Bank Overdraft fees and other various customer penalties have quickly become the banking industry’s most profitable source. Your personal bank makes more money on fees and penalties than it does financing personal and business loans.
For example, Bank of America charges $35 for overdraft fees unless you have the coveted Overdraft Protection, which I highly recommend signing up for. Whether your bank has overdraft fee protection or not, here’s a step by step tutorial on how to get overdraft fees refunded.
The Overdraft Fee Reversal Process
You just made a purchase with your checking or savings account, but quickly realize you do not have the funds to cover the charge. Suddenly your teeth cringe, and simultaneously the dreaded overdraft fee notice starts heading to your mailbox. Should you panic? Of course not, you’ve been trained in these situations. That frivolous banking fee can be reversed in less than 3 minutes.
All you have to do is call up your bank and ask to speak to a manager.
Most of us have called our bank and inquired about the charge; Few are lucky enough to receive the credit after their first inquiry. The representative may deny your request initially, but you should now ask to speak to a manager. The #1 mistake people make when calling their bank is only speaking to a representative. These employees have zero authority and are no more than mere automatons. Here’s what you have to do.
5 Steps to Get Overdraft Fees Waived
Here’s a quick step by step breakdown of what you need to do.
- Contact your bank and ask to speak to a representative.
- Request a refund for the overdraft fee in a firm manner (Don’t Be too nice).
- Ask to speak to a manager who maintains higher authority if the representative will not reverse the charge.
- Be Persistent and Follow Up
Step 1 – Contact Your Bank
Pick up the phone and contact your local bank. You could try sending an e-mail but calling seems to produce better results.
Have a copy of your bank statement in hand so you can provide the exact date when the overdraft fee was charged.
Step 2 – Request a Refund and Be Firm
Banks get refund requests all the time and may give you the run around. Don’t play nice when asking for an overdraft refund. Be firm and demand that you get your money back. The more drama you cause, the better. I sometimes threathen to close my account and move my money to another bank. That seems to do the trick!
Step 3 – Ask for the Manager (if needed)
If you cannot get a refund from the bank associate then ask for a manager. Managers are extremely busy and don’t have time to argue over fees. You will get your overdraft fee waived faster if you move up the food chain.
Step 4 – Be Persistent and Follow Up
Most banks will grant your request if you continue following up on the matter. Don’t just expect their words. Make sure the fees have been removed from your account.
Larger banks will refund the overdraft fee immediately while smaller ones may put in a request and ask you to wait several business days.
Go back to your account and make sure the refund was made. Bankers talk a lot of BS to their customers. Trust but verify.
Real Life Example
I had a negative experience with my local bank that charged me a ridiculous $35 overdraft fee on a Coinbase transaction.
I called up my bank and asked for a refund immediately. At first, the bank rep said something like this:
“We cannot give you a refund on this overdraft. blah blah blah.”
So I began screaming and gave her a piece of my mind. I mentioned how I’ve been a longtime customer and couldn’t afford to lose $35 during a recession, etc.
I mentioned how other banks such as Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Ally process overdraft fee refunds quickly without question.
After a while, she agreed to process my request. It’s been nearly 2 weeks so I need to follow up again to get my money.
Sick of Overdraft fees? Try Using Mint.com
Mint is a free online personal finance software program used by millions of people every day. Here’s why you can save money on future overdraft fees and fight back!
Get Instant Alerts About Your Money
Mint notifies you when any bank or brokerage firm you use changes its fees or finance charges. These email or text message alerts can help you quickly respond to any errors, helping you avoid bogus overdraft charges. And alerts on upcoming bills or low account balances can protect you from late fees and other charges. Best of all, it’s 100% free and easy to use.
For a more detailed look at Mint, read my mint.com review.