About a year ago, the Federal Reserve removed withdrawal limitations that banks had to enforce on savings accounts. But since then, few banks have actually changed their policies.
Your savings account or money market account still probably has some sort of restriction on the number of certain types of withdrawals you can make.
Up until April 24, 2020, Regulation D limited account holders to a maximum of six convenient withdrawals and transfers from a savings deposit account per statement cycle. (Both a savings account and money market account are considered savings deposit accounts.)
Before the restrictions were lifted, unlimited withdrawals from an ATM or a bank teller were permitted from savings deposit accounts. But convenient withdrawals, such as via check or transferring money electronically from a savings deposit account to another account, were limited.
List of top banks that eased their limits
Bankrate surveyed more than 50 banks to see what withdrawal and transfer limitations it had on its savings account or money market account.
The following is a list of banks that either allow you to make more than six withdrawals or transfers or aren’t keeping track of the number of times you withdraw or transfer from your savings deposit account:
- Ally Bank: It still has a limit of six withdrawals per statement cycle on its website. But the online bank is temporarily refunding these $10 fees, and not currently applying transaction limits, due to these Reg D changes.
- American Express National Bank: Allows up to nine withdrawals or transfers per monthly statement cycle.
- Bank of the West: Allows no more than nine certain transactions for a money market account statement cycle or a savings account per calendar month.
- Citizens Access: Doesn’t have a limit on withdrawals or transfers from its online savings account.
- KeyBank: You can’t exceed seven transfers or withdrawals from the Key Active Saver account per monthly period.
- Union Bank: Offers unlimited transfers and withdrawals.
- U.S. Bank: There are no transaction limits.
Bankrate’s analysis of top banks and credit unions also showed that excessive transaction fees ranged from $3 at Golden 1 Credit Union, which is one of the only credit unions or banks to limit members or customers to only three branch cash withdrawals or transfers per month. A $15 fee per excessive withdrawal or transfer at BB&T is the highest fee Bankrate found.
3 reasons many banks still limit savings withdrawals and transfers
1. It’s optional for banks — they’re not required to change their limits
Banks were able to suspend the six-transfer limit, but they weren’t required to do this. This is probably the main reason some banks haven’t changed their limits on transfers or withdrawals.
2. Most banks don’t need additional deposits at this time
The current savings rate of 27.6 percent isn’t a record. But between January 1959 and March 2020, it would have been the highest savings rate for the U.S. during that period.
“Banks are awash with deposits and they don’t know what to do with them,” says Chris Cole, executive vice president and senior regulatory counsel for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). “So that’s why they’re not changing the terms to make the products more attractive.”
In the future, banks might add withdrawal flexibility to try to win customers.
3. It’s not a final rule
The removal of limits on withdrawals and transfers from savings deposits was an interim final rule.
“[Banks are] still waiting for that final piece — meaning that they’re still waiting for a final rule to be issued by the Fed before they actually implement [changes],” says Heather MacKinnon, vice president of legal at the Wisconsin Bankers Association.
Restrictions might be good for encouraging saving
Some savers might be better off having restrictions on these accounts. Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans were able to pay a $1,000 emergency bill from savings, according to a Bankrate survey published in January.
Knowing that your withdrawals are limited may help keep certain savers from withdrawing or transferring funds from their savings too frequently. This might help keep the money there for the times when they truly need it.