Seven Tips to Avoid Overdraft Fees

Seven Tips to Avoid Overdraft Fees

Most overdraft fees are avoidable. The very best way to eliminate fees is to proactively manage your account to avoid overdrawing it. Below are tips to help you do that:

  • Download the mobile app and check it frequently. If your mobile device isn’t handy, you can check your balance online with a desktop computer, by phone or at the ATM 24 hours a day.
  • Use direct deposit for your paycheck.Direct deposit gives you faster access to your paycheck. Deposited paper checks can take longer for the full amount to become available. Ask your employer if they offer this as a benefit. If so, your payor may need you to complete a form or provide a voided check to process your request. Pinnacle has a form to help you complete the details your employer may need to complete the request.
  • Use cash or electronic forms of payment like a debit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT) to pay bills online. Funds are withdrawn sooner with electronic methods (compared to checks), and online banking will reflect these transactions sooner.
  • Even if you do not keep a traditional paper ledger for every withdrawal or payment you make, make sure you keep track of your current account balance. Add up the total amount in checks written that you haven’t seen presented for payment and taken out of your account. Subtract this total from your current balance to quickly know how much you can spend before potentially overdrawing.
  • Pay special attention to the schedule of recurring electronic transactions. Plan for these expenses so you don’t spend the funds needed for reoccurring items to clear your account.
  • Set up alerts so you know when your balance drops past the point you want it to. These alerts can act as a warning signal, just remember, balances will not reflect transactions you authorized that have yet to be presented for payment. Pinnacle offers several different types of alerts and debit card controls.
  • Link your checking account to an overdraft line of credit or savings account. At Pinnacle, this is called overdraft protection. When there's an insufficient balance in your checking account to pay for any item, funds are automatically transferred in $100 increments to cover your purchases. We don't charge a fee for this service. All you have to do is keep funds available in your other accounts or line of credit. Lines of credit are subject to credit approval.

Questions? Simply contact any Pinnacle office or our Client Service Center at 1.800.264.3613.

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