Wells Fargo Overdraft Fee Guide

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wells fargo overdraft fee guide
This Fee Guide is provided for informational purposes only. While Cushion doesn’t negotiate with banks for fee refunds on our users’ behalf, it gives you visibility into the fees you are being charged by your banks in your fee report. You can then use this information to work directly with your bank to get your fees refunded.
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How Much Do Overdraft Fees Cost at Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo’s standard overdraft coverage costs $35 per overdraft, with a limit of three overdraft fees per business day for consumer accounts.

The overdraft fee for Wells Fargo Business Accounts is also $35 but the limit is four overdraft fees per business day.

The overdraft fee for Wells Fargo Teen Checking accounts is $15 and the limit is two overdraft fees per business day.

💡 Note: The fee only applies to transactions that cause you to overdraft your checking account by more than $5. Wells Fargo also doesn’t charge Non-Sufficient Funds Fees.

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How to Get Overdraft Fees Waived at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Overdraft fees can be waived if your available balance isn’t overdrawn by more than $5.00 as of 11:59 PM ET the next business day. Keep in mind that some deposit methods are delayed so you can still get charged with an overdraft fee even if you deposit additional funds immediately.

Here are examples of deposits that can increase your available balance in the same business day:

  1. Direct Deposit (can fail due to Deposit Hold)
  2. Cash Deposit
  3. Transfer from Another Account (only applies to already verified financial institutions)
  4. Wire transfer
  5. Zelle

💡 Note: Even if you can’t increase your available balance during the grace period, you can still get overdraft fees waived by talking to a Wells Fargo associate. Just remember to be polite and ensure that it doesn’t happen too often.

How to Avoid Overdraft Fees at Wells Fargo

To avoid overdraft fees altogether, you can link one of each of these accounts to your checking account:

  • Wells Fargo Savings Account
  • Wells Fargo Credit Account 

In the event of an overdraft, Wells Fargo transfers or advances funds from one of these accounts to your checking account (without charging any fees). You can also choose which account is prioritized but savings accounts are prioritized by default.

Since Wells Fargo doesn’t charge non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, you can also just turn off overdraft services altogether to prevent overdraft fees.

💡 Note: Not all Wells Fargo accounts are eligible for linking. To find out if your savings or credit account is eligible to provide overdraft protection, call 1-800-225-5935.

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What Is an Overdraft Fee?

Wells Fargo Bank issues you overdraft fees when you don’t have enough money in your account to complete a transaction but the bank pays for it anyway.

At Wells Fargo, overdraft fees apply automatically to most types of transactions, including:

  • Checks or other transactions made using your checking account number
  • Recurring debit card transactions (e.g. gym memberships, streaming service subscriptions)
  • ACH transactions
  • Online or automatic bill payments (e.g. auto-pay utility bills, credit card payments)

If you’d like for Wells Fargo to cover ATM and everyday debit purchases (gas, groceries, etc.) as well as if you don’t have enough money in your account, you must first opt into the Wells Fargo Debit Card Overdraft Service.

Special Considerations

Wells Fargo limits the number of overdraft fees — including both overdraft fees and NSF fees — to three for consumer accounts, two for Wells Fargo Teen Checking, or four for business accounts per day.

Debit Card Overdraft Service is not available for certain accounts:

  • Wells Fargo Clear Access BankingSM accounts
  • Teen CheckingSM accounts
  • Opportunity Checking® accounts
  • IOLTA/RETA accounts
  • Accounts for government entities
  • Savings accounts

If you opt into overdraft protection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that many of your transactions can be covered by Wells Fargo even if you don’t have enough money in your account; however, there are several things you should consider before opting in.

Overdraft protection is not mandatory. In fact, your bank is required to ask whether or not you want to opt in. When opening a bank account in person, this usually means that the representative will run through a long list of questions so they can get to know you better as a customer and customize your account to accommodate your needs.

The overdraft protection question is usually lumped into this list of questions, so it can be easy to opt in without thinking about whether it actually makes sense for you and your financial situation. Do your research before opting in.

