What Is an Overdraft Protection Fee?
Wells Fargo will charge you an overdraft protection fee if you try to conduct a transaction but do not have enough money in your account to cover the purchase. In order for the bank to charge an overdraft protection fee, you must have at least one connected qualified account, such as a:
- Savings account
- Line of credit
- Credit card
The bank will then pull funds from your connected account to cover checks; recurring debit card transactions; ACH transactions; online or automatic bill payments; everyday, non-recurring debit transactions; or ATM withdrawals.
How Much Does an Overdraft Protection Fee Cost at Wells Fargo?
Wells Fargo’s overdraft protection fees cost different amounts depending on what type of account you connect to your primary checking account.
Overdraft protection transfers from a Wells Fargo savings account cost $12.50 per transfer.
Line of credit
Overdraft protection transfers from a line of credit vary based on whether you have a consumer or business account.
- Consumer: $12.50 per transfer
- Business: Wells Fargo says to check your credit card agreement
Overdraft protection transfers from a Wells Fargo credit card account vary based on the amount advanced. Wells Fargo says to check your credit card agreement.
If you overdraft your account, a number of scenarios could occur.
- Overdraft protection fee
- Overdraft fee
- NSF/Returned item fee
Overdraft protection fee
Overdraft protection fees most often occur when you are opted into overdraft protection and the bank allows you to overdraw your account on checks; recurring debit card transactions; ACH transactions; online or automatic bill payments; everyday, non-recurring debit transactions; or ATM withdrawals. You must have a qualified savings account, line of credit, or credit card connected to your primary checking account.
Overdraft fees most often occur when you are not opted into overdraft protection and the bank allows you to overdraft your account on checks; recurring debit card transactions; ACH transactions; or online or automatic bill payments. Wells Fargo charges $35 for each transaction that causes you to overdraft your account by more than $5.
A non-sufficient funds fee — or returned item fee — occurs when you make a purchase but there are not enough funds in your account to cover the transaction. Instead of covering for you, the bank will decline the transaction, or return the item unpaid. Wells Fargo charges $35 for each transaction that causes you to overdraft your account by more than $5.
The bank will not charge you an NSF fee if it declines ATM or everyday debit card transactions when you are not opted into the Debit Card Overdraft Service.
According to Wells Fargo’s fee schedule, you can link up to two accounts (one savings, one credit) to a primary checking account for overdraft protection.
Overdraft protection is not available for Clear Access Banking accounts.
Regardless of how many overdraft transactions you make and from which accounts, Wells Fargo will only charge you one overdraft protection fee per day.
If you opt into overdraft protection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that many of your transactions can be covered by the bank 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 an 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.
Opted-in accounts typically pay more on bank fees than accounts that aren’t opted in, and the bank could still charge you an NSF fee even if you are opted into overdraft protection. This might happen if you opted into overdraft protection but don’t have enough funds in your linked account to cover the transaction.
Remember: You can opt into or out of overdraft protection at any time.
How to Avoid an Overdraft Protection Fee
Overdraft fees are one of the most common charges detected on Cushion customers’ accounts, but there are small actions that you can take to avoid them at Wells Fargo:
- Keep an eye on your account balance and charges.
- Sign up for low-balance notifications.
- Carefully consider whether you should opt into overdraft protection.
How to Get an Overdraft Protection Fee Refund
Sometimes, overdraft protection fees are inevitable. Luckily, if you get hit with one, that doesn’t have to be the end of it. You can try to get Wells Fargo overdraft protection fees refunded by contacting your financial institution.
Here are some steps you should take to optimize 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.
“Hello. My name is , and I recently received an overdraft protection 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
Have you been financially affected by COVID-19? 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.
Find Wells Fargo’s full fee schedule here.