Understanding Your Overdraft Options
Learn how to manage your accounts with overdraft protection and overdraft review.
BB&T provides two overdraft options for our retail account clients-- overdraft protection and overdraft review. As a BB&T client, you have the option to participate in either or both. Overdraft protection helps you avoid overdrafts by linking your account to your savings account, credit card, constant credit, or home equity line, and transferring funds when necessary to cover your transaction. Overdraft review allows you to make a decision on how transactions should be handled on your account when sufficient funds are not available and requires you to opt in or opt out based on which kinds of transactions, if any, you want BB&T to consider authorizing and paying on your behalf.
Today, we're going to focus on the overdraft review process, how it works, and the types of fees you can expect should you need to use it. When you open your personal checking or savings account at BB&T, you can decide if you would like to participate in the overdraft review process by opting in or opting out.
Banks are required by federal law to group your transactions into two categories-- one, ATM withdrawals, one time or everyday debit card transactions, and two, checks, ACH, recurring debits, and all other types of transfers and withdrawals. You may choose to opt in or opt out of either category.
If you don't make a decision at the time your account is opened, it will automatically default to opt out of ATM and everyday debit card transactions and opt in to checks, ACH, recurring debits, and all other types of transfers and withdrawals. But you can change your decision at any time. Whatever you decide to do, your decision will be effective the next business day.
Here's what happens if you opt in to the overdraft review process. For ATM and everyday debit card transactions, if you have insufficient funds to cover a purchase or withdrawal from an ATM, BB&T will consider authorizing that transaction and charging you an overdraft fee. For checks, ACH, recurring debits, and all other transfers and withdrawals, if an item, such as a check, is presented for payment and there are insufficient funds to cover the item, BB&T will consider paying the item and charging you an overdraft fee. If the item is returned, you'll be charged a returned item fee.
If you don't have overdraft protection, or the available balance on your overdraft protection is insufficient, the fees can quickly add up. We'll talk more about fees in a bit.
On the other hand, if you've opted out of the overdraft review process for ATM and everyday debit card transactions, if you have insufficient funds, BB&T will decline the transaction. And you will not be charged a fee. For checks, ACH, recurring debits, and all other transfers and withdrawals, if you have insufficient funds, BB&T will return the item. And you'll be charged a returned item fee.
One important thing to understand is that even if you've opted out of the overdraft review process, in the event you have recurring debit card payments that are authorized at a time when you had enough money in your account, but they post to your account at a later date when you no longer have sufficient funds in your account, these items may overdraw your account and will be subject to overdraft fees. So let's see how this plays out in real life.
Say you're at the grocery store picking up things to cook dinner. But you don't realize that your current available balance is not sufficient to cover what's in your cart. When you go to swipe your debit card, if you've opted out of the overdraft review process, your purchase will be declined. And you won't be charged a fee for this declined purchase. If you've opted in to overdraft review, BB&T will consider authorizing and paying for the groceries on your behalf. However, today's grocery store purchase will cost more than usual if the transaction is approved, because overdraft fees will apply.
To review, if you opt in to BB&T's overdraft review process, BB&T will charge an overdraft or returned item fee each time an overdraft is approved and paid on your behalf, or if an item is returned. For retail accounts, we will not charge you an overdraft fee if your account balance is overdrawn by less than $5 at the end of processing. BB&T limits the number of combined overdraft and returned item fees to a maximum of six per day for retail accounts.
Whether you decide to opt in or opt out of overdraft review, it's a good idea to be hands on with managing your money. Overdraft review is there to provide assistance if needed. But the best policy is to track all of your transactions and manage your bank account so you can avoid overdrawing.
You may also want to take advantage of the useful tools that come with your BB&T bank account, like online banking. U by BB&T online banking lets you transfer money on the go, set up alerts when your balance goes below your custom threshold, see real-time account balances, and provides personalized budgeting tools and much more.
If you still have questions, stop by your local BB&T branch and talk to one of our financial specialists. We'll be happy to assist you.
The information provided is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. BB&T hopes you find this information useful but we cannot guarantee that it is accurate, up to date, or appropriate for your situation. Financial calculators are provided to assist you in estimating the approximate costs associated with any bank activity. Your actual costs may vary. You should consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand how the law applies to your particular circumstances or for financial information specific to your personal or business situation.
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