Fee #5: Overdraft protection
Photo by Dan Moyle — Slide 5 of 5
If you overdraw your account by making purchases or using your debit card, many banks offer overdraft protection to cover it. This allows the purchase or the withdrawal to go through, but it also hits you with a fee of around $34, according to the Center for Responsible Lending.
Beginning in 2009 federal rules required banks to get customers to opt-in to such protection. Given the high fees such protection plans charge, many banks responded with major marketing campaigns that encourage people to sign up. But instead of offering useful services, “the banks succeeded in confusing and wearing down some of their customers to the point that they accepted a product that would ultimately cost them unnecessary, exorbitant fees,” according to the center.
Here’s the good news: Avoiding such fees is simple. Just don’t sign up for overdraft protection.
[Related article: Checking Fees: The Bankers' Perspective]