How the New Overdraft Rules Affect You
Do a quick Google search for “overdraft changes for debit cards,” and you’ll come up with nearly 300,000 results. That’s because new consumer-protection rules on bank overdraft fees for ATM and debit card transactions will take effect this summer. Once the regulation are effective:
- Financial institutions (including Pinnacle) cannot charge consumer clients overdraft fees on ATM or debit card transactions unless the consumer has consented or "opted in."
- If account holders “opt in,” they allow the financial institution to authorize transactions that could overdraw their account. In exchange for allowing the overdraft, the institution can charge the non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee for covering the transaction.
- Clients who “opt out” risk being declined at point-of-sale but will not incur fees associated with overdrawing an account.
These rules went into effect on July 1 for new checking accounts. At this time, all Pinnacle clients opening a new account will be asked if they wish to participate in Overdraft Privilege – our standard overdraft protection service – for debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals.
How the rules affect you
Existing clients who currently participate in our Overdraft Privilege program have until Aug. 15 to let us know if they would like to continue the service on their account. You may have already received letters or e-mails from Pinnacle requesting your response. We must receive your opt-in to continue to provide the service for debit card and ATM transactions. If you do not respond and indicate your preference, you will be opted out of Overdraft Privilege for these transactions after Aug. 15.
The rules apply only to debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals that overdraw your account. They do not affect paper check transactions, automatic payments, wires and other debits to your account.
Let’s say you’re attempting to make a debit card purchase for $100, but your checking account balance is $50. When you hand the cashier your debit card, two things can happen:
- If you opted in to Overdraft Privilege, Pinnacle will authorize the transaction, pay the overdraft and charge a fee for each transaction that is covered by the service.
- If you decide not to opt in, the transaction will be declined. No fee is charged.
If you have multiple checking accounts at Pinnacle, you must provide your consent for each account that you want to include in the Overdraft Privilege service. This explains why you may receive multiple letters from us.
Overdraft Privilege is not to be confused with Overdraft Protection. Pinnacle Overdraft Protection ties your checking account to another account – such as a savings account or a line of credit – that can be drawn from if there aren’t enough funds in your account to cover a purchase. Pinnacle does not charge a fee for this service.
You can choose to have both Overdraft Privilege and Overdraft Protection. If you have both, Pinnacle will cover the transaction if there are not sufficient funds in checking and the secondary savings account or line of credit.
Let us know
If you would like to opt in for Overdraft Privilege, you have several options.
- Call 1-800-264-3613 and have your account number handy.
- Visit any Pinnacle office to sign up.
Please remember that no response is considered an opt-out. You can change your mind and either opt in or cancel the service at any time. If you have any questions or concerns about the new overdraft rules, your financial advisor is available to assist you.