Most people wouldn’t dare write a check or initiate an ATM withdrawal when they don’t have enough cash in their account to cover the amount. But sometimes, bills and expenses don’t wait until payday. And when you need immediate cash, you need to find banks that let you overdraft right away — for a fee, of course.
Chances are that your bank offers some sort of overdraft coverage, which allows you to spend more money than you have in your account. This service provides peace of mind, and you avoid the embarrassment of a bounced check or a declined debit card transaction.
It might come as a surprise, but many checking accounts allow customers to sign up for standard overdraft coverage. So if a transaction comes through and you don’t have sufficient funds, your bank may allow the transaction to happen, but you’ll have to pay back the money.
Standard overdraft coverage can apply to different types of transactions:
- Debit card
If you’re looking for an overdraft, make sure you understand how Overdraft Protection differs from overdraft coverage.
As previously mentioned, overdraft coverage involves your bank advancing cash to make a purchase happen when you don’t have sufficient funds in your checking account. You’re charged a fee for every overdraft item.
With Overdraft Protection, however, the bank allows you to link a savings account or another eligible account to your checking account. If you don’t have enough funds in checking to cover a transaction, funds are transferred from your linked account to cover the purchase.
Bank are no longer allowed to automatically sign-up customers for overdraft services when they open an account. You must opt-in for these services to protect your checking account.
You can sign up for Overdraft Protection at anytime, but since it can take up to three business days to fully enable services, opting in doesn’t solve your immediate need for an overdraft.
With overdraft coverage, however, you can use your overdraft as soon as you open the account and opt-in.
Of course, it’s never a good idea to purposely overdraft. But if there’s no other option and you must overdraw your account, here are a few banks that allow overdrafts:
- Wells Fargo: A standard overdraft fee of $35 per item will apply; a limit of 3 overdrafts per day.
- PNC Bank: A standard overdraft fee of $36 per item will apply; a limit of 4 overdrafts per day. The bank charges a $7 fee for each day an account remains overdrawn for more than five consecutive days, up to $98.
- Bank of America: A standard overdraft fee of $35 per item will apply; a limit of 4 overdrafts per day.
- SunTrust Bank: A standard overdraft fee of $36 per item will apply; a limit of 6 overdrafts per day.
- BB&T Bank. A standard overdraft fee of $36 per item will apply; a limit of 6 overdrafts per day. The bank charges an additional $36 when an account remains overdrawn for seven days.
The good news is that most of the above institutions will waive the overdraft fee if you’re able to deposit funds into your account to cover an overdraft before the cut-off time on the same business day.
Even though some banks offer overdraft coverage, you can only overdraft up to a certain amount per day.
Some banks charge $35 per overdraft item and allow up to three overdrafts per day, for a daily limit of $105. On the other hand, some banks have higher daily overdraft limits, allowing customers up to six overdrafts per day. A few of these banks include BB&T, SunTrust, BBVA Compass, and Regions Bank.
Daily overdraft limits with these financial institutions range from $216 to $228.
The maximum amount you’re allowed to overdraft varies by bank. According to a representative at Wells Fargo, this bank doesn’t have a maximum limit per se. Even if you have a negative account balance, the bank may allow additional overdrafts at its discretion.
A representative at SunTrust also couldn’t provide a definitive answer, but mentioned that maximum overdraft limits are typically between $300 and $500.
Of course, you shouldn’t get into a routine of overdrawing your account. Understandably, you may feel that an overdraft is the only option when you are cash strapped. But the truth is, this can be an expensive solution, especially when multiple overdrafts occur in a single day.
There are, however, cheaper alternatives for getting your hands on immediate cash.
This simple app is an excellent tool to avoid an overdraft and costly bank fees. For a monthly membership of just $1, Dave can help you gain control of your personal finances.
Use the app to monitor spending habits, your personal budget and your bank account balance to ensure there’s always sufficient funds in your account to cover expenses. You’ll even receive an alert when you’re about to overdraw your account.
If you ever need a few extra dollars to tide you over until payday, use the app to request a cash advance of up to $75. There’s no credit check and no interest.
This app is another simple alternative when you need cash, but don’t want to risk overdrawing your bank account. Earnin is unique because it lets you access your earned income before payday.
Getting started is simple. Download the app, complete the sign-up process, and once your employment and bank account is verified, request your money.
Funds are deposited into your bank account in one to two business days. You can withdraw a maximum of $100 a day, and up to $500 per pay period. Once you receive your paycheck, Earnin deducts the amount of your advance from your checking account.
The bottom line is that life happens, and at some point you might find yourself short on cash. No worries.