Oops! You overdrew your account! Those annoying overdraft fees can really add up. But, did you know you can get them back by asking the right way? If you find yourself needing those bank fees to pay for your bills, try these tips.
The right time to go into a bank and ask for fees back is at the beginning of the month. Banks will usually have a monthly or weekly fee retention goal. The closer they get to hitting the limit, the less likely it is you'll get fees back. So, the first Monday of a new month is the best day to go in and talk to someone.
If it's your very first fee, simply ask if you can get a one-time courtesy fee reversal. This usually works. If you're new to the bank, explain you didn't understand the way the telephone or online banking system works and the fee surprised you.
If you have a ton of fees, the chances of getting 100% back are slim. But, you may be able to get half of them back. Understand that you'll need to talk to the bank manager. Usually, these are the only employees that can credit high dollar amounts back. For high amounts, you need a great excuse. No sob stories.
The worst thing you can do is raise your voice or talk about what a bad bank it is. This will surely get you nothing. If you are honest in saying you weren't aware of the length of the hold placed on an out of state check (especially if it was recently a holiday), you may be able to get some money back. Anything you can come up with about the overdraft fee being unclear is great.
It's important to know that at the end of the business day, the bank will take out the largest amount first. What this means is if you use your card for a $20 purchase, then a $100 purchase, then a $5 purchase, it doesn't matter what order you spent in. The $100 will come out first. Always. This is really unfair actually because if you had a check come through for a high dollar amount and it uses up all your money, you'll get hit with fees for every one of the smaller amounts rather than just the big one. It's tricky and underhanded, but legal because this is explained in the fine print when you open your account. If this happened to you, if you go into the bank and explain if your debits cleared in a different order, you would only get one fee you will probably get something back. But, don't do it again. You won't be so lucky the next time.
The best thing you can do is prevent fees of course. Always know your balance. Don't guess and don't spend more than what you have.