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Fifth Third Leads Pack In Overdraft Fees

It's highest fee is $37.Fifth Third Bank is upping the ante when it comes to checking account overdraft fees.

While the fee for the first overdraft of the year remains at $25, subsequent overdrafts will now cost $37. The bank had previously charged $33 for the second through the fourth overdraft.

The policy change nudges Fifth Third’s highest overdraft rate above those of most large banks.

A May study of bank overdraft practices by the Consumer Federation of America found Bank of America and Capital One charged $35 an item, while Citibank and Chase charged $34.

The same study found that Fifth Third allows customers up to 10 overdrafts per day, which could add up to as much as $370 in fees — among the highest in the nation.

Fifth Third also boosted its overdraft protection transfer fees to $12 each. (That’s the charge you incur if you signed up to have money moved from one account to another to cover balance shortages.)

It previously charged $10 each for the first 10 transfers, $15 for 11 to 20 transfers and $20 for 21 or more transfers.

But you won’t be charged any fee if your account is overdrawn by $5 or less.

Fifth Third also has eliminated a separate daily fee it charged if you overdrew your account. It had charged $8 a day, unless you put enough money in your account to cover your deficit within three business days.

Banks have continually rejiggered fees in recent months in an attempt to make up for revenue losses, prompting some consumers to switch their accounts to community banks and credit unions.

Fifth Third, based in Cincinnati, has more than 1,300 locations, primarily in the Midwest and South.

You can avoid these predatory fees simply by rejecting banks’ come-ons to opt in to overdraft protection. If you forgo overdraft protection, your ATM withdrawal or debit card purchase simply will be declined if you don’t have enough money in your account.

And you’ll get hit with no charges.

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  1. Doug said:
    on June 28th at 01:37 pm

    Here’s an idea, don’t spend money you don’t have. There was a time when writing a hot check sent you to jail and at a minimum the merchant would charge $25+. Being able to spend money that isn’t yours at will is a privilege–and one that you can opt out of. My only problem with banks on this issue was when they would reorder your transactions to generate overdrafts that weren’t legitimate. Thankfully, there aren’t any banks that do that any more.