How much are overdraft fees?
Overdraft fees vary by bank. In fact, some banks charge overdraft fees as high as $39 per transaction.1 Plus, if overdraft transactions keep hitting your account while it has a negative balance, you could rack up multiple overdraft fees in one day.
How to avoid overdrafts
- Set up digital alerts: To avoid letting your balance get so low that an overdraft is possible, you can set up alerts in online banking that let you know when your balance has reached a certain threshold. For example, you could receive an email or text (or both) if you balance falls below $50. Then you can replenish your account before you have any overdrafts.
- Opt out of overdraft coverage: One of the easiest ways to prevent overdrafts is to opt out of your bank's overdraft coverage. That means if you try to make a purchase with your debit card or withdraw money from an ATM when you don't have enough funds in your checking account, the transaction will simply be declined.
- Sign up for overdraft protection: If you'd rather not risk having your transactions declined, you can also enroll in overdraft protection. This involves linking your checking account to another account to cover any overdrafts and prevent you from incurring an overdraft fee. Then, if you have an overdraft transaction, the money will be withdrawn from your backup account rather than leave your checking account in the red. For example, Synovus offers overdraft protection that allows you to link your checking account to another Synovus deposit account (such as a savings account). Then, if you overdraft, the transaction is covered and you're charged a $10 fee for the funds transfer, which is much less than an overdraft fee.
- Contact your bank: If you're a good customer and you have an overdraft because of one oversight, it's worth taking the time to call your bank and ask to have the fee waived. Often, if you're not a repeat offender, the bank may waive the overdraft fee for you.