Consumers will have more overdraft options -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Consumers will have more overdraft options

By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Last year, Americans paid more than $30 billion to banks in overdraft fees. The federal government has come up with a solution to better protect the consumer.

Starting July 1st, banks will have to give consumers options when it comes to overdraft protection.

Take a candy bar for example. Under the old law, if you charge it to your debit card and you're overdrawn, you'll end up paying $32.

Now at Ameris Bank, overdraft fees are only $5 if you have bounce protection. Versus the $32 dollar overdraft fee if you don't.

Most people have likely had bank overdrafts at one time or another. "I've had some with mistakes or some oversight on my part," said Josh Pollock

And overdraft fees add up in a hurry. "Almost like $250 in overdraft fees," said Shameka Singleton.

Overdraft fees that occur when a bank allows a transaction to go through because of courtesy overdraft protection.

But banks offer the overdraft protection to cover people who spend money they don't have in their accounts.

Ameris Bank offers a similar service. "We will automatically cover any customer's account up to $500. The reason is it prevents embarrassment on part of the customer," said Don Monk, President of Ameris Bank.

But the customers is still charged an overdraft fee. So starting in August, existing account holders will have to opt-in to such overdraft protection.

That means you might face the embarrassment of having a purchase declined. "I don't have any problems playing by the rules as long as you let me know what the rules are."

But the best rule to avoid declined purchases and overdraft fees is to bank responsibly.

Review your banking relationship and bank where they think is the best value. Also where you have the best relationship.

The best relationship for you and your hard earned money.


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