Beginning July 1st, Banks Will Give You A Choice

42-16118386New Federal Reserve rules that take effect July 1 (for new accounts) and Aug. 15 (for existing ones) give consumers more control over overdrafts on debit and ATM cards. They boil down to one basic: Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions will be required to offer you a chance to opt into overdraft protection — and the fees that come with the service. Often the protection has been automatic, but no more.

With standard overdraft protection, your bank will cover your transaction for a flat fee of about $20 to $30 each time you overdraw your account for a purchase or ATM withdrawal.

Once overdrawn, you can get hit for a $30 fee, even for a $5 Big Mac. With overdraft protection, your bank may offer a line of credit or a link to your savings account to cover transactions.

Under the new rules, your bank needs your permission to set up an overdraft plan. Remember, however, that the rules do not cover checks and automatic bill payments that you may have set up. North Jersey.

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