This is what you need to know about overdrafts, overdraft fees and how to avoid them.
Beginning Monday, November 4, the following overdraft practices will apply.
- The balance used for determining overdrafts will be your available balance rather than your end-of-day balance. Your end-of-day balance is your balance upon settlement of transactions each business day and is the balance shown on your deposit statements.
- Holds for pending electronic transactions, such as debit card purchases and hotel or rental car deposits, will reduce your available balance and may cause your account to become overdrawn.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: If your account is overdrawn five consecutive business days, a $35 extended overdraft fee will be charged in addition to any per item overdraft fees already incurred. Overdraft and Insufficient Funds (NSF) Return Item Fees are $35 per item. There is a limit of five per-item charges per business day for consumer accounts.
- Our standard overdraft practices will replace Fidelity Bank’s Overdraft Service Program.
Please reference the example below for further explanation:
|DAY||TRANSACTION DESCRIPTION OR ACTION Available Balance Used to Determine Overdraft||BALANCE UPON SETTLEMENT OF BUSINESS DAY’S TRANSACTION|
|PERSONAL ACCOUNT||BUSINESS ACCOUNT|
|Friday||Balance as of end-of-day settlement Friday night||$100.00||$100.00||$100.00||$100.00|
|Saturday||$50.00 Debit Card Purchase at Merchant||N/A||$50.00||N/A||$50.00|
|Monday||$75.00 Check Presented for Payment||$25.00||($25.00)||$25.00||($25.00)|
|Monday||Overdraft Fee for Check ($35.00)||N/A||($60.00)||N/A||($60.00)|
|Tuesday||$50.00 Debit Card Transaction Settles from Saturday||($25.00)||($60.00)||($25.00)||($60.00)|
|Tuesday||Overdraft Fee for Debit Card transaction ($35.00) Not Assessed*||($60.00)*||($60.00)*||($60.00)||($60.00)|
*Ameris Bank will not charge an overdraft fee on ATM and one-time debit card transactions if there were sufficient available funds in your account at the time the transaction was approved. Additionally, for personal accounts the bank is prohibited from charging an overdraft fee on ATM and one-time debit card transactions unless you have specifically requested Ameris Bank to authorize and pay these overdrafts.
Overdrafts Due to ATM & One-Time Debit Card Transactions
For personal accounts, Ameris Bank will not authorize overdrafts on your ATM or one-time debit card transactions, unless you specifically authorize Ameris Bank to do so. All current authorizations made with Fidelity Bank will transfer to Ameris Bank. Beginning Monday, November 4, to provide or change your authorization to Ameris Bank:
- Log in to online banking and denote your ATM/Debit Card Overdraft Settings, or
- Call 866.616.6020 and select option 1 for automated telephone banking; opt-in preferences are accessible from the account service menu after verifying your checking account information, or
- Call our Customer Care Center at 866.616.6020.
- Ameris Bank cannot charge an overdraft fee for an ATM or one-time debit card transaction unless you have provided this authorization for personal accounts.
Other Overdraft Management Solutions
Ameris Bank offers overdraft protection plans which may be less costly for you than our standard overdraft practices:
- Automatic transfer from another deposit account to cover an overdraft.
- Automatic transfer of available funds from a line of credit (which is subject to credit approval) to cover an overdraft.
An automatic transfer to cover your overdraft item(s) is $10 from a linked deposit account. For advances on a line of credit there is no fee for the transfer; however, you will incur interest charges as specified in your agreement until the balance is repaid. If there are not sufficient funds in your overdraft protection transfer account to cover the overdraft, standard overdraft practices will apply.
Tools to Assist in Avoiding Overdrafts and Understanding Your Account
- To avoid overdrafts, keep track of what you are spending and don’t forget outstanding transactions. Please be aware that holds placed on your account, including exception and case-by-case holds on deposited items and holds for pending electronic transactions, such as debit card purchases and hotel or rental car deposits, reduce your available balance and may cause your account to become overdrawn. Your available balance may not reflect all your transactions, such as checks you have written or debit card transactions that have been approved but not yet submitted for payment by the merchant.
- Ameris Bank provides you with ready-access to your available balance information through multiple channels. If you are aware that your available balance will not cover current and outstanding transactions, you have an opportunity to make a deposit to ensure sufficient funds are in your account and available for processing at the end of the business day.
- Electronic Banking: Take advantage of real-time, round-the-clock access to your account information though Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Text Banking, email and text alerts, and automated telephone banking. We encourage you to use these services to help you manage your account responsibly.
- Real-Time Balance and Transaction Availability: When using electronic banking, you will now see a real-time, updated account balance providing detailed information for all posted and authorized pending transactions. This balance will not include overdraft limits and checks that have not been presented for payment.
- ATM Receipt: Your ATM receipt balances will provide your actual, real-time balance (does not include any overdraft limits.)
Standard Overdraft Practices
Ameris Bank offers overdraft protection plans including transfers from another Ameris Bank account or a line of credit in addition to our standard overdraft practices.
