How to Get a Bank Fee Rescinded

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When it comes to making money for a bank, there are few items as effective as a fee. Whether you have an overdraft on your account, are seeing a new annual fee on your credit card, or if you now have to pay a monthly service fee on your savings account when you balance drops, it is no fun to pay fees. However, fees seem to be multiplying in number; everyone seems to be charging fees.

You can, though, ask for a fee to be rescinded. It might not always work, but it never hurts to ask — especially if you are a good customer. I’ve had late payment fees waived on credit cards, as well as overdraft fees rescinded om my checking account. If you want a bank fee rescinded, you can increase the chance that it will happen by keeping the following in mind:

  • Be polite: Start off by being polite. Stay calm. Explain the circumstance, and describe your desired outcome. If you are reasonable, many banks are willing to rescind a fee — at least once.
  • Show that you tried: In some cases, you end up with an overdraft because a check you deposited earlier hasn’t cleared, or you end up with a late payment because you forgot to mail the payment on time, and it arrive a day or two late. If you can show that you made an effort, or that the fee is the result of a one-time slip-up, you are more likely to have the fee rescinded.
  • Don’t make it a habit: You are much less likely to have a fee rescinded if you have a habit of late payments, or of overdrawing your account. Banks are likely to forgive you on occasion, but “regulars” aren’t going to get the same treatment.

Also, you can find out what your bank’s policy is on waiving fees. My bank, for example, will waive one fee a year — just for the asking. This usually isn’t a policy that many banks advertise, since they’d rather you pay the fee. But it doesn’t hurt to ask about it at your bank.

What About Fees on Accounts?

Of course, if a bank account comes with a fee, it’s a little bit harder to avoid fees. In some cases, if your bank account slips below the minimum, but is back up quickly, you might have an argument. However, you might do more to go to your financial institution and ask about your options. Find out if there is a comparable account that doesn’t come with fees. You might be able to move a few things around, or you might be able to have your account converted to something without fees.

Another option is to change banks. There are a number of community banks and credit unions, as well as online financial institutions, willing to offer fee-free accounts. In some cases, these institutions will even refund you for ATM fees paid at different locations. If you go to your bank, and explain (politely!) that you are unhappy with the fees charged on the accounts, you might have those fees waived if you show you are ready to switch to a fee-free institution. Of course, you have to be ready to make the switch, just in case they say no.

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “How to Get a Bank Fee Rescinded”

  1. Bryant says:

    Great article and advice Miranda! I just ran into this issue with Chase. I was actually in the process of changing banks from Chase to Ally! That being said, I was in the process of transferring funds and left a little bit in my chase. Well, like you mentioned, a check was cashed LATE and it hit my account.

    It’s a good point to note that Chase’s Fee Reversal is 1 per 12 months. Not 1 per CALENDAR year, which isn’t really nice of them. So you could get a fee reversed today and if you got hit with another fee on 1/1/12, you would NOT be eligible. However, I stayed calm and explained my situation. It got transferred to a “supervisor” and after another minute of explanations, she did a one-time courtesy reversal. Whew!

    I can’t stand all these fees from Chase. I got charged for an INCOMING domestic wire transfer. I asked Chase what they did to deserve that fee. Wells Fargo (the sender) did all the work. They refused to reverse that so I made the decision to go to Ally.

    Ally currently has a paper deposit system via envelopes, which is a bit archaic, however; they are in the works of releasing iPhone and Android apps for “picture deposits” like Chase. Plus the 1% on my checking isn’t too shabby either.

    Great article and apologies for the my lengthy comment!

  2. mannymacho says:

    I’ve done this many times successfully – and it’s much easier than most people think. I never had to scream my lungs out just to get noticed or spend hours on the phone negotiating with a manager. It’s usually a call of a few minutes that saves me $30.

    • skylog says:

      i agree with you. it is not hard, and i have found “you attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.”

  3. Amy Saves says:

    i’ve had late payments waived on credit cards before. it’s totally worth calling to save the $25-30!

  4. Strebkr says:

    All you had to do at Chase was ask. Lately they have been getting a little stricter about it, but they still will waive a fee if you are a good customer.

  5. Ronald says:

    For late fee & interest charge waivers on a Chase credit card, my sister always gets them via e-mail request without breaking a sweat ever since Indian service reps started answering the e-mails in 2011. Prior to that, she has to make several LONGGGGG calls just to get a $25 LATE FEE waiver. Now she even gets interest charge waivers along with the late fee without asking for it.

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