Limit of 6 ACH Transfers on Savings Accounts

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There is a limit of six transfers, ACH or otherwise, per statement cycle on savings accounts as mandated by the Federal Reserve board Regulation D, which defines the rules of each account type and its reserve requirement. Why is this important? With the advent of online savings accounts and the chase for a better interest rate, ACH transfers into and out of savings accounts are becoming more frequent. Before online savings accounts like ING Direct and Emigrant Direct, when you actually had to visit a bank to initiate an ACH transfer; a limit of six transfers on a savings account wasn’t really a problem. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to initiate six in a year, let alone six within a statement month. Now, you can initiate six ACH transfers within a statement cycle without really realizing it and that can be cause to terminate your account!

The reason for this is because your savings account is classified as a “saving deposit” and the reserve requirement on a “saving deposit” is 0%, compared to something like 10% on a “transaction account.” A reserve requirement is how much of the balance the bank must keep in reserve and not give out in loans. So when Emigrant Direct gets your $1,000 in your saving account, it doesn’t need to hold any of that in its reserves, it can loan all thousand dollars because the reserve requirement on a savings account is 0%. (hence the attractive rates) On a checking account (a transaction account) however, they must retain 10% of the balance on hand because the assumption is you will be drawing on your funds more frequently.

So, why did I look this all up? Because when I was reading the Emigrant Direct’s disclosure statement (link), I stumbled upon this rule:

Federal regulations require that no more than six (6) transfers per statement cycle may be made to (1) an account at another bank or financial institution, including your External Account, (2) to another EmigrantDirect account or (3) to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic electronic transfer. We reserve the right to close your Account for violation of the above restriction.

This is nearly an exact copy of Section 204.2(d)(2) of Regulation D of the Federal Reserve Board’s definition of a “savings deposit:”

the depositor is permitted or authorized to make no more than six transfers and withdrawals, or a combination of such transfers and withdrawals, per calendar month or statement cycle . . . to another account (including a transaction account) of the depositor at the same institution or to a third party by means of a preauthorized or automatic transfer, or telephonic (including data transmission) agreement, order, or instruction, and no more than three of the six such transfers may be made by check, draft, debit card, or similar order made by the depositor and payable to third parties. (reference)

So, be aware of the six transfer limit on online savings accounts or you might be in for a surprise!

{ 316 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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316 Responses to “Limit of 6 ACH Transfers on Savings Accounts”

  1. Sarah Choudhary says:

    Yesterday I was surprised when my hard earned $15 vanished from saving account. i called customer service. They said its federal regulations. I asked them where were these regulation when I opened this account and deposit $$$$, They just repeated federal regulation and 6 per month stuff. I asked for reimmbursement they said BIG NO. Wells fargo`s cheap stunt. I am looking for other bank. Probably I would be happy with bank of America.

    • J.R. says:

      Bank of America does the same thing. Apparently, we can’t escape this no matter what bank we choose. We just have to appeal to our reps in Congress to fight for what we want because I think it’s ridiculous. My personal savings is not a 401(k). I should be able to transfer money whenever I feel like it. We might as well save money in a bucket at home and make “transfers” whenever we please b/c then there would be no fees! I might close my savings acct!

  2. Brian says:

    One credit union I have an acct. with don’t play those games ie charges fees or threaten to close acct. they simply just don’t allow the transfer, you just get an error msg if you try.

  3. bagel says:

    I just got a letter from Wells Fargo saying that I went over my 6 transactions limit for my online banking. But at the bottom it days that I can make unlimited transactions at any Wells Fargo location or ATM. So what is the point?

  4. Evelyn Havelka says:

    I received a letter from my bank, Chase advising me that if I continue to go over my limit of 6 withdrawals, they will change my acct. to a checking acct. This is a Fed law. I agree with JR that I would be better off keeping my money at home. P.S. The withdrawals were for deposits and final paymts for home improvements and I thought the money was safer in a savings acct until I needed it. ER

  5. S M says:

    I just received a notice from my bank, I feel I should be able to transfer/withdraw MY money whenever I want, I think it would be safer at home away from the federal laws, and people telling me what I can and can’t do with it.

  6. Melissa says:

    I got this notice this week and thought it was absurd! I’m with JR all the way.

  7. Jeff says:

    As a credit union member, I just had this happen. On top of this federal requlation, my credit union gives me 5 on-line transfers between savings and checking (another federal regulation) then I have to go to the bank’s atm machine to do the transfers. All I can say is ARGH!!!

  8. ray says:


  9. David B says:

    I just got a letter from our bank saying what all you have said. How bout the Federal Government stay the hell out of our lives!!!!! We will be closing our savings account and getting a coffee can to save our money

  10. Just mike says:

    I understand the frustration, that is how I got here. The seemingly foolish laws often come tied to the ones we asked for. Hiding your money in the back yard is a bit of cutting off your nose.

  11. JMW says:

    I was actually told by US Bank that the idea behind is the gov’t attempt to thwart any transfers of funds by terrorist. Keeps them from funding operations. Myself I still think it’s a rip as they would not be stopped by a 15.00 charge. Besides the gov’t needs to get their own stuff straight before they start worrying about mine.

    • Wronged in PA says:

      We were told by my daughter’s bank that it is an attempt to thwart money laundering. What the heck does that have to do with anything? Especially if you are allowed to walk into the bank ant any time and make as many transfers as you wish. My daughter’s bank screwed up somehow and direct deposits her checks right into her savings account. My daughter never gave her work her savings account number, so the bank had to have made the change somewhere along the line (someone probably didn’t even use the account number, and just picked the first account they seen under my daughter’s name when they got the request). In any event she has received two fees so far costing her almost $70 of her hard earned money because the bank screwed up and no one explained to her that she is not allowed to use her own money until she can make it to the bank on the Saturday after she gets paid to transfer the funds from within the bank. The other kicker is, without a savings account they charge a fee to have a checking account! This is absurd! And for what? So the banks can use your money to give to someone else to use? I call BS!

  12. khorisma says:

    Don’t get government and federal reserve confused. The rederal reserve is not part of the Government. It’s Private. The gov’t are just a bunch low life’s afraid to tell the fed anything because they can’t and don’t have a clue on how to run an economy. So really the government is staying out your business they just can’t and won’t do anything. The Fed’s run the show.

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