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. Donna says:

    Does everyone realize how this Federal Regulation actually makes no logical sense in practice? What difference does it make whether you make your savings withdrawal in person at a bank counter, or online? A withdrawal is still a withdrawal. So if the supposed purpose of the regulation is to differentiate the use of savings accounts from checking accounts, they’ve contradicted it by allowing unlimited personal withdrawals.

    No, this is another example of collusion by the Feds and the banking industry to the detriment of the consumer – the same sort of greedy thinking and manipulation that led to the economic collapse. John and others above are right – there is no Federal mandate to impose fees. It’s the banks that are doing this, and their fees are arbitrary. I have just been hit with charges too, from Chase (who by the way starts dunning you after 4 withdrawals, not 6), and when I asked them where all the money from the charges went, they “didn’t know.”

    It doesn’t have to be like this. I live in England half the year, and have used several different “big” banks. There are NO FEES for unlimited transfers between your own savings and checking accounts (or to someone else’s for that matter), and there are NEVER any fees for online transactions between banks like there are in the US. It’s time the US banks were made to stop scamming the consumer with these bogus charges for internet transactions -which cost them nothing and save them countless hours of paid staff time.

    Thanks, everyone, for your posts. It’s good to know I’m not the only one outraged by this madness.

  2. Free Market says:

    Everyone – let us not forget why banks exist. They exist to make money like any other business. They will charge fees for their goods and services to make that money. They have all those executive salaries and investors to keep happy. Banks were never invented as a customer service industry, and certainly not a free industry of any kind. They have always made money on keeping a product safe in their vault rather than you keeping it under your mattress. Government regulations are their to protect the government and you. Banks are like any othe private enterprise that cannot regulate itself without causing harm to the public at large.

  3. point? says:

    I was charged $72 in Chase transfer fees in the past week. Was I notified I was charged? No.
    I have been babysitting for the past two weeks, and moving money around to try and keep track of it all. I hate having more in checking, so I move some back when it gets that way. But this morning I noticed money was going somewhere, and, as I am the only one on my account, I figured it was Chase. I was right. I called CS, and they told me it was a Fed. D regulation and that they had to charge the fees.
    After reading all this, I’m going to Chase tomorrow, and if they don’t refund my money, I’m going all cash.
    (Or maybe not.. No more eBay? :/)

  4. SCREW YOU says:

    Put your money in a safe and buy gold – LOTS OF IT

  5. SCREW YOU says:


  6. Jean says:

    But yet I can drive to the bank, round trip 10 miles, take this time out of work, fill out paperwork and do the EXACT SAME TRANSFERS – UNLIMITED YET – in person! What idiot in the federal government came up with this one? Someone who has an interest in an oil company or paper company?

    The in-person unlimited transfers are in the letter I just received from PNC Bank:
    Quote: “However, you may make an UNLIMITED number of the following types of transfers:
    -Withdrawals made in person, by automated teller machines(ATMs), mail, or messenger
    -Transfers to another PNC account made in person, by ATMs, mail or messenger.”

    Where is the logic??????? When I called them, they could NOT tell me why….the explanation in this article explains only part, not the reason why I have to go in person to do unlimited transfers!!!

    • Thatshowitis says:

      You can do it in person because they know that you probably won’t. I don’t like this rule because I use my savings account as a checking account. I like that it is called ‘savings’. It makes me feel like I am saving but the truth of the matter is I move a lot of money. I think if most people take a look at their activity a lot of it is for convenience not emergency. I understood when I opened the savings account that the bank wanted to ‘use’ my money. I agreed to let them use it in exchange for their services. I don’t like it, but it makes perfect sense that they would like to be able to know that the money I agreed to let them ‘use’ will be there in part in some way they can half way rely on. Considering we are in a depression, I think its fair that we want the flexibility to move money without penalty, but I agree if you are moving money ‘frequently’ it is not a savings account. You can set up two checking accounts and transfer to your heart’s content, or go to the bank as often as you need to. My bank does not charge ridiculous fees its $3 per additional transaction and they send several warnings and would change the account to checking. So some banks are taking advantage others are abiding by regulation. I think we know if they didn’t charge a fee at all consumers would not comply as readily.

