frequently asked questions about overdraft fees

Overdraft explained

Sometimes life can throw you a curveball. When you don't have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but the bank pays it anyway, that's considered an overdraft. To help you avoid fees, we've simplified our overdraft policy.

Buffer

When your account has been overdrawn, you get a $25 buffer. That means if your account's available balance is overdrawn by $25 or less, you won't be subject to the Overdraft Paid Item Fee.

Returned Item Fee

If your transaction doesn't go through due to insufficient funds, you won't get charged a fee for the returned or declined transaction. (On your statement, you may see a fee initially charged and subsequently reversed upon being returned/declined.) If the bank does pay for the transaction, you may be subject to the $25 Overdraft Paid Item Fee.

Plus...

Maximum of 2 Overdraft Paid Item Fees Per Day: When we pay items on your behalf, a daily limit of two (2) Overdraft Paid Item Fees may be charged, even if the number of overdrafts exceed two (2). 

No Overdraft Notification Fee: If an account remains overdrawn, we'll notify you, but you won't be charged a fee for this notification.


Frequently asked questions

We're always evaluating our products and services to ensure we're providing you with the best possible solutions. Effective June 1, 2022, we're making some changes to our overdraft policies:

No Overdraft Returned Item Fee: We are removing the Overdraft Returned Item Fee (from $35 to $0). If a transaction is returned or declined by us, we will no longer charge a fee. (On your statement, you may see a fee initially charged and subsequently reversed upon being returned/declined.) If we do pay for the transaction, you may be subject to the Overdraft Paid Item Fee.

Lower Overdraft Paid Item Fee: We are decreasing the Overdraft Paid Item Fee from $35 to $25. This fee may be assessed when a transaction is permanently paid by us and your available balance is insufficient to cover the transaction. 

$25 Buffer: We're increasing the buffer from $10 to $25. When a transaction will make your available balance negative, we give clients a buffer. If your account is negative by $25 or less, you will not be subject to the Overdraft Paid Item Fee.

Maximum of 2 Overdraft Paid Item Fees Per Day: We are decreasing the maximum Overdraft Paid Item Fees per day from four (4) to two (2). When we pay items on your behalf, a daily limit of two (2) Overdraft Paid Item Fees may be charged, even if the number of overdrafts exceeds two (2).

No Overdraft Notification Fee: We are removing the Overdraft Notification Fee. If an account remains overdrawn, we'll notify you but no longer charge an Overdraft Notification Fee.

Lower Overdraft Protection Fee (Ready Reserve): We are decreasing the Overdraft Protection Fee (Ready Reserve) from $12 to $5. Now when tapping into your Ready Reserve to pay an overdraft, the advance fee will be lowered to $5.

All other terms and conditions regarding your account(s) remain in effect.

An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction (“Insufficient Balance”), but we authorize or pay it anyway.

There are a variety of ways transactions can cause your account to be overdrawn, including but not limited to:

  • payment of checks, electronic fund transfers, or other withdrawals
  • your previously authorized payments (including monthly bills like Netflix or your gym membership)
  • bank service charges
  • point of sale transactions resulting from the use of your debit card when you purchase or return items (“Debit Card Authorizations”)
  • return of unpaid items deposited by you
  • hold on funds that you deposit with us, according to our Funds Availability Policy, which are treated as not yet available or finally paid

The best way to avoid these situations is to keep track of what you are spending. Balance your transactions against your online account activity to determine what has been presented for payment and what has not. Know what transactions are outstanding that do not appear in online banking. While not a substitute for keeping your own record of your spending, our online and mobile banking options are designed to make staying on top of your account balances easier.1

You may be assessed a $25 Overdraft Paid Item Fee when a transaction is permanently paid by the bank and your available balance is insufficient to cover the transaction.

If a transaction is returned or declined by the bank, you will not be subject to an Overdraft Returned Item Fee.

 

When transactions are permanently paid by the bank, a daily limit of two (2) Overdraft Paid Item Fees may be charged, even if the number of overdrafts exceeds two. If a transaction is returned or declined by the bank, you will not be subject to an Overdraft Returned Item Fee.

Additionally, if your account remains overdrawn, we will notify you, but will not charge a fee.

We have an automated system that determines whether an overdraft transaction will be paid or not. In making these decisions we consider factors that include things like the length of your relationship with us, the frequency of your deposits, and your overdraft history. Since these factors can change over time, you should not rely on the bank to pay or to not pay transactions just because we have in the past.

