Wells Fargo offers a new way to get out of overdraft charges

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Wells Fargo
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Got direct deposit with Wells Fargo?

The bank is offering a new program that will scrub overdraft charges from your account — as long as money is deposited in a timely manner to bring you back into the black.

RELATED: Wells Fargo’s new pilot app promises to eliminate overdraft fees for users

Wells Fargo tries to right its ship

When Clark Howard talks about big banks, it’s usually with utter contempt for their high fees, abysmal customer service and puny interest rates they pay you on your money.

Such was the case when the money expert launched his Switch. Ditch. Save. campaign here at Clark.com.

Switch. Ditch. Save. was his grassroots, digital effort to get you to fire your big bank and join a credit union, a small locally owned bank or perhaps an online bank.

But even a broken clock is right twice a day, as the old saying goes!

Case in point: Wells Fargo’s introduction of its brand-new Overdraft Rewind program. This program is a prime example of a bank trying to do something right after wronging customers in almost every other way for years.

(Need proof? Just think of their phantom accounts scandal between 2009 and 2016.)

Overdraft Rewind will let you reverse the bank’s $35 overdraft fee. But it only works in cases where you’re just a little shy of having enough money to cover a purchase and your next paycheck is going to hit your account within 24 hours.

And did we mention it’s free?

You can file this one under “G” for gratis and giant monster-mega bank!

Here’s more of what you need to know about Overdraft Rewind

Wells Fargo customers who have direct deposit might have recently received an email that looks like this:

Wells Fargo Overdraft Rewind e-mail

If you got this email, it means you’re already enrolled in the program.

Here’s a real-life scenario from the Wells Fargo website that illustrates the nuts and bolts of how Overdraft Rewind works.

“On Thursday, your available balance is $50. That night, we pay an automatic ACH payment for $55 and a check for $60, leaving your account overdrawn by $65. Two $35 overdraft fees will be charged to your account.

On Friday, the bank receives your direct deposit of $500 before 9:00 am. We will reevaluate the overdraft decisions from Thursday night and may ‘rewind’ the overdraft fees if your direct deposit will cover the transactions that caused the fees.”

Basically, Wells Fargo will now be doing a 24-hour look back for direct deposit customers after you get paid. The goal is to wipe away any overdraft fees that may have been assessed from the prior day.

In addition, the bank is also scrapping the practice of charging $35 overdraft fees for transactions of $5 or less. This should also help customers who run low balances and frequently find there’s more month than money in their life.

Overdraft Rewind is nice, but there are better solutions…

Taking the long view, there are wiser solutions better suited to the audience Wells Fargo is targeting.

Because while Overdraft Rewind is nice, it’s a solution to a problem that should never exist in the first place!

If you take the following advice to heart and put it into practice, then you won’t have to deal with any more overdraft fees to begin with…

Opt out of overdraft protection

Without overdraft protection, your card will be declined when you try to make a purchase you don’t have money for; that protects your wallet immensely!

So let your bank know you want to opt out if you’re currently signed up. That way, you never even have so much as the opportunity to incur a $35 overdraft fee again.

Sign up for text message alerts

With text message alerts, your bank let you know when your account is running low.

When you get that text, you know you need to hold off making additional purchases until more money is deposited.

Again, this is another great way to avoid a $35 overdraft fee in the first place.

Get a budget in place

Finally, want another way to make sure you don’t overdraw your account? Get a budget going in your life and you’ll be able to sleep well at night again without worrying about where your next dollar is coming from or going to!

RELATED: This is the #1 way to stop living paycheck to paycheck

Switch. Ditch. Save. | Your Guide to Cheaper, Easier & Better Banking

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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