U.S. Bank Overdraft Limits, Fees and Protection

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Mitchel Harad

There’s nothing like a Sunday morning when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. The day begins with such bliss that it is hard to imagine something that could put a damper on your smile. You use your U.S. Bank debit card to buy coffee and a treat, realize you need a bird feeder for the summer and without any further thought, head over to the hardware store to buy one.

Then the realization sinks in.  Your bank account went negative, and you were shocked to find out that you have been charged $72 in overdraft fees! 

tweet complaining about high overdraft fees from U.S. Bank

An overdraft fee occurs when you do not have enough money in your bank account to cover your transactions, causing your account balance to go negative. Your bank may still pay for these charges, but it is essentially giving you a small, unplanned loan – and often charges you a steep fee for this service.

If you’re a customer of U.S. Bank, it’s important to understand the overdraft policies associated with the account you have as well as the options you have to avoid these costly fees. Let’s go over U.S. Bank’s overdraft limit, overdraft fees, and how to avoid them.  Plus, we’ll reveal some alternatives to access the money you need, when you need it. 

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  • Get up to $200 whenever you need it. Access extra spending power instantly with no overdraft fees1
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Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and checking account provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank N.A.; Members FDIC.

What is U.S. Bank’s overdraft policy?

computer screen showing u.s. bank overdraft protection

You have two overdraft options with your U.S. Bank checking account – overdraft protection or standard overdraft coverage. 

Overdraft protection allows you to link another account to your checking account to cover any excess withdrawn. When an overdraft occurs, you will only be charged a $12.50 transfer fee. Overdraft protection is not automatic, and users must opt-in to the program and link a U.S. Bank savings account and/or credit card to be eligible. If you do not enroll in overdraft protection, you will not be able to use your U.S. Bank debit card for purchases or ATM withdrawals that would exceed your account balance.

If you do not enroll in U.S. Bank overdraft protection, your account will be subject to standard overdraft coverage.  Only checks, automatic bill payments and recurring debit card transactions will be paid (subject to the bank’s discretion) and you will be charged a $36 fee for each overdraft transaction.

If a transaction will take your account balance below zero, the bank will look at your overdraft coverage selections to decide the best way to handle the transaction. Overdraft transactions are approved at the bank’s discretion.  U.S. Bank won’t automatically process your overdraft transactions, and the bank will consider your account history when deciding whether to approve transactions for an overdrawn account. 

How much are U.S. Bank’s overdraft fees? 

FeeCostMaximum Overdrafts Per DayMaximum Daily Cost
U.S. Bank Overdraft Over $5.01 Fee$364$144
U.S. Bank Overdraft Under $5.00$0N/A$0
U.S. Bank Linked Account Transfer Fee$12.504$50

Under standard overdraft coverage, U.S. Bank charges a $36 overdraft fee per transaction with a maximum of 4 charges per day – up to $144. 

Under overdraft protection, you will not be charged overdraft fees if your account is overdrawn by $5 or less. If the negative balance in your account is $5.01 or more, the overdraft protection will kick in. Money is transferred from your linked account into your checking account in multiples of $50 with $12.50 assessed in transfer fees. (If you don’t have enough in your linked accounts to cover these transactions, you may still be subject to a $12 overdraft fee.)  

If your account remains negative by $50.01 or more for 8 consecutive days, you’ll be charged an additional $36 extended overdraft fee.  You may be unable to access your account until you make a deposit to bring the balance back above zero.

There is a little good news.  U.S. Bank stopped charging non-sufficient funds fees on returned items (i.e. bounced checks) in January of 2022.

WAIT! High overdraft fees aren't the only way U.S. Bank is costing you money.

With inflation overheating, you've probably heard that interest rates are climbing sharply. That means that for the first time in years, it's a great time to shop around for a high interest savings account.

U.S. Bank savings accounts currently pay just 0.01% APY1 as of 11/22/2022. That means that if you have $2,500 in a savings account, you'd earn just $0.25 after one year! Move those hard-earned savings to an FDIC-insured bank paying 3.50% APY and you'd earn $87.49 after one year, and some banks now pay even higher rates!

Don't let your hard-earned savings sit there doing next to nothing. Check out the rates that you can earn at other banks:

What is U.S. Bank’s overdraft limit?

computer screen showing checking account options from u.s. bank

U.S. Bank will authorize certain transactions in your account even when it is negative. U.S. Bank does not directly disclose your overdraft limit to you and it may vary by day.  Your overdraft limit is based on your overdraft policy selections, the age of your account, your average account balance, and frequency of recurring deposits, and your overall account history.  Large transactions and leaving your account balance negative for more than a day or two may trigger overdraft limits that restrict access to your account.

There is no specific way to increase your overdraft limit at U.S. Bank but being enrolled in overdraft protection may increase the likelihood that certain transactions will be successful. 

Can you get a U.S. Bank overdraft fee waived?

Most U.S. Bank checking accounts are eligible for U.S. Bank’s Overdraft Fee Forgiven program, which provides you with a grace period to make a deposit and reverse overdraft fees.  You have until 11pm EST on the next business day to bring your account balance to overdrawn by less than $50 (or better yet, positive!) to have overdraft fees reversed.

For example, on Tuesday, your account balance is $10. You make a $100 ATM withdrawal, which takes your balance to negative $90. On Wednesday, a $36 overdraft fee was charged.  With Overdraft Fee Forgiven, the overdraft fee will be waived if you deposit of $40 or more is made by 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday. 

How to avoid overdraft fees from U.S. Bank

Overdraft fees are a simple nuisance that can be avoided with the right proactive measures. The first step to avoiding overdraft fees is to simply be aware of your budget and your cash flows. Checking your account balance daily can help you avoid any overdraft. 

Even if you are always on top of your budget, enrolling in an overdraft protection program and linking a savings account or credit card to the program can keep you protected from costly standard overdraft fees. 

Moreover, set up low balance alerts to notify you when your balance is approaching zero and protect you from making transactions your account cannot afford. U.S. Bank has set up plenty of options for users to have overdraft protection and even waive fees associated with the program, but users without the protection could be responsible for high overdraft fees of up to $144 per day. If this becomes an increasingly prevalent issue for your finances, consider a new bank with a more manageable overdraft policy – Chime offers no-fee overdrafts for up to $200.

Watch: U.S. Bank explains overdraft limits, fees and alternatives

Mitchel Harad
  1. Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month and Visa debit card activation. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See terms and conditions.
  2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

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