1. I don’t use a debit card and did choose to keep the overdraft protection. Some of my deposits and withdrawals are automatic and the overdraft protection provides the assurance that if the timing gets off on one of them due to the way a weekend falls that my bills will get paid and not returned.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to post this article. When we recieved the notice from our bank about the change in overdraft fee coverage, neither of us opted in.

    Neither of us has ever written a hot check, so maybe the fear of embarrassment that you mention never really entered our minds. For us, though, I opted to simply open a savings account that the bank would draw from in the case my checking account was too low. My husband, on the other hand went for the credit line route.

    I think the credit line option is a great idea for many people, because the interest doesn’t usually amount to the same as the overdraft priviledge charge. That being said, neither do many company’s cancelled check fees. The overdraft fees of my bank are $34, and the cancelled check fees at most of the businesses in town are only $20.

    Anyway, great article.

  3. I declined the overdraft protection. I figured if I needed it – I am in trouble and want a heads up rather than get hit with multiple 30 buck fees.

    ING Direct does it up right…they give every checking account a line of credit for like 150 to cover if you go a little too deep.

  4. I simply put an extra $500 in my checking account and don’t include it in the balance. That way if I go a little bit over, I don’t have to worry. Also helps avoid the monthly fee when the overall balance gets too low.

  5. As you already stated, I think the best alternative to this is to have a cushion (or buffer) in your checking account. I would suggest $500 if you have any automatic payments set up, or a fair amount of transactions each month.

    • Each person needs to know what their bills are and figure out how much they need to cover in case of an overage.

      Bear in mind, I think the goal is to not go over ever but these things do happen.

  6. Jeff Jerwell says:

    Just FYI, I did not opt-in for the overdraft protection as a conscious choice. A couple days ago, I got a call from my local bank, advising me that a charge had to be “returned” because it would have overdrawn my account. After I got home, I called the bank with my balance details as I understood them, and they admitted they’d made a mistake by failing to properly credit a cash deposit.

    The kicker is that had to reverse the $35 “Returned Item Fee” they’d charged me. That’s right, they charged the exact same $35 dollar fee as they would have for covering the “overdraft” in the good old days… they just called it something new.

    Banks will screw you any way they possibly can, laws and reform be damned.

    Incidentally, I noticed on my statement that this year they’ve charged $105 in NSF charges (what they called it when they covered it) and $35 in Returned Item charges (the new name) and have had to re-credit all $140 of them because they were all bank mistakes.

    The jar buried in the backyard looks better all the time.

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