How to manage and avoid overdraft fees.

How to manage and avoid overdraft fees.

Santander Bank offers tools to keep a watchful eye on your balances, along with options that help reduce and avoid overdrafts.

Life is complicated. It’s all too easy to lose track of how we’re spending our hard-earned money. Even if you’re on top of your finances, overdrafts may happen. Overdrafts occur when you don’t have enough money in your account to cover a transaction but the transaction is still processed by your bank. Items presented for processing may be paid or returned and fees may be charged. Overdraft fees can add up, but they don’t have to. Here is information designed to help you understand:
 

  • Overdraft Election Options

    How you elect to have overdrafts processed will impact your account.

  • Overdraft Protection

    The Overdraft Protection options available to you to help reduce overdraft fees.

  • Overdraft Fees1

    How overdraft fees are defined and charged along with the amount of each type of overdraft fee.

  • Tools to Help Avoid Overdrafts

    What you can do to help avoid overdrafts.

Overdraft Election Options

How you elect to have overdrafts processed will impact your account.

 

Overdraft Election

Every time you open a checking account or money market savings account at Santander, you elect one of two options – SOME Overdrafts or ALL Overdrafts – for payment of your overdrafts.

 

What does “Overdraft Election” mean?

It’s the way you elect to have Santander handle your overdrafts: SOME Overdrafts or ALL Overdrafts.

SOME Overdrafts ALL Overdrafts

Selecting this option means Santander may authorize and pay transactions and overdraw your account, EXCEPT:

  • ATM transactions
  • One-time Debit Card purchases

When you choose this option, we generally decline ATM transactions and one-time Debit Card purchases and we will not charge you a fee.

You agree that we can charge you a fee for each paid item, up to six (6) per business day, when you do not have sufficient funds.

Selecting this option means Santander may authorize and pay any transaction and overdraw your account, INCLUDING:

  • ATM transactions
  • One-time Debit Card purchases

When you choose this option, you agree that we can charge you a fee for each paid item, up to six (6) per business day, when you do not have sufficient funds.

It’s important to understand that regardless of which option you choose:

  • We do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction when you do not have sufficient available funds.
  • If we choose not to pay a transaction, we will charge you a fee for each item returned unpaid, up to six (6) per business day, due to insufficient or unavailable funds on your account. For a detailed list of fees, please visit Overdraft Fees.
 

Still have questions? Watch our Overdraft Election video to help you decide which option is best for you. You can change your election at any time by visiting a branch or calling our Customer Service Center at 877-768-2265.

 

How does Santander choose whether to process a transaction?

We typically consider a variety of factors, including the size of the transaction, whether your account is in good standing, and/or if you have had too many recent overdrafts.2

 

Here’s an example of how SOME Overdrafts and ALL Overdrafts works.

 

Here’s Emily, she is going to help us understand how your overdraft election works.

 
 
Transaction Account Balance
(SOME Overdrafts Election)
Account Balance
(ALL Overdrafts Election)
Emily spots a coffee maker that she wants that costs $60. $50 $50
Emily uses her debit card to pay the transaction. Debit Card Transaction Declined Debit Card Transaction Paid
Overdraft fee Overdraft fee $0 Overdraft fee $35
Emily's new balance. $50 -$45
Emily’s $75 check she wrote to pay her utility bill hits her account. Check Paid Check Paid
Overdraft fee Overdraft fee $35 Overdraft fee $35
Balance -$60 -$155
Note:
If Emily’s account remains negative for five (5) consecutive business days, on the sixth (6th) business day, she will incur a $35 sustained overdraft fee.

Overdraft Protection

The Overdraft Protection options available to you to help reduce overdraft fees.


Overdraft Protection Options


How can I protect my account and reduce overdraft and associated overdraft fees?

At Santander, we offer Overdraft Protection to cover shortfalls in your checking account. Overdraft Protection works by transferring available funds from your linked deposit account or an approved Line of Credit. If you enroll, shortfalls in your checking account are covered by automated transfers of available funds from a linked deposit account or an approved Overdraft Line of Credit.

Here's how it works:

  • You may link up to three (3) Santander accounts as Overdraft Protection. Linked accounts can be a combination of checking, savings,3 money market savings,3 or an Overdraft Line of Credit.4
  • On any day a transfer is made to your Account from either a linked deposit account or overdraft line of credit, a $12 Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee is included in the transfer amount.
  • Transfers are made when the total overdrawn balance plus the transfer fee is available in your linked Overdraft Protection account.

Here are examples of how Overdraft Protection works.

 

Here’s Emily, she is going to help us understand the differences between two types of Overdraft Protection:

1. from a linked deposit account, and
2. from an Overdraft Line of Credit.

 

1. from a linked deposit account, and
2. from an Overdraft Line of Credit.


The following chart illustrates how linking your Savings or Money Market Savings account to your Checking Account works to provide Overdraft Protection.

Emily’s current checking account balance is $50. Her linked savings account balance is $300. Emily has elected ALL Overdrafts.

Transaction Balance in Checking Balance in Linked Saving Account
Emily spots a coffee maker she wants that costs $60. $50 $300
Emily pays, using her debit card; the transaction is approved, overdrawing her account by $10. -$10 $300
Emily's $75 check to pay her utility bill hits her checking account. -$85 $300
Overdraft Transfer Fee of $12 per day applied. -$97 $300
Balance after available funds transferred to checking. $0 $203
Quick Summary:
The balance in Emily's linked savings account was sufficient to cover the overdrawn balance in Emily's checking account, plus the $12 Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee. But, she did not receive any insufficient or unavailable overdraft fees.

