Why You Better Read Your Checking Account Fine Print: A $4.95 Fee To NOT Overdraw Your Account?

Dec 15, 2014
Checking Accounts, Current Events

This was a new one on me so I needed to post about it (from GoBankingRates):

This is a service Bank of America rolled out this year with its SafeBalance account, a product that promises account holders won’t have to pay overdraft charges — just a $4.95 monthly fee. Any time you try to spend more than the balance in your account, your transaction is declined.  Of course, this is an option that’s technically available to anyone, regardless of fee. The Federal Reserve ruled in 2010 that consumers have to opt-in to overdraft protection in order to be charged, otherwise their cards should be rejected.

Yes, you read this correctly.  Pay a $4.95 monthly fee to get an account that won’t allow you to overdraw your account when such a feature is available to anyone …for free.  

The article also includes other fees to watch out for including reordered overdraft fees, early account closure fees and returned mail fees.

Educate your students to be more savvy about checking fees, check out the Next Gen Personal Finance lesson here.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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