On September 20, more than one month after the new overdraft fee rules went into effect, Ohio-based Huntington Bank launched it’s “24-Hour Grace” account feature in an effort to address consumer unrest caused by the economy’s recent struggles.

Under the new program, the bank waives your overdraft fees as long as you make a deposit during the next business day that puts your account balance back above $0.

“Our own customers are saving more and being more careful to avoid overdrafts,” said Steve Steinour, Huntington CEO.

Huntington Bank is the first to offer such an overdraft grace period, which the bank says is part of a collective effort to provide fair, customer-friendly fee structures and reductions.

A New Trend of Overdraft Grace Periods?

Whether to opt into overdraft protection plans has been a hot topic of debate among banking consumers in the recent months. A recent survey showed that nearly half of consumers chose to opt-into overdraft protection. That percentage could easily increase if major banks decide to adopt the same concept as Huntington.

Without overdraft grace periods, the only two options were:

  1. Opt in for overdraft protection — Your transaction would be processed as usual and you would be charged an overdraft fee.
  2. Opt out of overdraft protection — Your transaction would not be processed and you would not be charged any fees.

But with overdraft grace periods, you would get the best of both worlds. The grace period would allow you to make a transaction in an emergency situation without paying any fees, given you fix the negative account balance within the grace period. Although it will still require customers to opt in for overdraft protection, this account feature appears to be a welcome compromise to the tough rules currently in place.

Click here to read Huntington’s press release on its new offer.

Would you opt in for overdraft protection if overdraft grace periods became a feature in your checking account?

Did you enjoy this article? Yes No
Oops! What was wrong? Please let us know.

Ask a Question