Overdraft Fees

hen are overdraft-related fees issued, and how can I avoid them?

When are overdraft-related fees issued, and how can I avoid them?

Before we get into the details about overdraft-related fees and how to avoid them, let's first cover the types of overdraft-related fees.

Overdraft Fee
A $36 fee that is incurred when a transaction amount exceeds your available balance and is paid with negative funds.

Returned Item Fee
A $36 fee that is incurred when a check or ACH item is returned unpaid due to not having a sufficient available balance.

Extended Overdraft Fee
A $36 fee that is incurred when your current (ledger) balance has been negative for five consecutive business days (excludes Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). We start counting on the day your current balance becomes negative.

Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee
A $12.50* fee incurred on the day Overdraft Protection is used. As long as the linked account balance can cover the transaction amount, you will pay just one transfer fee on the day the overdraft occurs—regardless of how many transfers are made. 

Now let’s talk more about how the overdraft fees work and how you can avoid them:

  • When Overdraft and Returned Item Fees Are Issued

    • Overdraft and Returned Item Fees are assessed when you try to use more money than there is available in your account—so, more money than your available balance reflects.

      Until a deposit is made to cover all outstanding transaction amounts, your available balance will be negative, and you will incur a fee of $36 each time a transaction is paid with negative funds or returned as unpaid. (SunTrust will not charge a fee on any transactions that are less than $5 and we limit Overdraft and Returned Item fees to six per day.) If your balance remains negative for five consecutive business days, you may be charged an additional one-time Extended Overdraft Fee.

      If you incur an Overdraft or Returned Item Fee, we’ll make it easy to see in Online Banking and Mobile Banking, along with the transaction that caused it. You can also click on “Why did this happen?” to see a view of your account activity for the day you were overdrawn and the order in which your transactions were processed to better understand why a fee was charged.

      Here's an example from Online Banking:

      Online Banking Overdraft Fee Example

      Note: Overdraft Fees may be assessed on checks, recurring debit card transactions and ACH items. Also, if you have accepted Overdraft Coverage, ATM and one-time debit card transactions may be assessed an Overdraft Fee.

  • Exceptions to the Overdraft and Returned Item Fee Rules

    • Exception 1: If your account becomes overdrawn during a business day, you can avoid a fee by making a deposit or transferring funds from another account to cover the overdraft by the daily deposit cut-off time. If you make a check deposit, this assumes that we do not place a hold on it.

      Exception 2: SunTrust will waive Overdraft/Returned Item Fees on transactions less than $5. When we do, it’ll show up in Online and Mobile Banking as an “overdraft item fee not charged” or a “returned item fee not charged.” Even if you have multiple overdrafts in one day, you will not be charged for the transactions that are less than $5.

      Say you had $7 in your checking, but you made several transactions that caused your balance to become negative.

      Transactions Transaction Amount Available Balance Overdraft Fee
      Coffee Purchase, debit card $3.00 -$1.00 No
      Lunch Purchase, debit card $4.00 -$5.00 No
      Check 102 $87.00 -$92.00 Yes
      Check 104 $4.00 -$96.00 No

      You're only charged a fee for check 102 because the overdraft is $5 or more.

      Exception 3: An Overdraft Fee will not be assessed if the transaction that caused the overdraft is a one-time debit card transaction or an ATM transaction provided you had declined Overdraft Coverage at the time the transaction was authorized.

  • How to Avoid Extended Overdraft Fees

    • To avoid an Extended Overdraft Fee, you must make a deposit to bring your current balance positive by the daily deposit cut-off time on the fifth consecutive business day. We start counting on the day your current balance becomes negative.

      For Example:

      If you overdraw your account on... You must make a deposit to cover the overdraft by the daily deposit cut-off time on... Or you will be charged the Extended Overdraft Fee on...
      Monday Friday Friday
      Tuesday Monday Monday
      Wednesday Tuesday Tuesday
      Thursday Wednesday Wednesday
      Friday Thursday Thursday

      Note: Keep in mind that Extended Overdraft Fees are in addition to any overdraft or returned item fees that have already been assessed.

      How we help you avoid an Extended Overdraft Fee:

      • We will mail you a written notification when you first overdraw your account or an item is returned.
      • An alert will be displayed in Online and Mobile Banking when you are at risk of incurring an extended overdraft fee. It will show you the date you must make a deposit or transfer by to bring your balance positive and avoid the fee.
      • Online Banking clients will receive an email notification to their email address on file. There is no need to opt-in to receive this alert, it is automatic; however, please make sure your email address in Online Banking is up-to-date so you can receive important notifications about your account.

Best Practices and Money Management Solutions for Avoiding Fees

  • Update Your Check Register

    Update Your Check Register

    When you use a check register to record account activity, you’re in charge of tracking every transaction in and out of your account, so your account balance is sure to be top of mind.
    More About Check Registers >

  • Utilize Our ATM Network

    Utilize Our ATM Network

    From checking account balances to making transfers and deposits, our network of over 2,000 ATMs can help you keep your account balances in check, too.
    More About ATMs > 

  • Keep the Deposits Coming

    Keep the Deposits Coming

    One sure way to avoid overdrafts is to keep your account balance positive by depositing money. Mobile, in-branch and direct—there are a variety of deposit options available.
    More About Deposits >

  • Transfer Money Over the Phone

    Transfer Money Over the Phone

    With our automated phone service, you can complete one-time transfers immediately with the press of a few buttons. Simply call 800.SUNTRUST before the deposit cut-off time.


* The $12.50 Overdraft Protection transfer fee is charged to the protected deposit account. All advances are subject to funds availability. The $12.50 Overdraft Protection transfer fee does not apply to Overdraft Assurance line of credit. See our Fee Schedule and your account agreement for complete terms and conditions.

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