NetSpend Overdraft Protection, Limits and Fees

This post explains about NetSpend overdraft limit and protection. As you read though, you will learn how to wisely use the NetSpend feature and prevent the avoidable fees. The overdraft option is, however, not for …

netspend overdraft protection

This post explains about NetSpend overdraft limit and protection. As you read though, you will learn how to wisely use the NetSpend feature and prevent the avoidable fees. The overdraft option is, however, not for everyone. To be qualified, you should register the overdraft protection.

Overdraft protection is a common financial term that’s used by many financial institutes. To understand the NetSpend’s overdraft option, you need to first understand what overdraft protection means.

Overdraft Protection

The finance expert blog explains that overdraft protection is a service offered by financial institutes that allow you to avoid sub-zero balance in your bank accounts. When you use a check, withdraw cash from the ATM, pay by debit card, or do other money-spending transaction, the balance in your bank account can fall below zero. This can cause an overdraft fee or a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee.

When you can use overdraft protection, your bank will cover some small amount below zero and charge you for the service – an overdraft fee. With this feature, you can still make the transaction finish successfully.

NetSpend Overdraft Protection

Now, let’s talk about overdraft protection offered by NetSpend. Although the broad concept stays the same, details are different.

Enrol in Optional Overdraft Protection

The first step is to register the NetSpend overdraft protection service. This is an optional service that won’t be given to everyone by default. According to the NetSpend terms document, you first have to contact the firm. To ask them, refer to their contact page and send a request.

Without enrolment, you won’t be able to use the feature for the following transactions:

  • Purchase transactions requiring your signature
  • Purchase transactions requiring your PIN
  • ACH debit transactions
  • ATM transactions

Any of the transactions above that incur overdraft will be rejected unless you have had confirmation from NetSpend.

Required Information for Enrolment

When you apply for the overdraft service, you will be required to submit your details including:

Not Available to Every NetSpend Card Holder

When you contact NetSpend, they will evaluate your qualifications for the overdraft protection service. As the term document puts it, “Overdraft Protection is an optional service offered to eligible NetSpend cardholders”.

At NetSpend’s Discretion

Even if you have completed enrolment, NetSpend does not guarantee to cover your overdraft transaction. If they don’t authorize and pay an overdraft, your transaction will be rejected. You should make sure that any negative amount in your account must be paid back within 30 days. Otherwise, your enrolled overdraft protection service will be deactivated.

For your reference, there are multiple ways to reload your NetSpend card.

These are some ways to refill your NetSpend account. Don’t forget reloading to avoid deactivation.

NetSpend Overdraft Limits and Fees

Now, let’s say you have been approved by NetSpend to use the overdraft protection service. The next thing you should know is what is going to be allowed and changed.

Free Overdraft Buffer

NetSpend will allow you to overdraft up to $10 for free. This means if your transaction makes any negative balance up to -$10 in your account, there won’t be any fee.

Grace Period for Transaction Beyond Negative $10

What would happen if your transaction goes beyond negative $10? Rest assured that it won’t incur a fee immediately, but there is a condition attached to it. There is a 24-hour grace period. That means that if you repay to make your balance back within a negative $10, you don’t have to pay a fee.

Overdraft Fee

If you fail to keep the grace period, you will be charged with an overdraft fee. The NetSpend Overdraft fee amounts to $15. Reasonably, NetSpend will not charge the fee more than 3 times per month.

Minimum Direct Deposit Requirement

To maintain eligibility for the overdraft protection service, you should meet the following conditions:

  • At least one $200 deposit or more every 30 days.
  • No negative balance for 30 days

Note that it is one deposit of $200 not summed amount of deposits. Also, if your account has a negative amount for 30 days, the overdraft protection will become deactivated according to the term document.

To clarify, it is the overdraft service that will be deactivated, not your NetSpend account. With this, you can still access and load money to fill your account. To re-activate the feature, you have to start from the beginning – contact again NetSpend to unfreeze your overdraft protection.

Condition for Permanent Termination

When you don’t meet the conditions above, deactivation will apply to your overdraft protection and you still have a chance to reactivate it. The conditions mentioned in this section, if not met, can cause a permanent termination of the protection and even your NetSpend account.

  • Your card account has a negative balance for more than 30 days on 3 separate occasions
  • Your card account has a negative balance for more than 60 days on any occasion

If either of the cases happens, your overdraft protection will permanently be terminated. You cannot reactivate it. If the latter case happens, NetSpend has a right to close your NetSpend account at any time thereafter and to collect any amount owed at their sole and absolute discretion.

Reload Money into NetSpend Account

As we learned above, it is important not to go below zero balance. If you have to, remember to repay the owed amount before the grace period to avoid overdraft fee. Adding money into your NetSpend account is easy. There are also many options for reloading.

This post explains in detail various ways of adding money into your NetSpend account. If you are interested in asking someone else to reload into your account, this article can be helpful as well.

Overdraft Protection Trend

As I researched the topic, I wondered if this service has been considered an important feature by customers and if people kept showing interest. If we can see that people kept showing attention, we can regard it as a useful feature. If not, then it is likely to be not an important service. One way to find out is using Google Trends.

Overdraft Protection Trends

Google Trends is an extremely helpful tool by Google that gives you a historical Google search trend. The idea is that if a product or a company can maintain or can increase its search volume over the years, it can indicate the quality of the product. Then, how has the trend of overdraft protection been?

The blue line shows the changes of the search volume over the past 5 years in the U.S. As you can see, since April 2015, the trend has been on the rise. It recently dropped to a lower volume, but it remains to be seen. If the patterns of the past continue, however, we will be able to see a recovery and uptrend in the future.

This tells us that people like overdraft protection service overall.


We have learned details about the NetSpend Overdraft Protection limits and fees. Although it is a convenient feature, it can incur preventable fees. However, it will be a great feature as long as you remember to repay the owed amount within the grace period and meet the conditions.

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