The example below illustrates how an Overdraft Line of Credit works.

Emily’s checking balance is $50 and her Overdraft Line of Credit Protection balance is $1,000.

Transaction Balance in Checking Available credit on Overdraft Line of Credit
Emily spots a coffee maker she wants that costs $60. $50 $1,000
Emily pays, using her debit card; the transaction is approved, overdrawing her account by $10. -$10 $1,000
Emily's $75 check to pay her utility bill hits her checking account. -$85 $1,000
Overdraft Transfer Fee of $12 per day applied. -$97 $1,000
Balance after available funds are transferred to checking. $0 $903
Quick Summary:
The balance in Emily's linked Overdraft Line of Credit was sufficient to cover the overdrawn balance in Emily's checking account, plus the $12 Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee. But, she did not receive any insufficient or unavailable overdraft fees. However, Emily will have to repay the transferred amount plus any accrued interest on her Overdraft Line of Credit.

Overdraft Fees1

How overdraft fees are defined and charged along with the amount of each type of overdraft fee.


Overdraft Fees


Fee types and amounts.


Types of Overdraft Fees Amount Definition
Insufficient Funds Fee – Item Paid $35 Fee is applied when an item is paid that puts the account balance into a negative balance.
Unavailable Funds Fee – Item Paid $35 Fee is applied when an item is paid against funds that were deposited, but not yet available for use.
Insufficient or Unavailable Funds Item Returned $35 Whenever an item is presented against insufficient or unavailable funds and the decision is to return the item, this fee is assessed to the account.
Sustained Overdraft Fee $35 After an account has been overdrawn by any amount (negative balance) for five (5) consecutive business days, a sustained overdraft fee is assessed to the account on the sixth (6th) business day.
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12 Fee is:
  • charged each day a transfer occurs,
  • included in the amount of the transfer, and
  • charged to the destination account when the transfer is made.
 

Daily Fee Limits

  • A maximum of six (6) Item Paid overdraft fees may be charged to a customer account per business day.
    • - Paid overdraft item fees apply only when a transaction posts and the resulting account balance is overdrawn more than $5.00.
  • A maximum of six (6) Item Returned fees may be charged per business day.

Example: Your checking account balance is $2.00 and you perform two transactions, one for $4.20 and one for $4.50:

Account Balance Transaction Amount Balance After Transaction is paid Overdraft Fee Charged Notes
$2.00 $4.20 ($2.20) No Amount of overdrawn balance is less than $5
($2.20) $4.50 ($6.70) Yes Amount of overdrawn balance is greater than $5

Tools to Help Avoid Overdrafts

What you can do to help avoid overdrafts.

 

Tools to Avoid Overdrafts

 

Here are some helpful steps you can take and tools you can use to monitor your account, help prevent overdrafts, and reduce overdraft fees.

Set up alerts that let you know when your account balance is low, when direct deposits have been deposited in your account, and more.

Here’s a video that gives you a closer look at how account alerts work.

Use digital banking services to check your balances and spending habits. Within Online and Mobile Banking, you are also able to transfer funds from another Santander account.

Help manage your account balances by maintaining a list or a check register (received in your checkbook order) to record expenses, including checks that have not yet cleared, ATM/debit purchases, and automatic payments.

 
 

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1 Refer to Personal Deposit Product Guide and Fee Schedule for which accounts apply fees and their dollar amounts.

2 Whether your overdrafts will be paid is discretionary and we reserve the right not to pay. For example, we typically do not pay overdrafts if your account is overdrawn for an extended period of time or the overdrawn amount is excessive. Any overdrafts that we pay must be promptly repaid by you.

3 You can withdraw or transfer funds from a savings or money market savings account a total of six (6) times per Service Fee Period (such as by automatic or pre-authorized transfers using telephone, online banking, mobile banking, overdraft protection, payments to third parties, wire transfers, checks, and drafts). A $5 Excess Activity Fee applies if you exceed these limits and, if you repeatedly exceed these limits, we may close or convert your account to a checking account, which may be a non-interest-bearing checking account.

4 Applications for a Santander Overdraft Line of Credit Account (“Account”) are subject to credit approval. The Account provides overdraft protection for a Santander checking linked account (“Linked Account”) . The fixed Annual Percentage Rate on the Account is 18.99%. Rates and other terms are accurate as of 10/01/2019 and are subject to change thereafter.

You can access your Account by special check (issued at our discretion on your request), counter withdrawal, telephone transfer ($50 transfer minimum), Online Banking, and ATM withdrawals using your Santander Debit Card. You can also advance funds via automatic transfer when your Linked Account is overdrawn.

An annual fee, if any, will be charged beginning in the first billing cycle after your Account is opened and in about the same billing cycle of the following year. The amount of any annual fee will vary based on the type of deposit account you have with Santander at the time the fee is assessed. Please refer to your Personal Deposit Product Guide and Fee Schedule for annual fee amount. The annual fee will be waived as long as you maintain a Santander Select, Premier, or Premier Plus deposit account. The annual fee will be $25 as long as you maintain a Santander Preferred deposit account. In all other cases, the annual fee will be $50.

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