You may elect to not be part of our Courtesy Cash Program at any time. Please visit your local banking center or contact our Client First Center at 877.322.9530.

While you can elect for the Bank not to pay for these items, please keep in mind that overdraft and unpaid items may result in fees. Please refer to Terms and Conditions of Your Account for further information.

The order in which items are permanently paid from your account is important if you have an Insufficient Balance. The payment order can affect the number of overdrafts or items returned unpaid and the amount of the fees you may be assessed. To assist you in managing your account, we are providing you with the following information regarding how we pay items presented for permanent payment.

*Our policy is to pay items being presented for permanent payment in the following order:

  1. Wire transfers – in low to high dollar amount order on the day presented for permanent payment
  2. ATM transactions – in low to high dollar amount order on the day presented for permanent payment
  3. Debit Card transactions authorized with a PIN (appears as “DBT CRD” on your statement) or a person-to-person payment – in low to high dollar amount order on the day presented for permanent payment
  4. Debit Card transactions authorized as a credit transaction (appears as “POS DEB” on your statement) – in low to high dollar amount order on the day presented for permanent payment
  5. Recurring Debit Card transactions – in low to high dollar amount order on the day presented for permanent payment
  6. Electronic Fund Transfers – in low to high dollar amount on the day presented for permanent payment
  7. Checks paid at the teller window or to an FFB loan – in check number order on the day presented for permanent payment
  8. ACH transactions – in low to high dollar amount order on the day presented for permanent payment
  9. All other checks – in check number order on the day presented for permanent payment
  10. If a check, item or transaction is presented for permanent payment against an Insufficient Balance in your account, we may, at our discretion, pay the item(s) creating an overdraft. In returning item(s) presented for permanent payment for insufficient funds (NSF), we attempt to return in the reverse order of our payment order of items listed above. Exclusions to this return order may include but are not limited to ATM transactions and debit card transactions which are considered non-returnable as authorization was given at the time of the provisional transaction. The amounts of the overdraft and NSF fees are disclosed elsewhere, as are your rights to opt in to overdraft services to ATM and everyday debit card transactions, if applicable. We encourage you to keep accurate records and practice good account management. This will help you to avoid creating overdrafts and potentially incurring the resulting fees.

*Note: Items that are provisionally presented as a debit to your account may not be presented for permanent payment in the same order as provisionally presented.

You can make a deposit or transfer funds to avoid an overdraft and make your available balance positive before the business day ends and the bank’s nightly processing begins. To deposit or transfer funds you can visit a financial center during regular business hours, use an ATM before 8:30 PM EST or use online or mobile banking before 9PM EST for internal transfers and 6PM EST for external transfers.

It’s important to remember when depositing a check, the entire amount may not be immediately available towards your available balance, so cash deposits or a transfer from another account is usually best.

Yes, we offer Dynamic Transfer, a service that transfers money from another checking, savings, or money market account to cover overdrafts in your checking account. We also offer Ready Reserve, a personal line of credit that can be used to cover overdrafts.1 Fees apply to Ready Reserve, but they are typically less than an overdraft fee. Associates at your local banking center can help you set up Dynamic Transfer, apply for Ready Reserve, and answer any other questions you may have.

Tools to help avoid overdrafts

Account alerts

Be in the know 24/7 when you monitor your account by creating customized text, email, push notification, or phone call alerts. You can receive notifications based on account balances, transactions, login activity, and more.2

Dynamic Transfer / Ready Reserve

Dynamic Transfer is a service that transfers money from another one of your checking, savings or money market accounts to cover overdrafts. We also offer Ready Reserve, a personal line of credit that can be used to cover overdrafts.1

Additional resources


1 Subject to credit review and approval.

2 Standard messaging and rates apply.
Between 9PM EST and 5AM EST on weekdays, your balance may not be updated while we are processing transactions. Please check your balance outside of those times for a more current balance.
Alerts may not be instantaneous and frequency depends on user preferences and account activity. Alerts may be delayed, undelivered, or otherwise impacted by other factors including, but not limited to, service outages affecting your phone, wireless, or internet provider, technology failures, and system capacity limitations.

leaving bankatfirst.com

You are about to go to a different website or app. The privacy and security policies of this site may be different than ours. We do not control and are not responsible for the content, products or services.