US Bank To Let You Opt-Out Of Courtesy Overdraft Protection

An insider tells us the US Bank will let customer opt-out of courtesy overdraft protection. This would mean that if you bounce a charge, you just get charged an NSF fee instead of your account going negative, incurring additional fees, and increasing the likelihood of more checks and charges bouncing. Other banks may offer this already, call to find out.

(Photo: northernplateguy)


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  1. rmz says:

    Wells Fargo lets you do this too, but you have to e-mail or call them. I e-mailed them a request to disable overdraft protection, and they responded less than 24 hours later, plus sent a confirmation letter.

    Wells Fargo’s ODP isn’t even that bad (a $10 fee for drawing from a savings/checking account, I believe), but I still don’t want to have anything to do with it.

  2. Cowboys_fan says:

    My bank treats overdraft as credit, in that you have to apply to get it, not remove it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is better, but not really what I want. Why should a bounce cost any money at all?

    A check might be the only thing I understand, since a check is a piece of paper that is presented to your bank for processing.

    RMZ – Hmm, the Wells Fargo person I talked to said that wasn’t even possible. I guess I should try again.

    Both Wells Fargo and Comerica seem to not understand the idea of opting-out of overdraft protection and just bouncing transactions.

  4. Murph1908 says:

    Riddle me this, Batman.

    Why should there be a charge at ALL for the bank to say, “No, he doesn’t have enough money to do that.”

    If I try to use a debt card, and it gets rejected, I don’t see why there would need to be a charge by my bank.

    If I write a check, and it bounces, why would my bank need to charge me for simply not honoring it? I am already going to get hit by the merchant.

  5. Murph1908 says:

    err, ‘debit’ card.

  6. Antediluvian says:

    That’s NOT “overdraft protection.” That’s “bank-fee increasement.”

  7. aviationwiz says:

    I have US Bank and don’t have overdraft protection, and I never did. I could have my overdraft protection linked to my US Bank Credit Card, but that would be treated as a cash advance, and the rates to use that are really high. I could get a Reserve Line, and using that isn’t bad, $2 fee plus a not too bad APR.

    Granted, I’m a good Consumerist reader, and know how to use my Checking account, so none of this is a problem for me anyways, I won’t go anywhere near negative.

  8. Anonymous says:

    my bank has always allowed this. i did away with it a long time ago. its great! if i try to spend one penny more than whats in my account, it just declines my card (i don’t write checks). NO FEES!!! YEAH!!!! in this day in age i don’t have time to carry around a book to add and subract all the time to make sure i don’t over spend. i have my balance memorized in my head by give or take $20. i have NEVER had my card declined except the first day they removed the overdraft deal cuz i wanted to test it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    @INconsumer: Which bank???

  10. Anonymous says:

    its first financial. (its pretty big in indiana and part of illinois, but its not national.) the bank actually started in my home town. the best banks are the local ones.

  11. Major-General says:

    Actually, as a USBank customer who has overdrafted with them without overdraft protection they will charge you the NSF fee, and negative your account, and after five business days (yeah, I know, I wasn’t paying attention – completely my fault) start charging you seven dollars a day for every day you’re negative.

    In my experience though they won’t really bounce anything, because the 25-35 a pop they make is too lucrative.

    I know, I paid the equivalent of 33$ for a 1 liter Dr. Pepper. Not having overdraft with them isn’t all that great a deal.

  12. LAArt says:

    This is the same USBank that charges you a first $34 overdarft fee for an AUTHORIZATION that MIGHT make you overdrawn, and then charges you a second $34 overdraft fee when the charge does go through and overdraws your account, instead of simply declining the transaction. Say payday is tomorrow, you have $50 in your account. You want to get $20 of gas, knowing that you have enough to cover it. The gas station puts a $75 hold on your acct (it does happen). US Bank will charge you $34 because you don’t have enough to cover the hold request. They will, however, allow the $20 actual purchase to go through. Your account is now charged $34+$20=$54. At the end of the day, since there’s no deposit, your account is $4 overdrawn, and you get hit with another $34 overdraft fee. $20 gas fill up becomes an $88 nightmare.
    I know some of you might say “use a credit card then”, but I prefer not to build up my debt whenever I can.

  13. NoWin says:

    @Murph1908: “If I write a check, and it bounces, why would my bank need to charge me for simply not honoring it? I am already going to get hit by the merchant.”

    Because the Feds say they can. You WROTE A BAD CHECK, gash-darn-it; Don’t do that!

    Now you’ve started a paper-trail of potential fraud, and at the least, an NSF check allows banks to start charging you.

    You also incur the scourge of us pro-consumerists….

    The bank is obligated by law to “process the paper”, PERIOD. What funds may/may not be there is after that first step. REMEMBER, if you pass a check against non-sufficient funds, you will get hit, one way of the other. This is ESPECIALLY important to realize with Check21 and eft conversion.

  14. Mr. Gunn says:

    What you’re talking about isn’t overdraft protection. If you’re charged money, no matter if the check is honored and your account is negative or not, it’s an overdraft.

    Overdraft protection is a credit line from which money is drawn to cover a check written for more than your balance, so that you don’t get charged any overdraft fees, just interest on the overage.

  15. Murph1908 says:

    Good to know. As Darren666 said, I can see it (now more clearly) for a check.

    For EFT, debit cards, and even online bill pay, I stand.

    I overdrew most recently a couple of years ago, when I mistakenly transferred funds from account B to A, instead of A to B as intended. Two online bills and a debit card were charged $35 each, and there would have been more if I didn’t check almost daily. All 3 could have simply been denied. My mistake, sure. But a $105 mistake?

  16. RDL says:

    Just called US Bank to ask about opting out of “courtesy overdraft protection” and the fellow on the phone denied that they even offer such a thing. Am I phrasing it incorrectly? How do I go about opting out? I’d rather have my card declined than be charged $35 over and over again.

  17. Dirshaun says:

    I find this funny that they refer to this as a “Courtesy” when it appears you don’t have a choice from what I’m reading in various places on the net. To me a “Courtesy” is something offered by not required. It seems the overdraft protection is compulsory. It seems they should call it what it is if you can’ opt out.

    Mandatory overdraft coverage.

    I prefer to be told I have insufficient funds then to find out I owe more for something, because now I have fees for an overdraft.

  18. Kyliesayswhat says:

    I agree with Dirshanu. So much of anything agreement is based on language. The bank wants you to feel ‘wow’ed
    ‘ by their services but this is not somehting that wows me. We all need to pay attention. How are banks making money? From overdraft fees and other means. How are we enabling them to make money? By going overdrawn, in some cases because they allow us to and in some because we choose to. But we should have the choice. We need legislation to change many banking regulations!