The seemingly-populist, very evil Bank of America is a hive of rat bastards, and anyone that's ever done any kind of business with them will understand this sentiment. But they're now taking mercy on their sad, recession-hit customers.
Instead of charging you a $35 overdraft fee for every time you dip a penny below $0.00, any day that ends with an overdraft of $5 or less will only net you a $10 charge. That being said, whereas you could only incur five $35 overdraft fees in one day, they've now upped their own personal limit to ten. So: miss one note on your checking account, that's $350 your in the hole for after one day's worth of small-ish purchases.
Now, we all know that overdrawing your bank account is irresponsible, and that there should be a consequence for screwing up. Some banks even have a "mercy" program that allows you one of these transgressions every few months. But the wonderful MSNBC article this item's culled from does some interesting math regarding overdraft fees:
Consumers who overdraw by $5.01 will still pay at least $35 for the mistake, the equivalent of a short-term loan at 25,000 percent annual interest (assuming the money is repaid in 10 days)...Last year, the Center for Responsible Lending said that fees generated from overdrafts — $17.5 billion – actually exceeded the total amount of money banks extended to cover overdrafts, which totaled around $16 billion.
Bank Of America's almost comical in how much they hate their customers: they recently went out of their way to secure their right to pull overdraft fees from retirees' social security benefits. So they're robbing people (literally) blind who're (sometimes) too senile to always do the right math. The problem's gotten so bad, congress is leaning towards creating legislation reforming overdraft fees. Until then, banks are still royally screwing you for your punishment in an eye-for-a-pound-of-flesh kind of way. Furthermore, they're letting you overdraft, encouraging you to let them hit you where it hurts. The lesson: don't overdraw, bank with a bank that doesn't allow you to overdraw, and if there's some kind of tragic, extenuating circumstance forcing you to overdraw, borrow the money from anyone but your bank. Because they will absolutely, without reluctance, take every chance they can to totally rob you silly.