savings

A New Ban on Overdraft Fees

The Federal Reserve is providing more protections for consumers.

Starting next summer, banks won't be able to charge overdraft fees on ATM and debit-card transactions unless you opt in to an overdraft-protection service.

The Federal Reserve announced the ban November 12, and it will take effect July 1, 2010. Banks will have to provide customers who don't choose overdraft protection for ATM and debit-card transactions the same account terms and features (including pricing) as they provide to customers who do opt in, according to a press release from the Federal Reserve.

"While this overdraft ban will be good news for some consumers, banks will try to find new ways make up for the lost revenue," says Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of LowCards.com. Many banks already have rushed to raise interest rates and fees on their credit cards before a new law that provides more protections for cardholders takes effect in February 2010. See What Has Your Card-Issuer Done for You Lately? to learn more about changes cardholders are seeing.

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