Yesterday, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank announced they were changing their policies to allow customers to opt out of overdraft protection. Wells Fargo decided to follow in their footsteps late yesterday, announcing a number of changes at this bank. The following changes also apply to Wachovia, the bank that was acquired by Wells Fargo several months ago.
Wells Fargo is eliminating overdraft fees if the account is overdrawn by less than $5 and are limiting overdrafts to only four per day. Customers will be allowed to opt out of overdraft protection, so they don’t incur fees but transactions that would bring their accounts below zero will be declined.
All of these changes are improvements, although I see no reason for a bank to charge more than one fee per day. Regardless of what a bank charges, customers have the responsibility to monitor their own accounts. Accidents and emergencies happen, but in the end we should all be aware of what we have in the bank. The best defense against excessive bank fees is to pay attention and give the banks no reason to charge them. Here are some tips for avoiding overdraft fees.
Wells Fargo Announces Changes to Overdraft Practices, September 23, 2009
Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published September 24, 2009.