Dad talking on phone and doing chores

How To Get a Bank Fee Refunded

The Banks are Making Bank by Charging You Fees

Calling my bank to get a fee refunded is truly one of my least favorite things to do. You most likely feel the same way, but I’m here to tell you it’s worth it. Banks made $34.3 billion in overdraft fees alone in 2017 and they are counting on you to begrudgingly do nothing about these ethically questionable fees despite a bill passed in 2010 that explicitly requires you to opt-in for ‘overdraft protection’.

Make Money While Doing Chores

Depending on the fee, it can be well worth your time to get a bank fee refunded. If the call takes 15 minutes and you get two $35 overdraft fees returned, that’s the equivalent of making $280/hr. I typically do it during down time, when I’m driving somewhere or doing laundry, so I feel like I’m making money while doing chores.

Get a Bank Fee Refunded in Three Easy Steps

So, how do you go about getting a fee refunded? Follow these steps:

  1. Call your bank and get a human on the phone (just keep pressing zero). You can find the number to call on the back of your card. Have your account information handy.
  2. Once through to a rep, use this script:

    ‘Hi (rep’s name), I was reviewing my statement and I noticed that I was charged a number of fees. The fees were (x, y, and z) and totalled ($x). I’ve been a loyal customer for (X) years and I’d like to have these refunded as a courtesy.’

  3. If the first answer you get is ‘no,’ don’t give up. Remain polite, use the rep’s name, and repeat your request and ask what they can do. Insist that you’ve been a valuable, loyal customer and that you would really like to stick with the bank.

    ‘These fees are quite substantial and I’d like to have them waived. What can you do to help me?’.

Also: Stop Paying a Monthly Fee for Your Checking Account

If you’re being charged a monthly service fee for your checking account, you can follow a similar approach. Use this script:

‘I noticed I’m being charged a monthly maintenance fee on my checking account. I’ve received a number of offers from other banks that offer free checking. I don’t want to be paying a service fee and I’d prefer not to switch banks. What can you do to help me?’

FYI, there’s no reason you should ever be paying a monthly fee for a checking account! There are banks that offer zero fees for checking accounts.

Important Last Tip

One thing to remember is to be firm in your request to get a bank fee refunded. But be kind. Don’t yell or threaten. The rep has the power to help you and you need them on your side. Say please and thank you. Use their name. They get yelled at all. day. long. If they get someone nice on the phone for a change, they are often more inclined to help.

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