It can be frustrating to overdraw from your bank account when funds are low. You’re already short on cash and now you have to pay an extra fine.
Of course, it makes sense for banks to have some sort of measure in place. If they didn’t, what would stop people from impulse buying? Or using their debit card as if it were a credit card?
But it’s not always impulse-buying when over half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And 57% of Americans can’t write a check for $500 to cover a surprise expense.
The standard of living may improve one day so that people won’t have to read fine print when choosing a bank. But, until that day comes, let’s talk about options.
If you’re worried about overdrafting, we’ve uncovered the best banks with $0 overdraft fees.
Top 11 Checking Accounts with No Overdraft Fees
- No credit check or ChexSystems
- $100 bonus after 10 purchases in 60 days
- Over 16,000+ fee-free ATMs
- $4.95 monthly service fee
- Earn 1.10% APY
- No monthly service fees
- Over 90,000 fee-free ATMs
- No overdraft fees
Quontic High Interest Checking is an easy and convenient way to manage your finances. The process of applying online only takes 3 minutes and has no impact on your credit score.
- No credit check
- No minimum opening deposit or maintenance fees
- Get paid up to 2 days faster
- Overdraft up to $200 without any overdraft fees
- No monthly service fees
- 100% reimbursement of ATM fees
- No overdraft fees
- $100 sign-up bonus
American Express Rewards Checking is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-yielding checking account.Overview
- Up to 3.75% APY
- No account fees
- Over 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
- Get paid up to 2 days early
- No credit check
- $10 Minimum opening deposit
- Get paid up to two days early
- No overdraft fees
If you have a Schwab One brokerage account, Schwab will pull money from it for free if you ever overdraw your checking account.
Do know, however, that this free overdraft protection doesn’t pertain to checks or electronic withdrawals, or payments. If these cross the line, you’ll get a $25 insufficient funds fee, which can add up to $100 a day.Overview
As of July 2021, Ally Bank has eliminated overdraft fees. The Ally Bank Interest Checking Account also comes with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly maintenance fees.
You can use your Ally debit card at over 43,000 Allpoint®ATMs in the U.S. for free. Plus, this online bank reimburses up to $10 per statement cycle for fees charged at other ATMs nationwide.
Tips to Avoid Overdrafting Your Account
The banks listed above offer the best solution. However, if you still decide to bank with a financial institution that charges overdraft fees, there are a few things you can do to lessen the likelihood of overdrawing your account.
First off, there are three things that suck up most people’s paychecks every two weeks.
- Student Debt
- Car Payments
Is this the situation you’re in?
Experts say you should never spend more than 28% of your income on housing, and no more than 10% to 20% on transportation.
Simply put, don’t live beyond your means. Do the math before you commit. If the monthly payments mean you won’t be able to afford a fast-food run once in a while, then you can’t afford them.
There are things you can do to lessen your student debt before you’re enrolled. However, it’s unlikely you’re in a position to take advantage of those things now. So, apart from consolidating your loans and getting into an income-based repayment plan, let’s look at some practical ways you can manage your bank account.
1. Watch your account balances
Check your accounts regularly to make sure your balances aren’t too low. If your bank has a mobile app, you can see your balance any time.
2. Set up alerts for low balances
If your bank or credit union offers to email you or send you a text alert when your balance is low, take advantage of it.
3. Use cash for all purchases
It’s certainly not convenient to go to the bank and withdraw cash every time you need to spend money.
To get around doing this, take out as much money as you can and leave just enough to pay your mortgage, car payment, and monthly bills. Take just enough cash with you when you go out, and leave your debit card and credit card at home.
This way, your budget is a very real one. If you go over, you can’t pay for what you’re trying to purchase. It’s not stressful; it’s practical. Use your phone as a calculator, know your state’s sales tax, and you’ll be just fine.
4. Use a prepaid debit card
This is basically the same as using cash, but you have the added security that comes with a debit card. If you use a prepaid debit card, monitor how much you have on the card by using a transaction register.
5. Keep track of all purchases and payments
This sounds simple, but it’s actually a powerful method to stay on top of your finances.
If you would rather not use your bank’s mobile app, you can write down every transaction in your register. If you always know how much money you have, you are less likely to waste it on small purchases.
You can also use a mobile app for budgeting to do this automatically. However, if you’re just starting out, you may want to track your everyday expenses manually before using your phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are overdraft fees?
Most banks charge you an overdraft fee when you withdraw or spend more money from your checking account than you have. Overdraft fees vary by bank, but having a negative balance will usually cost you around $35 per transaction.
Banks and credit unions make billions of dollars in overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees every year. Fortunately, paying overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees is now optional. You can choose to completely avoid them by choosing the right checking account.
Which banks have no overdraft fees?
There are numerous checking accounts that don’t charge overdraft fees. Luckily, the list seems likely to grow even more in the years ahead. Why? A recent FICO survey found that Millennials are two to three times more likely to close all accounts and switch banks completely.
It should really come as no surprise — expensive fees.
In the years to come, the number of banks on this list will most likely grow as Millennials make up half the workforce. But, until then, the banks listed above offer consumer-friendly overdraft services.
Are overdraft fees charged immediately?
If you have a checking account from a bank that charges overdraft fees, you usually have 5 to 7 days to fix your negative balance before you’re charged. However, thereafter, some banks charge overdraft fees every day your account is negative.
Some banks allow you to connect your checking account to your savings account or money market account. If you overdraft your checking, they will pull from your savings account to cover the overdraft.
How many overdraft fees can you get charged in a day?
There are no laws that specify a maximum number of fees that banks can charge for overdrafts. Each bank and credit union has its own limit on the number of overdraft fees it will charge in one day.
Most banks charge a maximum of 4 to 6 overdraft fees per day per account. However, some allow as many as 12 in one day.
Can I get overdraft fees waived?
Some banks will waive one overdraft fee per year as a courtesy. If overdrafting is something that you rarely do, contact your bank’s customer service to ask if they will waive it. However, if you do it frequently, it may be time to get a checking account with no overdraft fees or set up overdraft protection.
How can I avoid overdraft fees?
The best way to avoid overdraft fees is by getting a checking account that doesn’t have overdraft fees like the ones we listed above. We also offer some tips below to avoid overdrafting your account.
What is overdraft protection?
Overdraft protection is a service offered by banks that ensures your transactions are covered if you have insufficient funds in your checking account. The bank will automatically move funds you have available in a linked savings account, to the overdrawn account.
You may still incur a fee for the transfer from your linked account, but it’s usually less than the overdraft fee.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.
1. Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply with Chime except at MoneyPass ATMs in a 7-Eleven, or any Allpoint or Visa Plus Alliance ATM.
2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment ﬁle from the payer. Chime 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.
5. 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. 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.