Consumer Reports: Don’t opt in! Ignore your bank’s plea to stay in its overdraft program

If you have ignored our repeated please to refuse to opt-in to Chase’s debit card overdraft program, perhaps you will trust a higher authority.  Consumer Reports came out with a blog post a few days ago urging consumers to refuse the overdraft program.

Under new Federal Reserve rules that become effective this Sunday, August 15, debit card purchases or ATM transactions that would exceed a current customer’s balance will not be processed unless he or she has agreed in advance to overdraft protection. If you’re currently enrolled in one of these programs you’ll automatically be opted-out; if you wish to continue you must re-enroll and provide your signature.

Previously, banks automatically signed up consumers for the service and then charged them hefty fees whenever it covered an overdraft. Those fees add up to billions in profits, so as the date looms you’re likely to see a lot of hype from your bank promising you peace of mind by enrolling in its program. Before you do, remember that there are often much cheaper ways to cover transactions that exceed your balance.

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