Definition: A return check fee is charged by a creditor or lender when your payment check is returned by your bank. Checks are typically returned because of insufficient funds, check cancellation, or account closure. Return check fees can be up to $35 per incident. Check your credit card terms for the exact fee charged on your account.
You can avoid a return check fee by ensuring that you have enough money in your checking account to cover the payment. Be sure you've balanced your checkbook to consider any transactions that may clear your account in the next few days. You risk incurring a return check fee if you're trying to float checks or pay bills in a certain order because you can't afford to pay everything.