Many banking customers don’t even realize that they have to pay for excess withdrawals from their savings accounts until it’s time to pay up. At Bank of America, there is a $3 fee is charged to customers for making three or more savings account transactions. Far less generous than the six transactions most other U.S. banks allow on similar products, which is offered at no cost, find out why this strict withdrawal policy exists at Bank of America.

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Withdrawal policy at Bank of America

If you put your money into a Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) savings account, chances are you’re more than familiar with the bank’s three-transaction limit. Under that policy, customers who make more than three transactions within a monthly cycle can incur a $3 fee on their savings accounts.

What’s interesting about the bank’s policy is that it is actually much more rigid than federal rules dictated by Regulation D, which limits the number of transactions customers can make with their savings or money market accounts without incurring a fee.

The maximum number of transactions Bank of America customers can make on their savings accounts will still be six, after which they will then have the option of converting their savings account to a checking account. A similar fee would be imposed on money market accounts. You can read more about the fees on Bank of America’s website.

Its explanation: the fee helps to deter its customers from excessively dipping into their accounts.

According to The Consumerist, Bank of America maintains its savings account policy to deter customers from hitting the federal limit. A writer for the blog accurately likened the new policy to giving someone a speeding ticket for going 27.5 mph to deter them from going 55.

A representative for the bank couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Tip: Transactions that do not lead to excess withdrawals include those made in person or through an ATM machine, a check, messenger, or at a branch. These transactions will not be counted towards the allowed six withdrawals for the month.

UPDATE: Don Vecchiarello Jr., a spokesman for Bank of America, told MyBankTracker that the fee, which as been around for over 15 years, is much smaller than the the typical $12-$15 fee charged by most major banks on the seventh withdrawal for a savings or money market account.

“We begin charging a smaller fee on the fourth withdrawal in order to remind customers to maintain their savings account balance and promote good savings behaviors” said Vecchiarello. “The fee is still $3.00 on the seventh withdrawal, so over time customers making seven or more withdrawals from one of these savings accounts would most likely pay less in fees at Bank of America.”

Vecchiarello added that the bank’s goal was to “encourage customers to maintain money in their accounts as a way of promoting and reinforcing savings behaviors.”

Have you already been hit with Bank of America’s savings account fee? Sound off in the comments section below or write a bank review to let us know how you feel about it.

Carolyn Okomo

Carolyn Okomo

Carolyn Okomo is a staff writer for Her columns cover general personal finance topics with a focus on financial literacy.
Carolyn Okomo
  • PGLEZ47


  • asdf

    This fee is total bullshit… i am leaving BofA for it… helping me save by taking my money! WTF do these people think we have rocks in our heads?

  • Sharon

    I recently was charged $3.00 by Bank of America for “Fee For Checks And/Or Withdrawals Over Limit”. When I inquired via email what the details were for this charge, I was sent a word for word prepared legal explanation of when they levy these fees. Not understanding what “3 withdrawals per monthly statement cycle” and “Three violations in a 12 month period” (which results in your Savings Account being converted to a Checking Account) meant exactly, I asked for clarification. Did the “monthly statement cycle” mean every month, or every 3 months, which is when they issue statements for savings accounts? The response was the same. There was no clarification beyond BOA’s legal definition of Excessive Withdrawals.

    Then I read that there was an important change last year to the federal regulation that governs withdrawals on savings and money market accounts. The number of withdrawals per month allowed by check from money market accounts was increased from 3 to 6.

    Now why are Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, etc, allowed to hit their customers with a $3.00 fee for over 3 withdrawals in a 3 month period? I understand that if I would keep $2,500 in the account, and could count on that dollar amount for banking investments, (using my money to make money for themselves) I would not incur these fees, but that is once again a matter of the less than affluent population of America paying for being in that category, literally.

    Why can’t the Federal Government protect the U.S. banking customer from having to pay penalties to use their money as they please? I stash money in my savings account with the intention of saving, then often times run out of money before my monthly paycheck, and have to take from savings to cover bills in checking. Why should banks be allowed to penalize a customer for moving money between accounts? The Fed limit of 6 times per month is more than generous and i would have no problem abiding with those terms – but 3 times, in a month or 3 months?

    Why cant the Fed let us move our money around the way we see fit, and force banks to comply with their 6 a month limit?

  • Sharon

    This is the response I received from BOA when I asked for clarification on their Excessive Withdrawal fee…….. *Note they tell me the Federal limit is 6, but they do not further explain that it is 6 in a one month period…

    Dear Sharon, Thank you for your inquiry dated 7/5/2013
    regarding the Excessive Withdrawals. Your concerns are very important to us and
    we will be happy to assist you. Kindly be informed that the term Excessive Withdrawals is used whenever an account has exceeded the number of checks or withdrawals that is allowed for that specific account type. Please note, this account offers three withdrawals per monthly statement cycle at no charge. After three withdrawals, the charge per withdrawal is $3.00 if the minimum daily balance is below $2,500.00. To avoid the excessive transaction service
    charge, please limit your account activity to three withdrawals and transfers
    from your savings account each monthly statement period.FEDERAL
    REGULATION limits the number of withdrawals and transfers to six that may be
    made from a savings account. Please note that if the withdrawal limit is
    exceeded during three statement cycles in a 12-month rolling period, the
    account will be converted to a MyAccess Checking account. Should this happen, a letter will be sent to you letting you know of the account conversion.
    For your reference, following are the items that are counted
    towards the Excessive Withdrawal limits: – Automatic payment debit – Funds transfer by automated system, Online Banking or associate-assisted – Payment
    by Online Banking Bill Pay (Money Market Savings account only) – Scheduled funds transfer – ODP transfer If the account continues to experience excessive withdrawals, the account will eventually be converted from a savings account to a checking account after three violations in any 12 month rolling period. We
    apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If we may be of further
    assistance, please contact us again by e-mail. We value you as a customer and
    appreciate your business. Thank you for choosing Bank of America. Sincerely,
    Shawn Isaac Bank of America

  • crystal

    I got charged 72 dollars this is ridiculous and bull shit

  • hyped

    This quote, from bank spokesman Vecchiarello is such nonsense. “We begin charging a smaller fee on the fourth withdrawal in order to incent customers to maintain their savings account balance and promote good savings behaviors” said Vecchiarello.

    I have a hunch it’s to “intent” the bank to have more money on hand to invest at any given time. Maybe you can do a follow-up article getting some perspective of analysts, critics of banking laws favorable to the banks, analysts, professors????

  • keith

    I got hit a 45 dollar charge that is such bullshit

  • Chris

    I wasn’t charged $3.00, I was charged $18.00 for “Fee for checks and/Or Withdrawals over limit” WTF THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!

  • concerned account holder.

    This is misrepresentation of fees. I like perhaps a few million others was not aware of this. we need a class action lawsuit. some attorney should help us. we need to band together. now I realize where those excess charges were coming from. what a shame bank of america would do this. its misleading people that are not aware of this. let’s all call class action attorneys tomorrow. maybe then we will get some legal help.we should call appropriate government agencies to voice our opinions on this and make us heard. that is one of our legal rights.

    • Simon Zhen

      Regulation D, the law the governs the 6-withdrawals-per-month rule on savings accounts, does not say anything about fees, so banks are seemingly finding a reason to slap fees on customers.

      You can definitely drop a complaint on this policy withe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get things started: