Frequently asked questions

What's available to spend in your account

  • What is an Available Balance?

    • Your Available Balance is the portion of your Account Balance available to spend at any given time. Your Available Balance will change as you make transactions during the day.
      1. Deposits will increase your Available Balance based on our Funds Availability Policy – not all deposits are available immediately.
      2. Withdrawals and purchases made during the day will reduce your Available Balance.

      Your Available Balance does not reflect checks you've written that have not yet been cashed, Online Bill Payments you have scheduled that have not yet been made or pending pre-authorized debits (e.g. health club dues automatically debited from your account at a certain time each month). You can find your Available Balance online from a computer, mobile device, an ATM, phone or by visiting a branch.

  • How does paying a bill through Online Banking affect my Available Balance?

    How and when your Available Balance is affected by Online Bill Payment transactions depends on the bill payment method used. There are two possible methods that may be used to make your payment.

    • Electronic Payment - As its name suggests, this type of bill payment moves funds electronically from your account to your payee (i.e., the person or company you are paying). The amount of the payment is removed from your Available Balance on the date you selected as the pay date.
    • Laser Draft - This type of bill payment is similar to a check. Funds are sent from the bill payment service via a paper check payable to your payee. The amount of the payment is removed from your Available Balance only after the payee cashes or deposits your payment and it is posted (i.e., subtracted from your Account Balance) to your account. Like when you write a check, there is no way to know exactly when it will be cashed by the payee.

    The bill payment service automatically determines which method to use to send funds on your behalf to your payee to pay your bills. The service sends funds to arrive as close as reasonably possible to the payment date you select. In some instances, if the payment is sent by Laser Draft, the payment may be received by the payee and subtracted from your account prior to the payment date selected. Regardless of your selected payment date, you must always have the required Available Balance in your account on the night the bill payment posts to cover this transaction, and any other transactions that post that night, to avoid overdrawing your account.

When your deposits become available

  • What is a Funds Availability Policy?

    Our Funds Availability Policy governs the time between when you make a deposit and when you may use the funds.

  • What happens when deposits are made at an ATM?

    Cash deposits made at our ATM are available for immediate withdrawal. Cash deposits and some check deposits made before 10:00 PM local time are available to pay checks and purchases that post to your account that night. These checks include Charter One checks and Federal Government checks. Non-Charter One checks are available the next business day. All cash and checks deposited at our ATMs after 10:00 PM local time are considered deposited on the next business day.

    For example: Ted deposits a non-Charter One check at an ATM on Monday at 10:30 PM. The deposit is considered made on Tuesday and is available on Wednesday.

  • What is the difference between a Charter One check and a non-Charter One check?

    A Charter One check is a check written from the account of a Charter One customer. A non-Charter One check is a check written from the account of a customer of another bank.

  • When can I see direct deposits in my account?

    Direct deposits will initially display on the Account History page of Online Banking when they come in to your account during the day. That evening, once the transaction is posted to your account the name is updated to show the respective payer of the transaction (for example: Acme Co. Payroll).

  • How do business days affect my account?

    At Charter One you can bank every day of the week; however certain activities, like deposits, are only processed on business days. A business day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday (if the holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is considered to be the following Monday).

    For example: Maria makes a deposit on Saturday. The deposit is considered made on the next business day, which is Monday. If Monday is a legal holiday (such as Memorial Day) then the deposit is considered made on Tuesday. Maria's funds will be available based on Charter One Funds Availability Policy from the business day the deposit is considered made.

How debit card purchases work

  • What is a debit card authorization hold?

    A debit card authorization hold is the amount immediately deducted from your Available Balance while we await the final settlement amount from the merchant. See Using your debit card without your PIN.

  • Can I incur overdraft fees as a result of a debit card authorization hold?

    A debit card authorization hold could result in an overdraft if you do not have the required Available Balance to cover both the hold and any transactions, including checks, subtracted from your account.

  • How do debit card authorization holds on my account work during the weekend or on a holiday?

    Charter One uses the same process to apply or maintain debit card authorization holds over a weekend as during the week. However, because Charter One does not post transactions on Saturday, Sunday or holidays (i.e., not business days), holds will not be removed until the next business day.

    For example: On Thursday, Sara has $70 Available Balance and uses her debit card at 12:00 PM to buy a shirt for $40. Sara signs a receipt for her purchase.