💡 Remember: You can opt into or out of overdraft protection at any time.

Learn more about what you should know before opting into overdraft protection.

Additional Tips on How to Avoid an Overdraft Fee

Keep an eye on your account balance and charges

This might seem obvious, but it’s an easy one to forget. Banks are not legally required to notify you if you’ve overdrawn your account. They could apply an overdraft fee and deduct money from your account, leaving you with a negative balance, without you ever having known. They can also charge multiple overdrafts in a single day. If all of your bills come out at once, you could find yourself hundreds of dollars in the red.

It’s important that you monitor your checking and savings account balances closely and regularly so that you’re up to date on when direct deposit has hit your account and when money has been withdrawn.

Sign up for low-balance notifications

Rather than manually checking your balance and charges, you can sign up for notifications that alert you when you’re nearing a low balance. Most mobile banking apps offer this feature and allow you to set the threshold yourself.

This doesn’t give you a pass to neglect your bank account. You should still be monitoring your account regularly. This allows you to identify mistakes, like if someone has stolen your debit card number or if you’ve been charged more than once for a bill.

Low-balance notifications won’t let you in on insights like these, and monitoring your account for mistakes can be one of the most lucrative ways to put money back in your account so that you don’t overdraft.

Transfer money ASAP

It’s important to get money into your checking account as soon as possible. Do an immediate transfer from another checking account or savings account at the same bank, or deposit cash into the account in person at a branch or via ATM.

Some ATM deposits may not be available immediately, so it’s important to know your financial institution’s policy. Bank-to-bank transfers and other mobile payment services can also take several business days to complete but can be an alternative solution if you do not need the funds immediately.

Decide whether overdraft protection is right for you

An overdraft protection transfer can give you peace of mind knowing that you can withdraw money or make a purchase even if the funds aren’t currently in your account.

The Wells Fargo Debit Card Overdraft Service allows you to overdraft on ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases; however, your bank will charge fees for each transaction. If you opt into the service, you can overdraw your account and get stuck with an overdraft protection transfer fee that costs a fraction of the price of the normal fee. This could include linking your account to another checking account, savings account, credit card, or line of credit. While these methods might still stick you with a fee, the fee is typically about half of what a standard overdraft charge would be.

While opting in may seem to be the default for many account holders, not opting in altogether could save you a ton of money. If you try to make a purchase but it’ll send you into overdraft, the purchase will be declined. Consider not opting in if: you don’t have a lot of essential bills to pay, you’re trying to manage your spending, or you’re an avid user of mobile banking and text message alerts. Remember that you can opt into and out of the program at any time.

Learn more about how to avoid an overdraft fee.


How to Get Overdraft Fees Refunded

Sometimes, overdraft fees are inevitable. Luckily, if you get hit with an overdraft fee, that doesn’t have to be the end of it. You can try to get Wells Fargo overdraft fees refunded on your own, but there are a few things that you should do to increase your chances of success.

Prepare your information

Name, address, bank account number, the fees that you’d like to negotiate, and possibly your social security number.

Introduce yourself

“Hello. My name is , and I recently received an overdraft fee while using my card. I’m contacting you to see if you would be willing to refund this fee.”

Have your points of leverage ready

Are you a loyal Wells Fargo customer who has banked with the institution for an extended period of time? Do you have multiple accounts with the bank? Do you make regular deposits? Is this overdraft a rare occurrence?

Be patient, persistent, and prepared not to get a refund every time

A little kindness goes a long way. Remember: The representative that you’re speaking with on the phone likely didn’t write the rules on refunds. But also, don’t hesitate to press the issue if you initially hear “no”—that’s what your points of leverage are for. Sometimes, success depends on the representative that you speak with, so try calling back a few days later to speak with someone new. Finally, you have to be willing to lose some negotiations. Try not to get discouraged, but do try to take the necessary steps to avoid an overdraft fee in the future.

Learn more about how to get an overdraft fee refund.

Find Wells Fargo’s full fee schedule here.

Last Updated on June 06, 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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