Overdraft fees can be minor frustrations when you incur an unexpected expense or a direct deposit arrives late but can become a much more expensive problem if you’re unable to get a positive balance back quickly.
However, your bank may be willing to waive overdraft fees if you don’t have a pattern of overdrafts and you ask in the right way.
Below, you’ll find phone and email scripts you can use to request an overdraft fee waiver from your bank, plus contact information for major U.S. banks.
Tips for Requesting an Overdraft Waiver
Before you ask to have an overdraft fee waived, you should collect several pieces of information, including how long you’ve been a customer at the bank, your overdraft history, and how much you deposit into your account each month.
Banks don’t like to lose depositors, and the more money you have coming into your account, the more likely it is that the representative you speak with will waive the requested fee.
However, keep in mind that if you regularly overdraft your account, it’s less likely that the bank will remove a particular overdraft fee.
If this is your first overdraft charge, it will also help to mention this to the bank representative. First-time fees are generally the easiest to waive.
Additionally, it’s important to remain polite. Escalating tensions will only upset the representative you speak with and will not help you get the fee waived.
After you call your bank and get through to a representative, you can get right to the point and say something like:
I was looking at my bank statement and saw that I had a recent overdraft charge. Would it be possible for you to remove it?
At this point, the bank representative may simply remove the fee right away because you took the steps to ask. (It will also help if your account is otherwise in good standing.) More often than not, though, the representative will likely provide some reason as to why the fee can’t be removed.
If the representative isn’t willing to immediately waive the fee, try saying something like:
I have really enjoyed my experience with [BANK NAME] over the [NUMBER OF] years that I’ve been a customer. I deposit approximately [DEPOSIT AMOUNT] into this account every month, and I’m sure you can see that overdrafts are a rare occurrence for me. I wouldn’t like to have to take my business elsewhere over something as small as this fee.
Usually, if the representative considers waiving the fee, they will bring in a supervisor to approve it. You can always ask to speak with the supervisor directly to make your case, as well.
If the representative isn’t able to revoke the fee, you still have options. You can call back again at a later time and speak with someone else, or you can visit a local branch and talk with an employee in person.
Perhaps you prefer to send an email rather than talk with a bank employee on the phone or chat in person. You can tailor the following email script to your particular situation:
To Whom It May Concern:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME], and I’ve been a customer of [BANK NAME] for [NUMBER] years. I recently noticed that I had an overdraft fee charged to my account ending in [LAST FOUR ACCOUNT DIGITS]. Because this is [a rare occurrence]/[the first occurrence], I’m writing to request that you waive this fee. Thank you.
If you want to send an email, note that most banks don’t publicize discrete email addresses. Instead, most will require you to log in first and then send a secure message through the bank’s in-house system.
Contact Information for Major U.S. Banks
Below, we list how to contact the major U.S. banks by phone, email, or online chat to request an overdraft fee waiver.