10 March 2010

Random Thought: Selective Overdraft Protection

I was listening to the Marketplace Morning Report today, and there was a story about how Bank of America was changing their overdraft policy on debit cards. Apparently, many banks automatically sign you up for overdraft protection, which can be a pain. In Marketplace's example, you could end up paying $38 for a $3 cup of coffee because you didn't realize your balance was low when you used your debit card and the overdraft protection kicked in.

According to the story, there have been surveys done that show people don't mind paying a high overdraft fee if it keeps a big payment from being rejected, like your mortgage. That got me to thinking. Wouldn't it be nice if some bank had a selective overdraft protection program? I would like to be able to set up an automatic withdrawal for my mortgage payment and tell the bank to only charge me an overdraft fee if this particular payment is in danger of bouncing. Considering the late payment fees I've paid in the past, a $35 overdraft fee on occasion would be a savings. Of course, since I never have an original idea, I'm sure there is some bank out there already doing this.
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