Wells Fargo Overdraft Fees: When They Apply and How to Reverse Them

When you charge an item to your Wells Fargo account, but you have insufficient funds to cover its cost, the bank will let your account go into the negative. This can be a practical short-term solution while you gather the necessary cash for your purchase. At major banks, including Wells Fargo, this convenience results in the application of an overdraft fee. An overdraft fee can also be referred to as an NSF fee, short for a non-sufficient fund fee.

There may be times you end up in your overdraft unknowingly or accidentally. If your bank balance was already lower than you'd like it to be, then the last thing you need is to pay an annoying Wells Fargo overdraft fee. The good news is that you might not have to.

Read on to learn about Wells Fargo overdraft rules and how to get Wells Fargo to reverse overdraft fees. Check out our tips to avoid this charge in the future!

Can I Overdraft My Wells Fargo Account At the ATM?

You can enable the Wells Fargo Debit Card Overdraft Service, which technically allows you to overdraft your account from an ATM. However, all transactions are ultimately at the discretion of the bank. Even if you enable this service, they have the right to refuse transactions.

Would you rather not overdraft your Wells Fargo account at the ATM? If you don't have an overdraft service enabled, your ATM transaction will be declined when your bank account contains insufficient funds, and you will not be charged for this.

You can add or remove this service at the ATM, via phone or online banking, or by visiting your local Wells Fargo branch in person.

How Much Can I Overdraft My Wells Fargo Account?

If you're less than $5 into your overdraft at the end of the business day, you will enjoy Wells Fargo overdraft fee forgiveness. That means the usual $35 charge will not apply.

With Wells Fargo's overdraft service enabled, you can attempt to withdraw up to your daily ATM limit even with insufficient funds in your bank account. The approval of any overdraft is at the discretion of Wells Fargo, however.

Wells Fargo will approve the application of 3 overdraft fees per day, meaning you can be charged a daily maximum of $105.

All You Need to Know About Wells Fargo Overdraft Fee Policy

Whether the overdraft results from a bounced check, an ATM transaction, a direct debit, or a card purchase, Wells Fargo will charge $35 every time you enter your overdraft.

Does Wells Fargo Charge Daily Overdraft Fees?

Once you've entered your overdraft, some banks charge you daily until your account is back in positive digits. However, Wells Fargo does not, which is a significant advantage for customers.

To reduce the one-off fee, you're charged every time you enter your overdraft; you may opt into Wells Fargo's Overdraft Protection Transfer service. This takes funds from a second Wells Fargo account to cover the overdrawn amount. A charge does still apply for this service.

In the table below, you can see how much the Wells Fargo overdraft fee is compared to the Wells Fargo Overdraft Protection Transfer fee.

Type of overdraftFeeTerms and conditions
Debit Card Overdraft Service$35A limit of three $35 fees can be charged per day, up to $105.
Overdraft Protection Transfer$12.50Wells Fargo will transfer money from a second account to cover your purchase alongside a fee of $12.50.

How Long Before a Overdraft Fee?

If you realize you've entered your overdraft on the same day, you may still be able to avoid the $35 overdraft fee. Wells Fargo gives you a cutoff time at the end of the business day, and if you've paid off your overdraft before then, you will not be charged.

Confirm your cutoff time directly with the bank. Usually, it's 9 pm for ATMs and mobile app deposits, but midnight for online transfers.

How Does Wells Fargo Compare to Other Banks?

Maybe you're wondering if it's time to change bank to avoid Wells Fargo overdraft fees. As you can see from the table below, all major banks in the USA apply a similar charge.

BankOverdraft Fee
Chase$34
Wells Fargo$35
Bank of America$35
TD Bank$35
US Bank$36
PNC Bank$36

The Chase overdraft fee is slightly less than Wells Fargo's, but the Bank of America overdraft fee is the same as Wells Fargo. So is the TD Bank overdraft fee.

You'll notice that the US Bank overdraft fee is slightly more expensive. Just like the PNC overdraft fee, it is $36. This makes the Wells Fargo fee average when compared to other major American banks.

How Can I Turn Off Overdraft Protection?

You can change your overdraft protection status in three different ways:

  1. Using online banking.
  2. Calling 1-800-TO-WELLS (1-800-869-3557).
  3. Entering your local Wells Fargo branch and talking to a teller.

How to Get Wells Fargo to Reverse Overdraft Fees: A Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Check: does Overdraft Rewind apply? Wells Fargo Overdraft Rewind allows customers to pay off their overdraft by 9am the following day to have their overdraft fees reevaluated, waived, or refunded. If you’re still within this time limit, make an electronic direct deposit to your overdrawn account. If not, follow the next step.
  2. Gather information. You’re going to have to make a convincing case to the bank for Wells Fargo to refund your overdraft fees. Before you call, write down how many years you have been with the bank, how many services you’ve purchased from them, and whether you’ve entered your overdraft before. These details can be used to support your request.
  3. Contact the bank. You can make your request in person or over the phone. Try to do so as soon as possible in order to give your request legitimacy and urgency.
  4. Present your case. Calmly and respectfully (but assertively) explain that you would like your overdraft fees to be reversed. Expect to be refused initially. Ask to speak to superiors if a Wells Fargo employee claims they cannot help with this request.

How to Dispute an Overdraft Fee

Once overdraft fees have been applied, you have to speak to Wells Fargo and convince them to overturn the charges. A typical conversation might look like this.

YOU: I've noticed some unexpected charges on my account.

TELLER: Yes, I can see you have been charged fees for entering your overdraft.

YOU: I'd like you to help me overturn these fees.

TELLER: Unfortunately, that is not Wells Fargo's policy. When you signed up for your account, you were informed of our overdraft fees. Would you like to apply overdraft protection to reduce future charges?

YOU: As you can probably see, I have never entered my overdraft before, and I don't intend to enter it again. I have been a loyal customer of Wells Fargo for 15 years. I'd like to know how you can help me reverse these charges. If you can't help, please let me speak to a manager instead.

TELLER: That won't be necessary. As a courtesy, I will overturn the fees on this one occasion.

YOU: Thank you for your understanding. This customer service is why I bank with Wells Fargo.

Top Tips for Speaking to a Teller About Overdraft Fees:

  • Don’t lose your temper. Overdraft fees are overturned at the bank’s discretion, and an aggressive approach is likely to work against you.
  • Remind the bank of your loyalty and your value as a customer. Hint that you may take your custom elsewhere due to unfair overdraft fees.
  • Be persistent. Wells Fargo employees have been trained to resist these requests. If one teller says they can’t assist you, ask to speak to their superior instead.

How Can I Avoid Overdraft Fees

Once you've successfully had your overdraft fees overturned, take steps to ensure you avoid this situation in the future. Below are some ways you might protect yourself from Wells Fargo overdraft fees.

  • Turn off your overdraft service so that transactions that exceed your balance are automatically declined.
  • Add overdraft protection, so Wells Fargo covers any overdraft amount with money from your second account. This way, you will be charged $12.50 instead of $35.
  • Pay in cash to avoid accidentally overspending.
  • Use the Wells Fargo app to check your balance regularly.
  • Enable a low-balance alert that will alert you if you’re close to overdrawing your bank account.