Ameris Bank applies our standard overdraft practices to your checking account. With our standard overdraft practices we will generally pay your overdraft items up to $500 ($1,000 for Amenity and Advantage Checking or $1,500 for business checking, excluding Analysis, Non-Profit, IOLTA and Public Funds) after your account has been open for 30 days. The amount of the overdraft items and all applicable fees, including but not limited to the overdraft fees, are included in this limit. Whether your overdrafts will be paid is at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. If multiple items are presented to the bank for payment and there are not sufficient funds to pay all those
items, the bank has the right to decide the order of the items that will be paid and which items will be returned, if any.
We typically do not pay overdrafts when:
- You do not bring your account to a positive balance within 20 days of becoming overdrawn.
- Your account product type is not eligible.
- You are subject to any legal or administrative order, levy, or are currently a party in a bankruptcy proceeding.
- You have an outstanding balance on an overdraft repayment plan.
- Your account is being reviewed for fraudulent activity or transactions.
- The primary account owner is less than 18 years old.
- You have not made a deposit to your account in the last 33 days.
- We believe you are not managing your account in a responsible manner, which may harm you or us.
Costs you may incur with our Standard Overdraft Practices
You will be charged an Overdraft or NSF Return Item fee of $35 for each item that is presented against an available balance insufficient to cover the transaction. There is a limit of five charges per day for consumer accounts. An Overdraft or NSF Return Item fee will not be assessed if the account is overdrawn $5.00 or less.
If you do not bring your account to a positive balance, you will be charged an Extended Overdraft fee of $35 on the fifth business day that your account has a negative available balance. All deposits to overdrawn accounts are applied to the negative balance. You are expected to bring your account to a positive balance within 60 days.
Items covered by our Standard Overdraft Practices
Standard overdraft practices covers all checks, in-person withdrawals, ACH transactions, preauthorized electronic transactions, automatic bill payments, and recurring debit card transactions. For personal accounts, standard overdraft practices do not cover ATM and one-time debit card transactions unless you authorize Ameris Bank to pay these types of transactions causing an overdraft.
If you have authorized payment for ATM and one-time debit card transactions, please verify your balance before initiating an ATM cash withdrawal or making a purchase. Each overdraft will be subject to a $35 overdraft fee.
How an Overdraft Occurs
Your available balance is used to determine an overdraft. An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money available in your account to cover posted transactions at the time of processing each business day. An overdraft may result from:
- the payment of checks, electronic funds transfers, or other withdrawal requests
- payments (checks or automatic drafts) authorized by you
- returned unpaid item(s) deposited by you
- imposition of bank service charges
Your account’s available balance is our most current record of the amount of money available for your use or withdrawal. We use the available balance to authorize your transactions during the day. Holds placed on your account, including exception and case-by-case holds on deposited items and holds for pending electronic transactions, such as debit card purchases and hotel or rental car deposits, reduce your available balance.
The available balance does not reflect every transaction you have initiated or previously authorized. For example, your available balance may not include the following:
- Outstanding checks and authorized automatic withdrawals (such as recurring debit card, transfers, and ACH transactions that we have not received for payment or received too close to our nightly processing to include in your available balance).
- The final amount of a debit card purchase. For example, we may authorize a purchase amount prior to a tip that you add.
- Debit card transactions that have been previously authorized but not sent to us for payment from your account generally within 3 business days or up to 30 business days for certain transactions. We must release the transaction authorization hold even though the transaction may be sent for payment from your account at a later date.
Processing Order of Transactions
We process transactions in the following order:
- Deposits and credits.
- Obligated debits such as cashed checks at any Ameris Bank teller line, in-person savings/money market withdrawals, wires or Fed Withholding transactions (in order based on timestamp, but if no timestamp, then debits are posted in order of lowest to highest).
- ATM/Debit Card Debits (in order based on timestamp).
- ACH/Electronic Debits (in order based on timestamp, but if no timestamp, then debits are posted in order of lowest to highest).
- Checks (in order based on sequential check serial number, but if serial number is missing, then processed in order of lowest to highest).
Opting Out of Standard Overdraft Practices
If you do not want the convenience of our standard overdraft practices, you may call our Customer Care Center at 866.616.6020 to notify us of this preference. Items presented in excess of your available balance will be returned and you will be charged a $35 NSF Return Item fee for each.
Customers who receive a Social Security, federal direct deposit, or any other entitlement benefit must opt out if they do not want the bank to apply those funds to pay an overdraft.
Your account agreement describes the duties, obligations, and rights of depositors, authorized signatories and the Bank with regard to your deposit accounts. That account agreement is incorporated herein for all purposes as if it were set forth verbatim as to matters not directly addressed by this disclosure.
Your account agreement and this disclosure shall be construed so as to minimize conflicts between them.
The bank’s forbearance from, or delay in, exercising any of the bank’s rights, remedies, privileges, or right to insist on your strict performance of any provisions of your account agreement, this standard overdraft practices disclosure, or any other provision related to your account, shall not be construed to be a current or future waiver of the bank’s rights, remedies or privileges.
You and the bank agree that the exclusive remedy and forum for all disputes arising out of standard overdraft practices or you or the bank’s performance there under, except for matters you or Bank take to small claims court, is arbitration by an independent arbitrator pursuant to the applicable rules of the American Arbitration Association, except as prohibited by law.