Recently, Bank of America made headlines for reducing and even eliminating overdraft fees associated with their accounts. BofA is one of many well-known banks to ease up on fees due to the economic hardships many faced as a result of the pandemic.
If you have a Bank of America account or are thinking about opening one, knowing the overdraft limits and fees this bank has in place can help you understand what resources you have access to. Banks that show a bit more leniency in overdraft fees tend to have less restrictive requirements for the financial products they offer.
When it comes to overdrafts limits and fees, Bank of America makes it clear what you’ll be charged for. Plus, you can also call customer service to talk to a representative if you’re confused or not sure if your situation qualifies for a specific overdraft benefit.
We’ll outline for you below what policies BofA has in place regarding overdrafts. The good news is that once you know what options you have, you can always lean on them on rainy days.
Are you ready to learn more about Bank of America overdraft limits and fees? Let’s get started!
What are Overdraft Fees and Limits
If you’ve struggled with the question, “What is an overdraft fee?” you’re not alone. Overdraft fees cost Americans more than subscription fees per year by far and can often contribute further to debt.
When you spend more than you have available in your checking account, you’re overdrafting that account. The bank will, at their discretion, pay the charges that result in a negative balance, but they also charge you a fee for the convenience.
It seems a bit backward to charge someone more money when they don’t have enough to begin with, banks aren’t in the business of paying your bills for you for free. They reinforce the boundaries of living within your means or facing the consequences.
While some of the largest banks in the U.S. and even the best national banks have recently lifted or lessened the fees associated with overdrafting your account, that doesn’t mean you can go out and spend, spend, spend. Instead, overdraft limits are there to help alert you when you’re going over budget and need to adjust your spending accordingly.
Bank of America’s Overdraft Policy
You can tell Bank of America how to handle overdrafts in one of two ways. You can opt-in to Balance Connect for standard overdraft coverage or you can choose to decline all overdraft charges to save yourself the cost of overdrafting.
Each time you overdraft your account, Bank of America will charge you $10, up to twice per day for a maximum daily overdraft fee of $20. That means you can potentially overdraft your account more than twice per day without paying more than $20 in overdraft fees.
Bank of America actually lowered its overdraft fee from $35 to $10 in the spring of 2022. The bank also did away with insufficient funds fees and linked account transfer fees.
However, refusing to contribute to your Bank of America account to bring it back to a positive balance still has ramifications. You’ll lose overdraft privileges and account access and may face collection costs and account closure if you leave your balance in the negative for months.
Like all of the best bank accounts, Bank of America offers overdraft protection through its Balance Connect program. This service is free if you have a BofA account and lets you pay checks and scheduled payments in exchange for a $10 overdraft fee.
With Balance Connect, you can link a checking account, savings account, credit card, or line of credit to cover your overdraft balance. You can use up to five accounts to automatically transfer funds for free, as long as those funds are available.
However, Bank of America will only let you transfer once per account to cover an overdraft charge. If you don’t have available funds to cover the charge in these accounts, the transfer won’t be made and the charge won’t go through.
Be aware that if you use a savings account to cover your overdraft charge, you are still limited to six withdrawals per statement period. Going over that limit will incur a Withdrawal Limit Fee.
Sometimes the best way to enforce hard budgeting limits is to deny your spending altogether. If you don’t want to incur overdraft charges, you can choose “Decline All” for overdraft protection.
Want to put more money in your bank account? Check out our list of Bank of America promotions you can take advantage of.
Overdrafts Bank of America Will Allow
If you opt-in to Bank of America’s overdraft protection, the following will be covered:
- Personal checks
- Emergency BofA ATM withdrawals
- Scheduled payments
Note that Bank of America reserves the right to accept or deny these charges at its discretion. The bank will allow for up to four charges per day of this kind.
Bank of America recently eliminated its extended overdraft fee. Until May 2022, BofA also charged $35 per returned check.
Note that if you have a Bank of America SafeBalance account, you will not be able to overdraft. This account does come with lower fees if you are looking for more stringent parameters that help you stay on budget each month.
Bank of America ATM Overdraft Limits and Fees
BofA understands that sometimes you need cash in a pinch. When you overdraft your account via a BofA ATM, you can avoid an overdraft fee if you bring your account balance back up above $0 by the end of the same business day.
