Most consumer banks notoriously charge as much as $39 in overdraft fees if your account balance enters negative territory, and they may even levy multiple fees for the same charge. But there are banks out there that charge little to nothing in overdraft fees.
Probity Financial Services, for one, charges no overdraft fees at all, notes WalletPop.
The bank promises checking accounts with no overdraft fees or any “gotcha” fees at all. Instead, the bank charges $19.95 each month for a Free Overdraft Checking account. Well, it’s not quite free, but any U.S. citizen 18 years or older with Internet access can qualify.
If you do ever exceed your account balance, the bank will pay off your transactions up to your overdraft limit, which is based on your credit history and the status of prior banking relationships. Initially, you can get an overdraft limit of up to $250. After you’ve had your account for 90 days, you may be eligible for a limit of up to $500, the company says. You pay the bank back when you make your next deposit.
A Little Interest
If you have an overdraft account with ING Direct, you will have to pay fees if your balance falls below zero, but you won’t get hit with the hefty fees you’d have to pay most other banks. ING currently charges 7.25% interest annually on your overdraft balance, a rate that’s better than what a credit card would offer, which in the best case can be around 9% APR, according to Kenneth Lin of Credit Karma, a Web site that provides credit information and educational resources to consumers.
The interest you pay is calculated from the day you incur a charge to the day you pay it off, and the amount is deducted from your bank balance.
—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.