdrawn for five consecutive business days.
  • Policy: If your account remains overdrawn for an extended amount of time, SunTrust may contact you about closing your account and will send any negative balances to collections. SunTrust customer service representatives could not provide a time frame for account closure.
  • Sources: SunTrust corporate customer service representatives; SunTrust website

TD Bank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No specific limit, but you must first enroll in TD Debit Card Advance to be able to overdraft; the bank has the discretion to allow or deny any overdraft attempt.
  • Fees: $35 for each transaction that overdrafts the account by more than $5; there is a limit of five $35 fees per day.
  • Policy: If your account remains overdrawn for 90 days, TD Bank will close it and send it to collections.
  • Sources: TD Bank corporate customer service representatives; TD Bank website

U.S. Bank

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No specific limit, but each overdraft is reviewed and allowed or denied at the bank’s discretion.
  • Fees: $36 for each transaction that overdraws the account; there is a limit of four $35 fees per day. If the account remains overdrawn for seven consecutive days, you will be charged an extended overdraft fee of $36 on the eighth day.
  • Policy: If your account remains overdrawn for 45 days, the bank will automatically close the account and send it to collections.
  • Sources: U.S. Bank corporate customer service representatives

Wells Fargo

  • Number of overdrafts allowed: No limit, but you must first enroll in Wells Fargo’s Debit Card Overdraft Service; each overdraft attempt is reviewed by the bank and either allowed or denied at the bank’s discretion.
  • Fees: $35 for each transaction that overdraws the account; there is a limit of three $35 fees per day.
  • Policy: The bank has the discretion to close accounts that remain overdrawn for an extended period, usually between 17 to 55 days.
  • Sources: Wells Fargo corporate customer service representatives; Wells Fargo website

In Summary

In general, banks do not set a limit on the number of times you can overdraft your account. They do, however, charge overdraft fees, and they can close your account and send it to collections if your account balance remains negative for an extended period of time.

For more information about overdrafts, see our research on overdrafting a savings account, how to overdraft at an ATM, transferring overdrafts to a credit card, and how soon you can overdraft after opening an account. If you struggle with frequent overdrafts, you may want to consider setting up a personal budget.