For example, let’s say you need to buy groceries but it’s still a few days before you get paid. You can take out what you need for the essentials by overdrafting and potentially incurring a $10 fee.
However, your friend might surprise you by paying you back the money they owed you for the concert tickets you bought last month. You can then use those funds to bring your balance back into the positive and avoid the $10 overdraft fee, as long as you do it the same day you overdraw your account.
Bank of America lets you withdraw up to $1,500 per day from a BofA ATM, no matter if you’re overdrawing your account or not. If you want to edit your overdraft settings, simply call BofA customer service, visit a local branch, or review your account through the mobile app or online.
How to Avoid Bank of America Overdraft Fees
Learning how to avoid bank fees can help you keep more of your hard-earned money. With Bank of America, you’ve got options if you want to avoid that $10 overdraft charge.
The best way to waive an overdraft fee is to not incur one. While that may sound counterintuitive or even obvious, not having overdraft fees can actually earn you some leeway.
For instance, if you have been with Bank of America for more than a handful of years and haven’t ever overdrafted your account, chances are they’ll let the first fee slide. That doesn’t excuse you from bringing your balance back above $0, however.
While tradition has been that most banks are willing to forgive an overdraft fee once per year, that’s not necessarily always true. If you find yourself facing an overdraft charge and have been a loyal customer, call Bank of America to see what you can work out.
Bank of America Balance Assist
Sometimes borrowing money is better than facing overdraft charges and the threat of your account being closed. While cash advance apps help you borrow money, Bank of America does offer its Balance Assist program if you don’t want to deal with an outside service.
Balance Assist lets you borrow up to $500 when you need it most. There is a flat $5 fee for this loan, no matter how much you borrow.
When you borrow money with BofA’s Balance Assist, you agree to repay the amount over the next 90 days in three installments. Each month you’ll pay a third of the overall amount, plus the $5 fee.
Note that if you choose to go with Balance Assist, you will not be eligible for overdraft protection as well. To qualify for Balance Assist, you’ll need to have an account for at least a year, have a positive balance, and pass a credit check.
Cash Advance Apps
Here’s a list of the cash advance apps you can take advantage of instead of incurring overdraft fees:
- Albert: Apps like Albert will give you an advance of $250 or more with varying terms. You can also look into how to borrow money from Cash App if you’re in a pinch and need some extra funds to get by.
- Brigit: Credit checks can be just as damaging as overdraft fees. If you want to avoid a credit check and need up to $250 in cash advance funds, check out Brigit.
- Chime SpotMe: Overdraft your Chime account up to $200 without paying any overdraft fees with SpotMe. There are many other cash advance apps that work with Chime as well, including many of those on this list.
- Current: If you want a $200 cash advance, Current’s Overdrive feature spots you when you need it most. You can also get paid up to two days early with Current.
- Empower: Get up to a $250 cash advance with Empower without paying interest or late fees. Plus, there’s no application to fill out or credit check to stress over.
- MoneyLion: Looking for a 0% APR cash advance? Check out MoneyLion and learn how you can take control of your finances with this versatile app.
If you have a Varo account, check out this list of cash advance apps that work with Varo. They might just be the lifesaver you need to make ends meet in a crisis.
No, not all Bank of America accounts are eligible for overdraft protection. For example, Bank of America’s SafeBalance checking account does not let you overdraft.
Yes, you can overdraft your Bank of America account at an ATM. If you boost your balance back into the positive before the end of the same business day you overdrew the account, you can avoid an overdraft fee.Yes, you can overdraft your Bank of America account at an ATM. If you boost your balance back into the positive before the end of the same business day you overdrew the account, you can avoid an overdraft fee.
No, overdraft protection does not come standard with all Bank of America accounts. Instead, you have to opt in to coverage through Balance Connect or choose “Decline All” to avoid overdraft fees and a negative balance.
Better Banking with Bank of America
Getting ahead with your finances has gotten a lot harder in the past few years. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it can be refreshing to know how understanding Bank of America overdraft limits and fees are if you spend beyond your means.
Sometimes we all need that boost to get us back to where we need to be. If you cut it close every once in a while, overdraft fees can help give you a safety net to fall back on.
Now that you know more about what you can expect from Bank of America when it comes to overdraft fees, will you set up a new bank account? This well-known bank offers customers plenty of options when it comes to managing money as they navigate life.