What is an Excessive Transactions Fee & How to Avoid It

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An excessive transaction fee is a charge banks impose when you exceed a predefined number of certain types of transactions within your savings or money market account over a specific period, typically within a month. This article delves into what excessive transaction fees are and offers strategic advice on dodging these financial pitfalls, ensuring your banking experience is as cost-effective as it is convenient.

What is an Excessive Transactions Fee?

Your financial institution will charge you an excessive transactions fee — also known as savings withdrawal fee, withdrawal limit fee, excess debit fee, excessive withdrawal fee, or some other variation — if you transfer or withdraw money from your savings account or money market too frequently. Institutions typically allow 3–6 transfers or withdrawals per month.

After you use up those chances, your bank will likely still let you move your money around, but you’ll get charged a fee each time. Kind of like how your parents still lent you the money but required that you also mow the lawn.

The excessive transaction fee amount varies by financial institution but typically runs $5–$15 per transaction over the institution’s monthly limit.

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How to Avoid Excess Tax Fee?

Now that we’re clear on what an excess tax fee is, it’s crucial to understand how to sidestep it. These excessive transaction fees can accumulate and significantly impact your savings. Here are practical strategies to minimize or avoid these fees:

1. Opt for Banks with Fewer Fees

Choosing a bank that charges minimal excess tax fees can really boost your savings over time. Online banks often have the edge as they offer fewer and smaller fees, thanks to their lower running costs. This means they don’t usually charge for things like keeping your account open or making transactions—a refreshing change from traditional banks, where fees can quickly pile up. In fact, 78% of adults in the U.S. now prefer to bank online via mobile app or website.

opt bank fewer fees

2. Understand your bank’s policies

Every bank sets its own rules concerning how many transactions you can make before triggering fees, what kinds of transactions count towards any limits and the specific transaction limit fees that may be applied for various services. For instance, one bank might offer a number of free ATM withdrawals each month, while another may limit the number of wire or online transactions before excess tax fees apply.

bank policies
Getting to know these guidelines can protect you from surprise fees. Make a habit of checking your bank’s fee schedule, which can be easily found on their website or through a quick call to customer service. This step ensures you’re savvy about your transactions, helping you save money and avoid unnecessary charges.

3. Set up alerts and notifications

Activating bank account alerts is a smart move for keeping tabs on your finances. Banks typically offer notifications for scenarios like when your balance falls below a certain amount or when you’re close to hitting a transaction limit. These can help you manage your account activity, adjust your spending or account transfers in real-time, and steer clear of overdrafts or excess tax fees.

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Recent statistics show that over half of Americans (51%) are struggling to pay their bills. For those who need help managing their finances, Cushion is a reliable app that provides timely alerts and helps avoid fees. It is designed to seamlessly integrate with Google Calendar so you can receive real-time notifications and keep your payment schedules updated.

4. Prefer checking for regular, daily transactions

Leverage your checking account for everyday spending like groceries and utility bills. Designed for frequent use, checking accounts allow for deposits, withdrawals, and bill payments without typical transaction fees, making them perfectly suited for your daily financial activities.

check daily transactions

Using a savings account for daily transactions could lead to hitting monthly limits and incurring excess transaction fees. By shifting these activities to a checking account, you can sidestep such charges. This move not only helps you manage your funds more efficiently but also ensures your savings are reserved for long-term goals.

5.  Consolidate transactions

Grouping your transactions into smaller, larger ones can keep you within your limits and minimize excess fees. For example, instead of transferring money several times a week, plan a single, larger transfer to cover your needs. This strategy not only keeps you within allowable limits but can also simplify your financial management.

consolidate transactions

Other Common Bank Fees

In addition to excessive transaction fees, banks charge a variety of other fees that can impact your financial health if not managed properly. Understanding these fees and knowing how to avoid them can save you a significant amount of money over time. Here’s a rundown of other common bank fees you should be aware of:

  • Monthly Service Fees: Charges for account maintenance, which can often be waived by meeting certain criteria like maintaining a minimum balance or setting up direct deposit.
  • ATM Fees: Using ATMs outside your bank’s network might incur ATM fees. Stick to in-network ATMs or choose a bank that offers fee rebates.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: Charges for transactions made in a foreign currency or outside the country. Opting for accounts with no foreign transaction fees or using travel-friendly credit cards can mitigate these costs.
  • Overdraft Fees: Incurred when transactions exceed your account balance. Opting into overdraft protection services or closely monitoring your balance can help avoid these fees.

Stay ahead of overdraft fees with Cushion. The app keeps you on track with timely updates and reminders through Google Calendar, ensuring your payments are always within budget and on schedule. Get started with Cushion and say goodbye to unnecessary fees.


Banking smartly involves being aware of the fees associated with your accounts and actively taking steps to avoid them. Knowing what is an excess tax fee, learning about other common bank fees, and employing strategies to mitigate them can save money and keep your finances in good health. Remember, knowledge is power, especially when managing your money effectively.

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Why do banks charge fees?

Banks charge fees to cover the costs of their services, such as account maintenance, transaction processing, and ATM access. Fees also represent a significant revenue stream for banks.

How can a person avoid some of the investment fees?

You can avoid investment fees by choosing low-cost index funds or ETFs, opting for no-transaction-fee mutual funds, and using brokers that offer free trades.

What is a tip to avoid paying unnecessary banking fees?

The best tip is to stay informed about the fees your bank charges and actively manage your account to avoid triggers for these fees. This can include maintaining minimum balances, using in-network ATMs, and signing up for email or text alerts.

Last Updated on March 03, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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