ATM fees are climbing to record highs nationwide, so how will this affect your wallet?
A night out to the movies. A new shirt. Groceries. These are all things for which many people would gladly fork over $35. But overdraft fees? Not so much. And yet, that's the average fee the country's largest banks charge customers who overdraw their accounts, according to a NerdWallet study.
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These fees occur when banks approve transactions that exceed an account's balance. They are often assessed per transaction, so customers could face multiple fees in a day.
The study also found that the average credit union overdraft fee is nearly $10 less than that of large banks. Other institutions, including some online banks, don't offer overdraft programs, and so debit card transactions that would overdraw an account are declined. That means the customer wouldn't be charged an overdraft fee at all.
In our analysis, we calculated the average fee at institutions that charge for overdraft protection and outlined ways customers can reduce or avoid these costs.
—$35: The average per-item overdraft fee in September 2019 for personal checking accounts at the country's largest banks.
—$26: The average per-item overdraft fee in September 2019 for personal checking accounts at the country's largest credit unions.
—58%: The percentage of surveyed banks that charge overdraft fees that indicate they also charge continuous overdraft fees for accounts that remain negative for several days.