Can the bank charge me an over-the-limit fee?

Beginning February 22, 2010, the bank can only charge you an over-the-limit fee if you have agreed to participate in its over-the-limit coverage program.  The credit card company must give you certain disclosures before you agree to participate in its over-the-limit coverage program, including the amount of the over-the-limit fee.  After you consent, the credit card company must provide you written confirmation of your agreement before it can charge the fee.  The credit card company cannot require you to agree to over-the-limit fees but it can ask if you would like to participate. 

Whether or not you opt-in to over-the-limit fees, transactions that exceed the credit limit may be declined or approved at the credit card company’s discretion. If you do not opt-in to the over-the-limit fee and the credit card company allows a charge that exceeds your credit limit to go through, it cannot charge you an over-the-limit fee.

If you opt-in to allow transactions that will exceed your credit limit, you can only be charged one fee per billing cycle.  Also, the bank cannot charge you an over-the-limit fee for more than three billing cycles for the same over-the-limit transaction.

You can revoke your opt-in choice at any time.  The bank must tell you how to revoke your opt-in when it asks you to participate in the program and each time you are charged an over-the-limit fee.  If you have questions about how to change your opt-in choice you should contact your credit card company.

March 2010