Debit Card Overdraft Services

Any account holder with transaction authority can add or remove Debit Card Overdraft Service by signing onto Online Banking, visiting a Wells Fargo ATM, calling a phone banker any time at 1-800-CALL-WELLS (1-800-225-5935), or speaking with a local banker.

Understanding overdrafts

What is an overdraft?

An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. Overdrafts apply to checks, debit cards or other transactions that are paid when the available balance in your deposit account is less than the amount of the transaction, which creates a negative balance in your account.

Is an overdraft different from a returned item?

Yes. A returned item (also called a “bounced check”) occurs when an item (such as a check or other transaction presented for payment) is returned unpaid because the available balance in your deposit account is less than the amount of the item.

About Debit Card Overdraft Service

What is Debit Card Overdraft Service?

Wells Fargo offers Debit Card Overdraft Service as an option for customers who prefer to avoid debit card declines by authorizing the bank, at its discretion, to approve transactions when the account does not have enough money to cover such transactions. This may be helpful if you do not have an alternative form of payment to complete your purchases. If you add this service to your account, Wells Fargo may approve (“authorize”) your ATM and everyday ("one-time") debit card transactions when you do not have enough money in your checking account at the time of the transaction.

Although the charges associated with this form of overdraft coverage may be higher, and the payment of overdrafts remains discretionary, this may be an appropriate “back-up” to help you avoid declines for occasional or inadvertent overdrafts.

For information regarding business accounts, see the “Are business checking accounts eligible for Debit Card Overdraft Service?” question below.

How much does Debit Card Overdraft Service cost?

There is no fee to add Debit Card Overdraft Service and no fee if it is never used. We will assess our standard overdraft fee of $35 per item if your account doesn’t have enough money when your debit card transactions are submitted by the merchant for payment from your account.

Is Debit Card Overdraft Service different from Overdraft Protection?

Yes, they are different. You must enroll to add either service to your account(s).

With Overdraft Protection:

  • You can request that we link your accounts (including savings, credit cards, and eligible lines of credit) to your checking account.
  • If you have enough money in your account(s) linked for Overdraft Protection, your transactions will be approved. If not, your transactions will be declined unless you have added Debit Card Overdraft Service.
  • Available money in your linked account(s) will be used to pay any transaction on your checking account and help you avoid overdrafts or returned items.
  • A single Overdraft Protection transfer fee will be assessed, regardless of the number of transactions we pay from your account each day.

With Debit Card Overdraft Service:

  • You can request that we add the service to your checking account if you would prefer to avoid declined everyday debit card and ATM transactions.
  • This is a discretionary service that may help you avoid declines — important especially if you do not have an alternative form of payment to complete an important purchase.
  • If a sufficient covering deposit or transfer (subject to the Bank’s funds availability policy) is not made by the posted cut off time on the same business day, our standard overdraft fees will be assessed for any debit card or ATM transactions that are paid to cover overdrafts on your account. Because the fee for Debit Card Overdraft Service is higher than for Overdraft Protection, we encourage lower-cost options first.

What consumer checking accounts are eligible for the Debit Card Overdraft Service?

Debit Card Overdraft Service is available on most checking accounts. It is not available on savings accounts, Teen Checking, or Opportunity Checking.

Are business checking accounts eligible for Debit Card Overdraft Service?

Business checking accounts (with the exception of IOLTA, RETA and Government products) are automatically enrolled in Debit Card Overdraft Service when the account is opened. Business customers have the ability to delete (revoke) this service, which will result in ATM and everyday (“one-time”) debit card transactions being declined if enough money is not available in your checking account or available in accounts linked for Overdraft Protection. Business customers may also reenroll in the service at any time.

Does Debit Card Overdraft Service affect my automatic or recurring debit card payments?

No. The service does not impact recurring debit card transactions where you have pre-authorized a merchant to pay your monthly utility bill or other bills with your debit card. Debit card transactions that are set up to pay automatically may continue to be authorized and paid into overdraft at our discretion, even if you do not add Debit Card Overdraft Service and our overdraft fees and policies will apply. We may assess per-item overdraft fees for recurring transactions when not enough money is available.

Does Debit Card Overdraft Service affect my checks?

No. The service only applies to ATM and everyday debit card transactions. Checks may continue to be authorized and paid into overdraft, at our discretion, even if you do not add Debit Card Overdraft Service and our overdraft fees and policies will apply.

