With the new credit card legislation came another new provision that effectively takes a lot of non-voluntary money away from banks.

Overdraft fees were a big thing for banks. At some point, they started charging fees to people while still paying bills if you happened to go over your limit. The same goes for credit cards, which allows people to go over their credit limit for a minimum period of time. Banks didn’t mind because they’d hit you with fees that generated more than $20 billion in revenue a year across the board.

Now that is gone. Banks have to get people to opt into the program. Some banks are being very aggressive with this, such as Chase, while others are either still working out the logistics or will probably be sending up some kind of notice in our next statements, which I’m betting the majority of people won’t even read unless it’s sent separately.

Let’s face the fact that all of us have missed this every once in awhile. A deposit didn’t clear as quickly as you thought it would and suddenly you’re hanging because the payment did clear on time. Or you bought gas after making a payment on your credit card that didn’t clear yet and suddenly you’ve gone over by a few dollars.

Do you want to accept these fees or not? The question depends on just how close to the vest you usually are with your money and whether or not you pay attention to what’s going on. If you never overdraw, or very rarely do, you shouldn’t sign up for this protection because you don’t need it. Sure, you may be shocked those couple of times if something does happen, such as being out trying to buy something and having your card decline because you don’t have enough money in the account, but that’s preferable, in my opinion, to getting hit with a big fee later on because you were never informed you didn’t have the money on your credit card to cover it.

If you overdraw all the time, or are always right next to the line, then continue paying banks for the overdraft protection. Sure, it can add up, but it’s less embarrassing than trying to pay for things and getting denied all the time.

Just make an informed decision, then live with it. but gauge how high those fees are, because banks will be raising them, as it’s just one way they can recover from all those other ways they’re cheating customers nowadays. You did know about the credit card with 79.9% interest, right?

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