    The merchant requests authorization for the $40 from us. Once approved, her Available Balance will be immediately reduced by a $40 debit card authorization hold. Because Charter One does not post transactions on Saturday or Sunday (i.e., not business days), Charter One maintains the debit card authorization hold on Sara's account until Monday evening (i.e., up to three business days) or until the merchant sends the final authorization request—whichever comes first.

  • What happens if the debit card authorization hold is released before my purchase is settled with the merchant?

    If we release an expired hold, your Available Balance will be increased by the amount of the hold. At this point your debit card transaction becomes similar to an outstanding check that you have written and you should consider this money spent. Your Available Balance may appear larger than you might otherwise expect until the transaction comes in from the merchant and is subtracted from your account balance.

How transactions are applied to your account

  • How and when are transactions deducted from my account?

    We “post” (i.e., credit/add or debit/subtract) your transactions to your account during our nightly processing each business day. As a result, items do not always post in the order in which the transactions occurred. Rather, we group your transactions into certain categories and post transactions within those categories as described in the attached chart.

Overdrafts

  • What is an overdraft?

    An overdraft occurs, and an Overdraft Fee is charged to you, when you don't have the necessary Available Balance in your account to cover transactions you have made, but we pay it on your behalf. Transactions could include ATM withdrawals, debit card purchases, in person withdrawals, checks, automated payments or other electronic transactions.

  • What happens when my account is overdrawn?

    If your Available Balance is not enough to cover a withdrawal from your account:

    • Overdrafts for checks, automatic bill payments, and other withdrawal transactions using your account number may be authorized and paid at our discretion. If paid, Overdraft Fees will apply.
    • If you chose to enroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage then your ATM and debit card transactions may be authorized and paid at our discretion. If paid, Overdraft Fees will apply.
    • If you did not enroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage, your ATM and debit card transactions will be declined at no cost to you.
  • What should I do if my account becomes overdrawn?

    If your account becomes overdrawn, you should deposit money into your account as soon as possible. The amount you deposit must be sufficient to cover the overdraft plus any fees that have been assessed or may be assessed prior to your deposit becoming available. By depositing enough money to bring your account positive you will avoid further fees from being assessed.

  • Can I cover an overdraft and avoid fees?

    You may avoid an Overdraft Fee if you temporarily overdraw your account but then a sufficient deposit becomes available that same business day. Deposit availability restrictions apply. See When your deposits become available to determine which deposits could become available the same day.

  • What happens if my account remains overdrawn?
    • If your account remains overdrawn for 3 or more consecutive business days, on day 4 we will start to charge a Sustained Overdraft Fee of $6.99 per day for each day it remains overdrawn up to a total of $69.90. Fee is waived for Circle Gold Checking with Interest, Circle Gold Money Market, Premier Checking with Interest, Premier Money Market, Private Checking with Interest, and Private Money Market Accounts.
    • Your account will be forwarded to our collections department, which will contact you to ensure that you are aware of the overdraft and to discuss ways to bring the account positive.
    • We may also transfer funds from your other accounts to cover the overdraft.
    • Finally, if the account has not been brought back to positive within 60 calendar days, the account will be closed and you may be reported to ChexSystems, a national clearinghouse of check writing information. This may impair your ability to open a checking account elsewhere.
  • Can I overdraw my account at the ATM or with my debit card?

    If you enroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage we may approve, at our discretion, ATM or debit card transactions that overdraw your account so you can complete your transactions. An Overdraft Fee will be charged for each item that overdraws your account. If you do not enroll, we will decline any ATM withdrawals and debit card transactions that would overdraw your account.

  • What is Charter One Bank's Overdraft Fee?

    Overdraft Fees apply if you overdraw your account, don’t have the necessary Available Balance at the end of the day and we pay the transaction on your behalf. You will be charged an Overdraft Fee for each item paid. There is no fee for ATM withdrawals and everyday debit card transactions that are declined.

    Overdraft Fee:
    $35 per item paid

    We will limit to 7 the combined number of these Overdraft Fees and/or Returned Item Fees charged on any one day, up to a total of $245.00. If your account remains overdrawn for 3 or more consecutive business days, on day 4 we will start to charge a Sustained Overdraft Fee of $6.99 per day for each day it remains overdrawn up to a total of $69.90. Fee is waived for Circle Gold Checking with Interest, Circle Gold Money Market, Premier Checking with Interest, Premier Money Market, Private Checking with Interest and Private Money Market accounts.

  • What is Charter One Bank's Returned Item Fee?

