Give thanks for these consumer tools
The demise of some debit card overdraft fees
Tool: Banks can no longer charge those hefty overdraft fees for debit and ATM transactions unless you have actually signed up for a fee-based overdraft program.
In addition, several major banks and large credit unions aren't even offering fee-based debit overdraft programs. "We feel like this is huge," says Rebecca Borne, senior policy counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending.
What it does: Keeps a lot of money in consumer pockets. Prior to the rules change, overdraft fees have cost consumers up to $23.7 billion annually and at least half of that came from debit card transactions, according to the center.
How to use: Unless you have some extenuating circumstances, don't opt in. And know that if you do opt in, you can change your mind and exit immediately.
Get the most out of it by: If you want the same overdraft protection at a lower cost, link your checking account to a savings account, line of credit or credit card. While these options have fees, they are usually a lot less than those for fee-based programs. But calculate and compare those charges before you sign up.