Concern housewife checking utility bill, seeing mistaken too high costs


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.

Have you ever gotten slapped with an overdraft charge because you unknowingly spent a few dollars more than what you had in your bank account? Suddenly, a $2 purchase costs $37. Or maybe someone wrote you a check and didn't have enough in the account to cover it, so your bank hit you with a penalty. Well, the Biden administration is taking steps toward doing away with such fees, with the president announcing plans to ban banks from doling out surprise overdraft fees along with depositor fees on bounced checks.

“Today, my administration is announcing new actions to lower the costs of everyday living for American families, to put more money in the pockets of the middle-income and working-class Americans, to hold big corporations accountable," Biden said in a White House speech. He called such fees "unfair." Among them are hidden hotel booking fees, overdraft fees, and termination charges when switching cable or internet plans — anything “designed either to confuse or deceive consumers or to take advantage of lock-in or other forms of situational market power,” according to the White House.

Gallery: 23 Ways Companies Trick You Into Spending More Money

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is buckling down and issuing updated guidance reiterating that depositor fee and surprise overdraft fee charges “are likely unfair and unlawful under existing law.”

Cheapism in the News