It’s happened to all of us: A small budget miscalculation or oversight that resulted in an unexpected shortage of funds.

That’s why having Overdraft Protection is convenient. It covers transactions that exceed the balance in your checking account, giving you peace of mind and eliminating the inconvenience of a rejected check, debit card or ATM transaction.

Step 1: Choose your backup accounts

With Overdraft Protection, you can link up to three eligible accounts to your checking account.1  Then, if you overdraw your checking account, funds from the linked accounts will be transferred automatically to cover your negative checking balance.

Eligible U.S. Bank accounts include:

You can also choose the order in which your accounts are linked for Overdraft Protection. This allows you to pull money from a savings account before transferring funds from an account that charges interest.

Step 2: Set up Overdraft Protection

Once you've decided which accounts you want your Overdraft Protection transfers to come from, you're ready to set up Overdraft Protection. To do this, simply:

  • Log in to Online Banking or Mobile Banking, then go to your checking account and click the Overdraft Protection link.
  • Call us at 800-872-2657 (800-US BANKS).
  • Talk to a banker at any U.S. Bank branch.

How Overdraft Protection works

Once you link your accounts, funds will automatically be transferred from the linked Overdraft Protection account as follows:

  • If the negative available balance in your checking account is $5.01 or more, funds will be transferred in multiples of $50, and the Overdraft Protection transfer fee will be charged.
  • If your negative available balance is $5.00 or less, the transfer amount will be $5.00, and the Overdraft Protection transfer fee will be waived.

If the account linked for Overdraft Protection doesn’t have sufficient funds to cover the overdraft:

  • The available balance in the linked account will be transferred to reduce the overdrawn amount.
  • If there’s another account linked to your checking account, funds will be transferred from that account in multiples of $50 to cover the remaining negative balance.

For example, let’s say your checking account balance is $42 and the available checking balance in the linked account is $1,000. If you write a check for $125, this would overdraw your checking account by $83. We would transfer $100 from your primary account linked for overdraft protection, which includes enough to cover your negative balance and your Overdraft Protection transfer fee.

Overdraft Protection transfer fees (and how to avoid them)

Linking your account for Overdraft Protection is free. However, every day an Overdraft Protection transfer is made, an Overdraft Protection transfer fee will be charged to the checking account that received the transfer. For most U.S. Bank checking accounts, this fee is more than $12.50.

Ways to reduce or avoid overdraft protection transfer fees:

  • Set up account alerts and receive email or text messages when your balance is low or when payments are due.
  • Monitor your account and transfer funds into your checking account on your own before an overdraft occurs.
  • Switch to a different type of checking account. Gold Checking customers pay $7.50 for Overdraft Protection transfers, and Platinum Checking customers pay no Overdraft Protection transfer fee. To switch to a different account, Call us at 800-872-2657 (800-US BANKS), or talk to a banker at any U.S. Bank branch.

Standard overdraft coverage vs. Overdraft Protection

Standard overdraft coverage pays some types of overdrafts. U.S. Bank will authorize and pay overdrafts for these types of transactions at our discretion:

  • Checks and other transactions that use your checking account number
  • Automatic bill payments
  • Recurring debit card transactions (for example, when you pay a monthly gym fee automatically with your U.S. Bank Visa® Debit Card)

We will not authorize and pay overdrafts for these types of transactions unless you say "yes" to ATM and Debit Card Overdraft Coverage:

  • ATM transactions
  • Everyday debit card transactions (purchases made with your debit card on day-to-day basis)

Each overdraft item we pay on your behalf will be subject to "Overdraft Paid" fees.

Overdraft Protection pays all types of overdrafts. Funds are automatically transferred from the account or accounts you link (a savings account, for example) to cover your negative checking account balance, saving you from uncertainty and overdraft fees.