  7. Faye says:

    It is interesing that you can exceed the limit and they charge you a $25.00 fee. Most banks
    and credit unions do not charge the fee but I
    happen to have one that does. Increases the bottom line for the famous financial institutios.

  8. katrina says:

    this is crap its my money i should be able to transfer it when i need to thanks to this my baby is going to starve. now iu cant buy formula because my money is stuck in my savings

  9. annie says:

    Man, a lot of you people are always so pissed off at things you don’t bother to understand.

    How’s about you take a moment to understand how the reg protects YOU. Or you can just join the teabagger party LOL and yell and scream stupid stuff all day.

    Have some personal responsibility and learn to manage your money: make a few large transfers into a checking account and then make as many transfers as you like. Or you could always try GOLD. LOL too funny.

    • Anonymous says:

      to this I say whatever!! Not everyone is in the position to be able to do this. I think it is wrong bottom line that the bank tells us, the ones who invest our money in their bank how much we can take out and when!! It’s a crazy law!! bottom line!

  10. Mike says:

    This is the stupidest law I have ever heard of. America is no longer a free country as long as we have politicians governing over every little thing we do.
    I currently have a government job, but we are not getting a single pay raise for three years, but I’m sure Obama and his gang of crooks are getting there payraises.
    I say we vote “None of the Above” in the next election, and see how the politicians like being unemployed.

  11. Sharon says:

    I just contacted Usbank and advised them of the withdrawal fee that was charged to my account. At first they had told me that there was no way they could reverse it. So I said whatever! Then I called back and asked for the manager to have them get my paperwork ready because I was stopping by at lunch time to close all my accounts with them. And so she said she would reverse it as a one time courtesy. She advised me that I should not continue to do transfers to prevent this.

    BS!!! I did get the fee reversed. Tha banks have the ability to do so!

    CALL THEM AND GET THEM TO REVERSE THEM FOR YOU otherwise you will cancel the accounts.

    IT works!

    • ty says:

      i did the same thing with wells fargo got on the phone 3 times today being nice and letting them say no but this time when i call im being rude and saying im closing the accounts because i heard people say it works and i need the money for my tuition im not giving up

  12. ignatz says:

    I love the way the banks blame the Federal Government when they are ones who lobbied to get it enacted.

  13. Skippy says:

    You know… you can have 2 accounts at 2 different banks and not get hit with this fee… They only monitor at their bank. So split your money bewteen 2 banks and play their game until they change the rules again!

  14. Bart says:

    fixemuprn must work for a politician. Lets hope not for a nuclear plant.

  15. Brad says:

    I want to lobbie to get this changed. We all need to start working on communication with our state senators. If enough of us are heard. We can make a change. So email Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. NOW WHILE YOU ARE STILL PISSED OFF LIKE ME.

  16. Anonymous says:


  17. Timmie says:

    I have transferred $ from savings to checking a lot a Chase using an ATM machine because that seemed to have been considered a “teller” under section D. Transferring from savings to checking either online or via telephone counted leopards the monthly limit. Only one time did I get a letter from Chase and a fee charged to me and that was due to an automated xfer from savings to checking that I forgot about…so I went over the monthly limit.

    As of November 19, 2011 Chase will start to count transfers from ATM machines and in person teller withdrawals towards the monthly limit. So now I am finished with using my savings account . Years ago I got maybe $15 in interest doing my transfer; however the pars 3 years I have only received 2 cents each year. It’s not with the time I am tacking to do these transfers.

  18. ATG says:

    I own an appliance store and recently fell victim to the 6 rule. Every time I sell an appliance, a portion of the sale needs to go back into my inventory savings account to purchase more inventory. I visit the credit union with daily checking account deposits then return to the office to do my accounting online at the credit union web site. I need to transfer funds daily from my checking to my saving based on my daily sales. I do all this simply for my tax records. Nope. Can’t be done anymore. I’m now using my mattress. How stupid.

