Proven secrets to get a refund for annoying overdraft fees

November 12, 2014

Overdraft fees are mostly annoying, often avoidable and sometimes refundable. Here are proven secrets to getting a refund that really work well.
We all know that sinking feeling. You check your bank statement and find an overdraft fee staring you in the face. Instead of just accepting the charge, you should try to get an overdraft fee refund—and make sure the situation never comes up again.

Proven secrets to get a refund for annoying overdraft fees

Banks want your business

Maybe the most important thing to remember is this—banks want your business. In the highly competitive financial world, banks are always trying to find ways to lock in new customers. Once they have you, they don’t want to let go.

With that in mind, you owe it to yourself to try and get the overdraft fee waived. Here are some guidelines:

  • Be firm, polite and persistent on the phone. Getting angry will not do you any favours.
  • If you hear “no” initially, consider that just the beginning of the conversation.
  • Avoid saying things that make it easy for the customer service rep to say “no.” Instead you might ask “what can you do to help me?”
  • Emphasize that you’ve been a responsible customer.
  • If the conversation is going nowhere, you can always ask to speak with a supervisor.

Should I enroll in overdraft protection?

If you are concerned the situation could happen again, then yes. It’s time to consider overdraft protection. You still need to read the fine print and understand what the service means.

  • Essentially, this service will connect your checking account to an eligible savings account or credit card. If you don’t have enough money in your checking account, the transaction will be covered by transferring funds from your linked account.

Before enrolling, you should ask the following questions:

  • Is there a fee to enroll in overdraft protection?
  • Are there fees when the service is used?

Keep in mind, you can still overdraw your account even if you have overdraft protection. It’s up to you to keep enough money in your linked account.

Use your credit card but watch out for interest and late fees

One easy way to avoid an overdraft fee is to use your credit card to pay as many bills or routine expenses as you can. You can then schedule an automatic payment at the time of your choice. This will also help you avoid late fees. Of course, you will want to pay the monthly balance in full to avoid interest charges.

Remember that banks want you as a customer. As long as overdrawing your account is not a frequent problem, you should have a good chance of getting the overdraft fee refunded.

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