Rather than face the embarrassment of being declined a purchase, 75% of consumers are opting to pay a fee—sometimes as much as $34—each time they overdraw on their debit-card account, according to Moebs Services Inc.
The choice is a recent one, thanks to new rules that came in as part of an overhaul of consumer-protection regulations. Since Aug. 15, banks have been required to ask consumers to "opt in" for overdraft protection on their debit cards and the added fees. Previously, that fee would be automatically charged without a customer's explicit consent. If consumers don't opt for the overdraft, the bank will now decline the purchase.
The large acceptance of overdraft fees comes as a surprise to some, as many analysts and banks expected consumers to balk at the prospect of more fees.
Comment: Our overdraft protection is tied to a home equity line. But we have never triggered it.