Transactions and fees

Does Wells Fargo guarantee transactions will be approved with this service?

No. The payment of transactions greater than your available balance remains a discretionary decision of Wells Fargo and we reserve the right not to pay. For example, we typically do not pay overdrafts if your account is not in good standing or if you have had excessive overdrafts.

When do debit card transactions post to my account?

Wells Fargo cannot post your debit card transaction until the merchant submits the transaction to us for payment.

  • The timing can vary for debit card transactions from the very same day to several days later. For most debit card purchases, we receive the payment request, including the actual transaction amount, within three business days of the transaction. If we don't receive a final payment request from the merchant within three (3) business days, we release the authorization hold on the transaction.
  • In rare circumstances — such as using your debit card online to buy an item that’s back-ordered or for certain types of debit or ATM card transactions including but not limited to car rental transactions, cash transactions, and international transactions — the merchant could submit the transaction several weeks later.
  • Because of this, it’s important you keep track of transactions and your account balances.

If I don’t add Debit Card Overdraft Service to my account, will everyday debit card transactions ever create an overdraft?

Unfortunately, yes. Wells Fargo will typically only approve your transaction if you have enough money in your account at the time of the transaction.However, we may not receive the final transaction for payment until later when you may not have enough money in your account.

In these circumstances:

  • Wells Fargo must pay the transaction if we have provided authorization (approval) to the merchant.
  • An overdraft may occur (based on available funds) resulting in a negative balance that you must repay.
  • No fee will be assessed for this overdraft.

How much is an overdraft fee?

Overdraft fee is $35 per item. You will be charged no more than four (4) overdraft and returned item fees per day for Consumer accounts and no more than eight (8) per day for Business accounts.

Can I make a deposit or transfer to avoid overdraft fees?

Yes. There is no fee if your account is overdrawn during the day and you make a sufficient deposit or transfer before the posted cut-off time on the same business day. Please note, deposits are subject to our Funds Availability Policy.

  • If you add Debit Card Overdraft Service, you may be allowed to continue with a purchase and deposit money to cover the transaction later that same business day (or on Monday for weekend transactions).
  • If the debit card transaction is made on a non-business day (such as a weekend), you have until the posted cut-off time on the next business day.
  • If a check deposit is subject to a hold, the funds will not be immediately available to cover debit transactions.
  • A cash deposit or money transfer before the cut-off time will typically be available to pay transactions that night.

How to add or delete service

How do I decide if this service is right for me?

Debit Card Overdraft Service may be right for you if you:

  • Prefer to avoid the risk of a declined debit card transaction when you are making a purchase
  • Prefer a “back-up” for an occasional/inadvertent overspend
  • May not always have enough money in your linked Overdraft Protection accounts, and prefer your purchases be approved
  • Have multiple account owners on your account who may be making purchases or writing checks — which may make it a challenge to keep track of your account balance
  • Do not typically carry multiple forms of payment (credit card, checks, cash, for example) to complete a purchase if your debit card is declined

Wells Fargo offers a variety of services that can help you manage the balance in your accounts and to help you avoid debit card declines. We encourage you to consider our free and lower-cost services first. Debit Card Overdraft Service is an optional service that you can choose to add to your checking account. Payment of overdrafts under Debit Card Overdraft Service is at Wells Fargo’s discretion. You can add or delete (revoke) this service at any time.

If you add this service, our standard overdraft fee of $35 per item will apply. If you add this service to your account, we may, at our discretion, approve your transaction if you don't have enough money in your account at the time of the transaction. You can avoid overdraft fees if you make a sufficient deposit or transfer before the posted cut-off time on the same business day.

How do I add Debit Card Overdraft Service?

Any account holder with transaction authority can add or remove Debit Card Overdraft Service by signing onto Online Banking, visiting a Wells Fargo ATM, calling a phone banker any time at 1-800-CALL-WELLS (1-800-225-5935), or speaking with a local banker.

Can I add or remove the service at a later date?

Yes. You can change your preference (add or remove) for Debit Card Overdraft Service at any time. If you would like to change your preference, sign onto Online Banking, visit a Wells Fargo ATM, call a phone banker any time at 1-800-CALL-WELLS (1-800-225-5935), or speak with a local banker.