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Understanding Transfer Limits Under Regulation D

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If you’ve ever gone to make a transfer from a savings or money market account in United Federal Credit Union’s Online Banking and received notice that it’s been blocked, it’s likely that you’ve reached the Federal Transfer Limit. Maybe you weren’t even aware such a limit existed—after all, you were only trying to transfer funds between your own accounts. So why do these limits exist? It has to do with federal monetary policy spelled out in Regulation D.

The Purpose of Regulation D

Federal Transfer Limits, set by Federal Reserve Regulation D, help to regulate the level of reserves a financial institution must maintain. When determining reserves requirements, only “transaction accounts” (checking accounts) are considered in the calculations. Transfer limits prevent "non-transaction accounts" such as savings accounts from being used like checking accounts to ensure proper classification for these purposes.

These limits aren’t unique to accounts at United Federal Credit Union. All depository institutions—including commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions, and more—are subject to Regulation D.

What Regulation D Means for Your Accounts

Regulation D limits the number and type of withdrawals you can make from a savings account or money market account per calendar month. You may not make more than six withdrawals or transfers from a savings or money market account to another account belonging to you or to a third party, including online banking transfers, transfers made over the phone, and ACH withdrawals. Regulation D does not limit deposits, ATM transactions or transactions made in person.

Limited Transactions –No more than 6 per month from any savings or money market account
  • Online banking transfers
  • Automatic transfers to another account at United
  • Automatic transfers to a third party
  • ACH withdrawals
  • Phone transfers
Unlimited Transactions
  • Deposits
  • Withdrawals or transfers made at an ATM
  • Withdrawals or transfers made in person

Tips to Avoid Exceeding Regulation D Limits

Use your checking account, which is not subject to Regulation D, for the majority of your transactions to avoid reaching Federal Transfer Limits on your savings or money market accounts. You can make unlimited transactions from your checking account.

We recommend that you:

  • Have your direct deposit sent to your checking account.
  • Set up all ACH withdrawals and prescheduled transfers or payments to come out of your checking account.
  • Make one large transfer from your savings or money market account instead of multiple smaller transfers.

What to Do If You Exceed Federal Transfer Limits

If you have already reached the limit for transfers from your savings or money market account this month, you can still transfer the money at an ATM or in person at a United branch, since these types of transactions are not subject to Regulation D.

Whether or not you’ve reached the transfer limit in a calendar month, your transaction count will reset at the beginning of the following month.

To learn more about savings and money market accounts, start here. You can also visit your local branch or call our Member Service Center at (888) 982-1400.


The Federal Reserve: