What Is a Savings Account Withdrawal Fee?

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A savings account withdrawal fee is a fee you pay if you make too many withdrawals or outgoing transfers per month or statement period.

Key Takeaways

  • A savings account withdrawal fee is a flat charge made when you make more withdrawals or transfers than a stated limit.
  • Depending on the institution and account type, savings account withdrawal fees typically range from $1 to $15.
  • Limits may vary by number and period type.
  • To avoid savings account withdrawal fees, track your withdrawals or switch to a bank that doesn’t charge the fees.

How Savings Account Withdrawal Fees Work

A savings account withdrawal fee is charged when you make more than the specified limit of monthly withdrawals from a savings deposit account. This is typically a flat fee, meaning it doesn't matter how much money you withdraw—your bank or credit union will still charge you the same amount.

  • Alternate names: Excessive withdrawal fee, withdrawal limit fee, excessive activity fee

Today’s savings account withdrawal fees grew out of the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, which stated that any account classified as a “savings deposit account” had to limit a customer’s number of “convenient transactions“ to six. Regulation D discouraged using savings accounts as checking accounts to ensure banks had enough money to meet federal requirements.

In 2020, the Federal Reserve suspended Regulation D to help families access savings during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an interim rule. The new rule  “allows, but does not require, financial institutions to suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit and to allow their customers to make an unlimited number of convenient transfers and withdrawals from their savings deposits.” This means that banks and credit unions can stop charging fees but don’t have to do so.

As a result, some banks are temporarily waiving all fees for exceeding withdrawal limits while Reg D is suspended. An institution might waive the fees for everyone or just for certain kinds of customers, such as students or those with a certain amount in their account.

But because the fees aren’t prohibited, some banks and credit unions are still charging them, typically $1-$15, for excessive withdrawals. Banks and credit unions can make money by charging savings account withdrawal fees. The transfer and withdrawal prohibitions depend on the institution. Institutions can even limit you to two withdrawals per month, while others limit by statement cycle. Six per month is a typical savings account withdrawal limit, however.


If you have a money market account, account withdrawal limits and fees may differ and reach up to $15 per withdrawal. Check your account disclosure and fee agreement for details.

Example of Savings Account Withdrawal Fee

For example, a savings account withdrawal fee might be $5. The bank limits you to no more than six monthly withdrawals or transfers. Suppose you accidentally make a seventh transfer after noticing your checking account getting too low. You’ll be charged the $5 fee for the mistake.


A bank can also stop you from violating its limits in the following ways:

  • Preventing transactions beyond the limit
  • Monitoring your excess transfers and contacting you
  • Taking away your account’s transfer and draw capacity
  • Closing the account and moving your money to a checking account

How To Avoid Savings Account Withdrawal Fees

Savings account withdrawal fees can quickly add up. Here are a few ways to avoid the fees.

Review Withdrawal Rules and Fees

It’s ultimately up to you to read your bank’s fine print to discover and avoid any savings account withdrawal fees. Every bank has its own rules for savings account withdrawals. Look for:

  • Withdrawals, transfers, and transactions: How many and what types are allowed? 
  • Time period: Per month or statement period?
  • Fee per violation: How much will you pay if you exceed the limit?

Typically, you’ll find this information on the financial institution’s website or in the account details and fee schedule.

Switch Financial Institutions

Switch to a bank or credit union that doesn't charge savings account fees or charges far lower fees. Remember that these institutions reserve the right to change their rules, monitor your limits, or close your account, so watch policy change notices.

Keep an Eye on Overdrafts and Transfers

Banks may let you link your checking account to a savings account for free overdraft protection. While a great opt-in feature, any overdrafts could count toward the withdrawal limits.

Transfers to other accounts, either within the same bank or to another bank, also count. If you must transfer cash, plan to move money less frequently in larger amounts versus in smaller, more frequent amounts.

Switch Account Types

If you often make more than the limit of withdrawals in a month, it could be a sign that you need a different type of bank account. Or switch any automatic withdrawals (rent, utility bills) to come out of your checking account, not savings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why am I getting charged a withdrawal fee?

Your bank is likely charging you a withdrawal fee because you went over the financial institution’s limits for monthly or statement withdrawals. Check with your bank or credit union to find out how many withdrawals you can make without getting hit with a withdrawal fee.

What is a savings account withdrawal limit?

A savings account withdrawal limit is a restriction on certain transaction types from your account. They may include:

  • Third-party transfers (from platforms like Zelle or Venmo)
  • Online banking transfers
  • Transfers to another account at the same bank
  • Overdraft protection transfers to a linked checking account
  • Withdrawals at ATMs, by phone, mail, online, or in person
  • Pre-authorized or automatic payments coming from your savings account
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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Federal Reserve. "Regulation D: Reserve Requirements."

  2. Federal Reserve. "CA 21-6: Suspension of Regulation D Examination Procedures."

  3. Helpwithmybank.gov. "The Bank No Longer Pays Interest on My Money Market Account Because I Wrote Too Many Checks. Can It Do This?"

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