What Is an Insufficient Funds Fee?

Also called a non-sufficient funds fee, this is one of the most common and frustrating hidden bank fees.

2 min read

Imagine this scenario: Your electric bill for the month is $100 and you have an automatic payment scheduled for that amount with your electric company. But you only had $99 in your checking account, which is not quite enough money. Your payment “bounces” because your bank won’t make up the $1 difference and your electric company won’t accept the payment. Your electric bill is still unpaid. On top of that, your bank may charge you a fee: an insufficient funds fee.

An insufficient funds fee is an extra charge you may incur when you write a check for an amount that’s larger than the balance of your checking account. Also called a non-sufficient funds fee, it’s one of the most common hidden bank fees. With N26, you don’t have to worry about insufficient fund fees and many other common hidden bank fees.

How much are insufficient funds fees?

Many banks will charge you between  $27 and $35 for every check that bounces. If you’re not keeping an eye on your bank account, several days may go by before you realize what is happening. If you’ve made several transactions that can’t be covered, you’ll be charged multiple fees.

In the case above, the electric company might also charge you a fee along with a penalty for your late payment. It all adds up to a lot of money — and one gigantic headache.

How to avoid insufficient funds fees

Want to avoid all the hidden bank fees at once? Find an account with no insufficient funds fees, like N26. With an N26 account, you’ll never encounter hidden fees: no maintenance fees, no minimum balance fees, and no overdraft fees to name a few.

But no hidden fees are just the beginning to the benefits of banking with N26. You’ll also get access to tools that help you make the best financial decisions and avoid overspending in the first place.

Track your expenses by category (restaurants, groceries, bills, and more) with automatic spending stats. Create personal tags to organize your transactions in a way that makes sense to you.

Budget better with Spaces, and create personalized goals that let you instantly transfer money from your main account with a single swipe. Create Spaces to set money aside for your next vacation or to start saving for the down payment on a house.

Get push notifications on all account activity, including deposits, purchases, and ATM withdrawals. Keep tabs on your money instantly and effortlessly.


Insufficient funds fees can really add up — and they’re just one type of hidden bank charges that you can avoid with N26. Sign up for an N26 account in just five minutes, to discover banking that is transparent and designed to fit your lifestyle.

The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

By N26

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