Banks Reducing Overdraft Fees

According to MarketWatch, Chase and Bank of America are relaxing their overdraft rules. More specifically, both banks will now require you to opt in to their overdraft protection plans, and they are also limiting the transaction amounts that will trigger an overdraft fee.

At Chase, you’ll no longer be charged a fee if you overdraw your account by $5 or less. Similarly, Bank of America will forgo the fee if you overdraft by less than $10 on any given day.

According to Chase, these changes are being made:

“to make [their overdraft policy] clearer and simpler and to give customers more control over their debit cards and the fees they pay.”

For their part, Bank of America is hoping the changes:

“will help customers avoid excessive overdraft fees and better manage their finances.”

In reality, it looks like both banks are trying to get out in front of impending legislation that will mandate such changes. By doing it ahead of time, they get to claim the high ground vs. other banks that wait until their forced to make the change. Either way, change is good when it comes to overdraft fees.

Source: MarketWatch

18 Responses to “Banks Reducing Overdraft Fees”

  1. Anonymous

    I believe the best way to beat the banks in overdraft fees is to withdraw the entire amount leaving one dollarin balance and pay cash or use money orders to pay debts. Do not waste time in Cards of any kind,
    master, visa or check card. Using cash istead of
    checks or cards is wiser. Remember, there are handling
    and transaction fees for institutional services.
    Save on trasaction fees. if you would have put your
    penalties in a savings account you would be getting
    interest instead of fees. Be wise, use cash.

  2. Anonymous

    I have an account with TD Bank and yesterday 4/29/10 my account was overdrawn by $30. When I checked my account today (4/30/2010) I was charged an overdraft fee of $35 for a $.01 verification charge and another overdraft fee of $35 for a $1.10 charge. I think this is ridiculous, to pay $70.00 for $1.11. And customer service not would reverse the fees, because they said that I have had two overdraft fees waived for the year. DON’T BANK AT TD BANK, PNC, nor WSFS. These banks just get rich off of charging erroneous fees.

  3. Anonymous

    chase definitely does not put their transactions through in order. they hold on to debit transactions for several days, and wait for my rent check to go through before they put in all my debits for the week. debits are supposed to go through on the day they occur, not several days later. two months in a row they have done this, and even ruined our christmas. i am changing banks asap. DO NOT GO WITH CHASE!

  4. Anonymous

    Wait until the checking account is no more free because the banks cant make money now from overdraft fees. 87% of US population does not have overdraft on their transactions.

  5. Anonymous

    #12) How funny! — technically impossible for the bank’s ATM to NOT give you money that you don’t have. Now that is hilarious. They must be running Diebold ATMs (same company that makes the electronic voting machines).

  6. Anonymous

    We’re going to call TCF tomorrow and ask if they are going to do something similar – that’s the bank that told us it was impossible for technical reasons to not allow ATM withdrawals that will put you into overdraft, a few years ago.

  7. Anonymous

    @Kevin: The way I see it is that they banks are willing to overlook the smaller overdrafts due not only to the “insignificant” nature, but also because if you are accidentally overdrawn, then these numbers represent that scenario more than the numbers you have thrown out. I’m a firm believer that everyone needs to take responsibility for their financial decisions, and that includes overdrawing an account. at the same time I understand that sometimes people make mistakes, and shouldn’t be made to suffer for them. When I think of someone overdrafting by $100 or greater, I don’t imagine a small error in math on their checkbook, but rather an irresponsibility in accurately keeping their records in order. Are you saying that banks should not charge people for spending money that they do not actually have and eliminating overdraft charges as a whole?

  8. Anonymous

    $5? $10? Sounds more like a cheap marketing scheme to me!

    $100, $200, $500–now we’re talking substance.

    I’m all for a positive direction, but a 5-10 dollar fudge won’t eliminate the vast majority of overdraft charges. I have a feeling they know that and that’s why they’re drawing the line where they are.

  9. Anonymous

    Banks now *require* customers to opt in to their overdraft protection plans?

    Cool, my credit union won’t give me overdraft protection (they say my poverty-level income is insufficient – never mind I’ve had the account almost ten years and have never overdrawn the account)…does this mean people like me can now get overdraft protection?

  10. Anonymous

    I’m guessing ING isn’t mentioned because they haven’t made any changes, it’s the way they’ve done things for a while. I think this is great, especially the opt in part. I’m sure they will have plenty of people still opt in who’d like to be able to overdraw rather than their debit card be declined and make plenty of money off of them.

    The reordering of transactions has got to stop and I’m glad Chase is doing it now rather than being forced but I hope that legislation goes through. If people are irresponsible with their money that’s one thing, for banks to mess with your transactions to up the likelihood of overdrawing that’s dishonest, unethical, and shouldn’t be allowed.

  11. Anonymous

    Why is ING not mentioned in these articles? The $160 overdraft protection that just charges you simple interest when you exceed your balance seems to be a great incentive to use them instead of these other banks. But all of these recent stories just seem to be about what great guys these folks are for charging less.

    As many times as I have dipped in to that I have never paid more in interest than I earned that month. No way would I pay $35.

  12. Anonymous

    Debit card overdraft fees is a 27billion dollar market. The banks could be losing tons of profit by making changes like these. Of course they already have a plan to off-set any profit losses and eventually we will see how that plays out.

    It saddens me that it is the scare of legislation to cause banks to do this. It should be driven by the free market by consumers who just won’t put up with this crap.

  13. Anonymous

    I really have no experience with bank overdraft fees personally, and as far as I can remember, haven’t paid one since 1999 due to an employer mistakenly giving me a paper check rather than EFT deposit. I do have plenty of experience when it comes to clients who seem to have no concept, either in personal account or business accounts, of how to keep a balanced checkbook and ensure that all checks written are covered. I’m sure that the banks will still receive a huge amount of income from people who aren’t responsible enough to maintain proper balances and record keeping, and will continue to overdraft. For those occasional and accidental overdrafters, I think this is a good thing, and the banks owe it to their good customers to make such concessions in order to keep their customers happy, particularly the ones who don’t have a history of overdrafts, but do dip below $0 due to honest mistakes.

  14. Anonymous

    Yes! It is true Chase, B of A and Wells Fargo are changing their debit card fees to benefit consumers. I blogged about a recent NY Times story that explains the changes (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/your-money/credit-and-debit-cards/23credit.html?_r=2&ref=business)

    What I’d like to know is why some of these changes are not coming until June. Does it really take that long to put a new policy into effect? And who is going to watch the banks to see if they don’t quietly drop the policy changes and stick to their old, money-grubbing ways?

    On a related note, filmmaker and director Karney Hatch made a cool 4:29 video about his fight against Wells Fargo over debit card fees. Worth watching!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjH4Us0n0QY

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