How to refute an overdraft fee caused by your bank

An overdraft fee is charged by your bank when a payment (debit) or withdrawal of funds from your savings or checking account exceeds your available balance. Banks, (not EarnIn) control when debits are charged to your account; this varies depending on the bank.

If you have been charged an overdraft fee, you may still dispute such a charge with your bank and possibly obtain a refund. We have provided general guidance on how to go about disputing an overdraft fee via email or phone with your bank.

Please note: EarnIn does not guarantee or warrant any specific result and the information provided is for informational purposes only, and the decision is entirely held with your individual bank.

It is worth mentioning in an email or over the phone if:
- You are a loyal, long-standing customer
- You have multiple accounts with the bank, such as savings and checking
- You make regular deposits to your account (e.g. direct deposit)
- Overdrafts are a first-time/rare occurrence

Before contacting your bank by phone ensure you have the following information on hand:

- Name, ID verification [ss, gov. ID, DOB]

- Account number

- Bank statement, if readily available

- Amounts and dates that overdraft fees were assessed by your bank


The templates below are for you to use with your bank. For the email template, please copy + paste directly from this FAQ:

Phone Dialogue 

You: Hello, I would like to speak to someone regarding (an) overdraft fee(s) that were charged to my account.  

Be ready to explain the amounts and dates of your overdraft charges:

You: I had an overdraft fee(s) in the amount of [$xx.xx] charged to my account on [date] and would like to request a refund of those fees.  

Bank will explain why those were assessed based on the account balance and the date their system had the account debits scheduled. 

You: Thank you for the additional information.  However, due to the following reasons, I would like to request, as a courtesy, that the fee(s) be refunded or waived.


Tips to remember when you are on the phone:

  • Be polite. The customer service agent that you’re speaking with likely didn’t write the rules on whether or not they can grant overdraft fee refunds. Be patient, and be kind. 
  • Be persistent. Have several arguments prepared if possible. Focus on your value as a customer rather than why you got the fee. If the agent insists that they can’t help you, politely ask to speak with a supervisor.
  • Be prepared to not get a fee refunded every time. As a matter of fact, the more frequently you overdraft your account (and call to waive the charges) the less likely your bank will be willing to waive fees in the future. Also, keep in mind that sometimes it depends on which agent you speak with. Even if one agent won’t refund the fee, try calling again to pitch your argument to another agent.

Email Template

Dear Sir or Madam:

I recently received an overdraft fee(s) in the amount of [$xx.xx] on [insert date(s)] assessed by you.  I understand that my account balance may have resulted in the assessed overdraft fees; however, I am requesting that these be refunded as a courtesy due to the following reason(s):


  • Unknown timing of certain debits processed to my account
  • Merchant error that debited more than the authorized amount
  • Unknown recurring charge by [bank or merchant]
  • Assessed bank fees I was not aware of 
  • Fraud or identity theft on my account 
  • ATM withdrawal of funds despite insufficient balance  

Please respond back to this email, or I can be reached at: 

Thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this request. 

[insert full name]