What You Need to Know About Overdrafts and Overdraft Fees
Managing your checking account to avoid overdrafts or debit card declines can be overwhelming and confusing. We’re here to provide clear information and tools to make your banking hassle-free.
An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but, as a service to you, we pay it anyway. We can cover your overdrafts in two different ways:
- You may link your checking account to your First Commonwealth Bank savings, money market, or line of credit account. A transfer fee may apply.
- Overdraft Protection Plans provide a safe, low-cost way to guard against accidental overdrafts.
- The cost for Overdraft Protection Plans is often less than standard overdraft coverage and it normally does not cost you anything until you actually use the service.
Standard Overdraft Coverage is when we pay overdrafts against your account at our discretion, which means we do not guarantee that we will always authorize and pay any type of transaction.
- Federal Regulations require that all banks give consumers the option to "opt-in" or "opt-out" of our standard overdraft practices for ATM and everyday debit card transactions.
- Effective August 15, 2010, we are no longer authorized to pay overdrafts for these types of transactions unless you authorize us to do so.
- If you choose to opt-in, you may change your mind at any time and it costs you nothing unless you use the service.
- You may opt-in to our standard overdraft coverage for ATM and everyday debit card transactions by calling our Convenience Banking Center at 1-800-711-2265; our Convenience Banking Line at 1-888-711-2265 and choosing option 7; or by visiting your local community office.
- In addition, we offer you the choice to opt-out of overdraft coverage on ALL transaction types (including checks, ACH and other types of debit card transactions), if you so wish.
What are overdrafts?
An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but the transaction is paid anyway.
What fees are charged when your account is overdrawn?
- For Standard Overdraft Coverage, we will charge a fee up to $35 each time we pay an overdraft item. First overdraft charge in a rolling 12 month period = $25; second and subsequent occurrences of an overdraft will incur a fee of $35.
- There is a daily limit of 4 overdraft fees per day.
- The Overdraft fee will be waived where the daily negative balance is $5 or less.
- You may also incur an extended overdraft fee of $8 per day after the fourth consecutive day that your account remains in a negative balance.
What services do you offer so that I can avoid overdrafts in general?
- Free online banking provides you with 24/7 access to your accounts, including views of pending and posted transactions. You can also transfer funds between your accounts with a few simple clicks.
- Our Free Convenience Banking Line gives you access to your accounts via the telephone to check balances and to transfer funds by calling 1-888-711-2265.
- First Commonwealth strongly suggests using one of our Overdraft Protection Plans, such as linking your checking account to a savings, money market or line of credit account, in order to protect against accidental overdrafts.
Are checks or ACH transactions affected by the new Federal regulations?
No. The new rules only apply to ATM transactions and everyday purchases you make with your debit card. Checks, ACH and other types of debit transactions are not affected by these new rules. However, we do offer clients the option to opt-out of overdraft coverage on these transaction types also.
When do I need to make a choice?
If a decision was not made by August 15, 2010, an account would have defaulted to “opt-out” of discretionary overdraft service. However, you can choose to “opt-in” or “opt-out” at anytime and as often as you choose.
Do these new rules only apply to my personal accounts?
Yes. These new rules apply to any consumer deposit account that has an associated ATM or debit card.
What if I have more than one account?
You must make a choice for each account.
To view the Overdraft Notification which includes applicable fees and other information, click here.