  19. ty says:

    i just called wells fargo about this they tried to give me the courtesy but they said it was valid fee …. the only reason i didn’t have to get ghetto was the woman was so nice and was really understanding and tried her best to do something but couldn’t …. i will be switching back to my old credit union before 2012 so that will be better and prove my point . i just needed that 15 dollars for my tuition so now i have to take spending money and pay …. but out of the 10 ppl i talked to today she really tried and even gave me a complement for watching my finances like that …. if i had of talked to her this morning i might not be so pissed off with this crap

  20. SWTY says:

    I work for US Bank and was hit with a reg D fee. $150.00. . . We have two small children and with our economic condition we can’t afford to dish out any more than what is already distributed for bills and other necessities. Customers have fees waived everyday, I work for the bank and I’m not worth $150 to them.

  21. NA says:

    I was trying to refi my house. It wasn’t my fault, the Bank was back and forth, never called me back, yada yada, I didn’t want thousands sitting in my account. BOOM, it’s time to settle up and my bank wants to charge me for transfering money again ! It’s from MY checking to MY savings and I have to pay. WHAT A RACKET ! ANOTHER WAY TO GET MONEY OUT OF YOU.

  22. Carol Terwilliger says:

    Ok, I understand the 0% reserve. I was enraged when I found out I had to change over my whole banking system because I use my Savings account to cover a lot of EFT payments. I can’t see that the government has any say in how I use my savings account-their record isn’t that great in the financial realm, bu now I see better.

  23. Skippy says:

    Don’t like the Fed, well then why do most of you bitch about Ron Paul and call him crazy when in point of fact you want the exact same things!!!

  24. CAM says:

    If a bank closes your savings account due to exceeding your limit of withdraws can they seizue the account balance?

  25. Ray says:

    I was amazed to find that Desert Schools FCU had debited $20 from my savings account for transferring a portion of MY money from my savings account into my checking account on more than six occasions during last month.

    When I telephoned them to question this, they informed me that it was a federal requirement for all financial institutions to do this.

    Clearly, the banking institutions haven’t learned a thing from bankrupting themselves and continue to scam us for any and whatever reason they can get away with.

    I explained that it was prudent on my part to deposit MY money into a savings account in order to gain a pittance of interest for as long as possible, then transferring sufficient funds to my checking account as and when bills were due. They agreed, but said that was not allowed to happen more than six times per monthly cycle.

    I passionately hate financial institutions and all greed that they stand for! Why do we have to put up with this? It’s our money and therefore we should make the rules as to how it should be used.

    • MrM says:

      I was never overly-fond of Hells Fargo – even before times got rough they were charging $5.00 to cash a check that was written on THEIR institution if you didn’t have an account with them.

      I’d always kept over 10K in a savings account with Wachovia, and then they were consumed by WF. Just before Christmas I transferred money back and forth to and from checking a few times, but never actually used it – it went back into savings before the end of the year.

      Imagine my shock when in January, while reviewing my accounts on line, there were Three $15.00 fees for ‘excessive activity’. I was completely floored. Not once was a Hells Fargo employee ever troubled to make the transfers.. They were done by ME, sitting at my computer, in the night hours long after the bank had closed. They just Stole $45.00 from me and wouldn’t give it back.

      Then I received a letter ‘reminding’ me that if it persisted they reserved the right to either convert my savings account to a non-interest paying checking account, or simply close the account and mail the funds to me.

      Again, I was floored. I’ve looked up ‘Regulation D’ on line and can’t find anything to do with excessive transfers, but I might have missed it. Either way they work for ME, or so I thought…

      So this week I walked into my local branch, told them how sorry I was for being such trouble to them.. and that I could hardly sleep at night thinking I’d been such a ‘naughty’ customer… and that I didn’t even Deserve to be a customer of WF – so let’s just close my account, and I’d like the funds in cash please.

      The look on the officer’s face was priceless, and I know this isn’t the first time it’s happened…. “Is there anything we can do…?” Noooo.. you have been far too gracious, and I really don’t deserve to be able to take advantage of your services any longer..I’m just a rotten customer – I said …”Cash Please”… and walked across the parking lot to my local credit union.

      From Regulation D – to Grade F. Justice has been served.

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