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Understanding Overdrafts

Learn about overdrafts and services to help you manage your accounts.


Amy Miller from Bank of Hawaii gives advice on how to keep accurate records of your account to avoid overdraft fees.

Learn more about these services that help you manage your accounts:

A printer-friendly version of "Understanding Overdrafts" is also available. Download now.

An overdraft occurs when debits from a bank account exceed the balance in that account. Debits include checks, automatic payments, in-person withdrawals, debit card purchases, transfers from the account, ATM or ACH transactions, or other withdrawals.

How does Bank of Hawaii handle overdrafts?
At Bank of Hawaii, overdrafts can be handled in two different ways:

  • We have standard overdrafts practices that come with Bank of Hawaii accounts.
  • We also offer overdraft protection plans, such as Overdraft Protection from Savings, which may be less expensive than our standard overdraft practices and for consumer accounts, Bankoh CoverCheck, a line of credit to help cover overdrafts. More options are listed in the section Services to help manage your accounts.

What are the standard overdraft practices that come with Bank of Hawaii accounts?
We do authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transactions*:

  • Checks and other transactions made using your checking account number
  • Automatic bill payments

We do not authorize and pay overdrafts for the following types of transaction unless preauthorized to do so using Debit Card Overdraft Coverage*. For more information about this service, refer to the section Services to help manage your accounts.

  • ATM transactions
  • Everyday (or one-time) debit card transactions
*Please note that the payment of an overdraft is at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction. If we do not authorize and pay an overdraft, the item will be returned unpaid or the transaction declined.  If we do authorize and pay an overdraft, Overdraft or Returned Item fees will apply and you must repay the amount of the overdraft promptly without notice or demand from us. 

What fees will be charged if Bank of Hawaii pays an overdraft?
Here are the details of how overdraft fees are assessed under our standard overdraft practices:  

  • Fee: We will charge a fee of $26 each time we pay an overdraft or an item is returned for insufficient funds. Also, for each continuous 7-day period the end of day balance in that account is overdrawn by $5 or more, we may charge a fee of $10. 
  • Daily limit: An account will not be charged more than three Overdraft and/or Returned Item fees for insufficient funds on any one day per account. This means that if there are four items of $2.50 or more with insufficient funds on any one day, you will only be charged a fee for the first three. This limit does not apply to the $10 Continuing Negative Balance fee. There is no limit on the total fees we can charge you for overdrafting your account.
  • Courtesy waiver: An account will not incur any fees for insufficient funds on any day that the ending account balance is or would have been overdrawn by less than $5. If an item under $2.50 causes an overdraft, you will not incur an Overdraft or Returned Item fee.

Learn how to avoid overdraft fees

The best way to avoid overdrafts is to keep track of all your account transactions. Bank of Hawaii makes it easy with various ways to access your account information:

  • Bank of Hawaii branches
  • Bank of Hawaii ATMs
  • Bankoh by Phone
  • 24/7 Customer Service Center
  • e-Bankoh Online Banking
  • e-Bankoh Mobile banking

We offer the following tools to help you manage your funds responsibly and avoid overdrafts:

Overdraft Protection from Savings >
This service can help prevent returned checks and overdrafts on your checking account. If you do not have sufficient funds in your checking account to cover a transaction, we will transfer funds automatically from your designated savings account to your checking account. There are no fees to sign up; however, enrollment is required. A transfer fee of $10 will apply when a transfer is made.

Bankoh CoverCheck >
For added peace of mind, Bankoh CoverCheck provides automatic overdraft protection up to your available credit limit. An application and credit approval are required and there is an annual fee.

e-Bankoh Online Banking >
With e-Bankoh Online Banking, you can monitor the balances in your accounts and make transfers between your accounts. There is no charge for this service or for transfers between accounts. Use our interactive demo to see what you can do on e-Bankoh. If you are ready to enroll, click here.

e-Mail Alerts >
With this service, you can specify a balance level and receive an e-mail alert whenever your balance falls below that level. Sign-up within e-Bankoh Online Banking.

e-Bankoh Mobile Banking1>
Check your available balance before making a purchase using our mobile banking app. Install the Bank of Hawaii app on your iPhone®2 or AndroidTM device, or visit m.boh.com on your mobile device.

Smart Money Seminars >
Our Smart Money Seminar focusing on the Basics of Banking will help educate you on how to manage your money.  Smart Money Seminars are free and open to the public. 

1 You must be enrolled in e-Bankoh Online Banking to access e-Bankoh Mobile Banking. Standard data usage fees apply. Please contact your carrier for details.
2 iPhone® is a registered trademark of Apple® Inc.

When there are insufficient funds, what is the benefit to having my transaction paid?

If the bank pays your transaction, this may prevent fees, finance charges or other consequences by the payee (e.g., merchant).

How is my available balance determined?

Your current balance is your balance at the start of the day, plus or minus the day’s transactions.  Your available balance is your current balance minus holds.  Holds include deposits with a hold on the amount and Visa® check card holds for purchases you’ve signed for or made online.  (Please note that for point-of-sale transactions, some merchants obtain authorizations for only a partial amount [for example, gas stations] or a greater amount [for example restaurants] of the purchase.  Therefore, until the actual amount of the transaction is debited from your account, you must factor in the difference.)  You can spend up to the amount of your available balance without incurring a fee for insufficient funds.

Your available balance does not include any available Bankoh CoverCheck, Overdraft Protection from Savings, Cash Advantage funds, or any other debits (e.g. recurring debits, checks) that have not been processed.  Your current and available balances are accessible through e-Bankoh Online Banking, Bankoh by Phone, Bank of Hawaii branches, and Bank of Hawaii ATMs and receipts. Additional information about balances can be found here.