    Returned Item Fees apply if you overdraw your account, we do not approve the overdrawn item and the item is returned unpaid because the Available Balance in your account is less than the amount of the item. You will be charged a Returned Item Fee for each item we return.

    Returned Item Fee:
    $35 per item returned

    We will limit to 7 the combined number of these Overdraft Fees and/or Returned Item Fees charged on any one day, up to a total of $245.00. If your account remains overdrawn for 3 or more consecutive business days, on day 4 we will start to charge a Sustained Overdraft Fee of $6.99 per day for each day it remains overdrawn up to a total of $69.90. Fee is waived for Circle Gold Checking with Interest, Circle Gold Money Market, Premier Checking with Interest, Premier Money Market, Private Checking with Interest and Private Money Market accounts.

  • What is a Sustained Overdraft Fee?

    Sustained Overdraft Fees apply if your account remains overdrawn. If your account remains overdrawn for 3 or more consecutive business days, on day 4 we will start to charge a Sustained Overdraft Fee of $6.99 per day for each day it remains overdrawn up to a total of $69.90. Fee is waived for Circle Gold Checking with Interest, Circle Gold Money Market, Premier Checking with Interest, Premier Money Market, Private Checking with Interest and Private Money Market accounts.

  • How can I manage my account to avoid overdraft fees?

    The simplest way to avoid overdrafts is to balance your checking account on a daily basis. Be sure to record fees and regular account charges and don't assume transactions will not post to your account for several days. Make sure that when you record a deposit you know when it will actually become available under our Funds Availability Policy. See Manage your account wisely for helpful tips including how to set up Online Banking email or text alerts to warn you when your account balance dips below a certain level.

Overdraft Line of Credit and Savings Overdraft Transfer Plans

Savings Overdraft Transfer

Overdraft Line of Credit

Overdraft Coverage

  • What is Overdraft Coverage?

    With Overdraft Coverage, we may cover your overdraft, for a fee, so your transactions can be completed even when you do not have the necessary Available Balance in your account. We approve and pay overdrafts at our discretion.*

    • Automatically Enrolled: Checks and Pre-authorized Payments Overdraft Coverage is automatically applied by us to cover checks you've written or bills being paid that overdraw your account
    • Enrollment Option: Debit Card Overdraft Coverage must be selected if you want us to cover an overdraft when you are trying to get cash or make a purchase with your debit card. If you enroll, your account will be set to allow these overdrafts. If you do not enroll, your account will not allow these overdrafts.
      Download What You Need to Know about Overdrafts and Overdraft Fees

    *Whether your overdrafts will be paid is discretionary and we reserve the right not to pay. For example, we typically do not pay overdrafts if your account is not in good standing or if the overdraft amount is excessive. Once you have overdrawn your account you must bring it to a positive balance as soon as possible to avoid additional fees.

  • When can I enroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage?

    You can enroll or unenroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage at any time and the decision is effective immediately once recorded.

  • If I enroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage will my debit card transactions always be covered?

    No. Under Debit Card Overdraft Coverage, payments are authorized at our discretion and it is not possible to determine in advance which individual transactions might be impacted. That is why you may also want to consider an Overdraft Plan or sign up for Online Banking email or text alerts to warn you when your account balance dips below a certain level.

  • What happens if I do not enroll in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage?

    If you do not enroll to include ATM and everyday debit card transactions in the Overdraft Coverage on your account, any of these transactions that exceed your Available Balance will be declined.

  • If a recurring payment set up on my debit card overdraws my account and I am not enrolled in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage will it be declined?

    No, Overdraft Coverage for recurring debit card transactions (also known as pre-authorized debits) is automatically applied by us. We may approve and pay, at our discretion, recurring debit card transactions that overdraw your account so that you can complete your transaction. Overdraft Fees and/or Returned Items Fees would apply.

  • If I have an Overdraft Plan on my account can I still benefit by enrolling in Debit Card Overdraft Coverage?

    Yes. The ability to overdraw your account at the ATM or when making a debit card purchase through Debit Card Overdraft Coverage is separate from the Overdraft Plans that can be added to your account. When a debit card transaction exceeds your Available Balance, your Savings Overdraft Transfer or Overdraft Line of Credit is used first to cover the overdraft. Debit Card Overdraft Coverage is only used if funds are needed beyond what is available through your Savings Overdraft Transfer or Overdraft Line of Credit plans.

$5 Overdraft Pass

© Copyright 2014 Citizens Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Charter One is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. (NMLS ID# 433960).

Charter One is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. (NMLS ID# 433960).