Important Overdraft Information
Thank you for choosing Bankers Trust! Our services include overdraft coverage for transactions that occur when your account is temporarily short of money. This page explains our overdraft practices, alternatives available to standard overdraft services, the fees associated with overdraft services, and tools to help you manage your account and finances.
What is an overdraft?
An overdraft occurs when you authorize a transaction, but do not have enough money in your account to cover the transaction. We may, at our discretion, pay it anyway, anticipating that you will make a deposit as soon as possible to correct the shortfall. Overdraft coverage may apply to a variety of transactions, including checks, Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) transactions, and recurring debit card transactions. If you expressly opt in to overdraft services for your debit card, you may also have overdraft coverage for everyday debit card and ATM transactions. We charge a fee for each overdraft that we cover, up to a daily maximum as disclosed in the Service Fee Schedule..
What is a returned item?
When Bankers Trust does not cover an overdraft, the check or ACH transaction becomes a “returned item.” What this means is that the transaction is returned unpaid to the payee – the person or business to whom you authorized the transaction. In these cases, the transaction is marked “non-sufficient funds” and no money is paid to the payee. The Bank charges a Returned Item fee and you may also be charged a fee by the business that was expecting payment. There is no daily limit on the number of Returned Item fees we may charge in a day. The amount of the Returned Item fee is disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule.
How do I get overdraft coverage?
Bankers Trust automatically pays certain overdrafts if the accountholder has an established, well-maintained, and regularly-funded account with the Bank. The service covers overdrafts in the form of checks, ACH transactions, and recurring debit card transactions, such as automatic payment of monthly bills. In all cases, however, it is up to the Bank’s discretion about whether or not to pay an overdraft.
What about overdraft services for ATM and everyday (one-time) debit card transactions?
You must specifically request overdraft coverage for ATM and everyday debit card transactions. You can “opt in” to this coverage by:
- Completing and mailing the form provided in your account opening packet, or dropping it off at any Branch.
- By clicking here. No signature necessary.
- Calling (515) 245-2863 or 1-800-362-1688 or Easy Access at 1-800-932-3279.
If you do not specifically ask to opt in to this coverage, ATM and everyday debit card transactions that create an overdraft will generally be declined. Bankers Trust reserves the right to decide whether or not to pay an overdraft, even if you have opted in to ATM and everyday debit card transaction overdraft coverage.
Can I choose not to have any overdraft coverage?
Yes. You may choose not to have any of your overdrafts paid. You may make this selection by notifying us:
- In writing at Bankers Trust, 453 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
- By telephone at 1-800-362-1688
- By e-mail
- By stopping into any of our office locations.
If you choose to have no overdraft coverage, your check and ACH transactions will be returned unpaid and a Returned Item fee will be assessed. The business that expected payment from your check or ACH transaction may also assess a fee.
Are payments from my account made in a certain order?
Yes. ACH, debit card, and other electronic transactions posting to your account are posted in timestamp order. What this means is that they will be cleared in the order you initiated them once they have been received at the Bank. For example, if you authorized a pay-at-the-pump gasoline transaction on Monday and a point-of-sale grocery store purchase on Tuesday and both transactions were presented to the Bank on Wednesday; the gasoline purchase would be cleared first, followed by the grocery store purchase. Checks are cleared in serial number order on the day they are received by the Bank.
Does coverage guarantee that all overdrafts will be paid? How is overdraft coverage determined?
No. Bankers Trust reserves the right to decide whether or not to pay an overdraft. Factors that go into that decision may include how long you have had your Bankers Trust account, whether you make regular deposits to the account, and how long your account remains in an overdraft position. For accounts in good standing, overdraft coverage ranges between $250 and $500, plus any fees that may be assessed.
How soon must I bring my account back to a positive balance after an overdraft occurs?
When an overdraft occurs, you must cover the shortfall as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should the account remain overdrawn for 10 or more business days. If a deposit to cover the overdraft is not made within 10 business days, your account may be closed. Accounts closed due to overdrafts may be reported to ChexSystems, a repository for information about mishandled checking and savings accounts. A ChexSystems report may prevent you from opening accounts at other financial institutions. Further, the account may be sent to a collection agency.
Is there a fee for overdraft coverage?
Yes. An Overdraft fee is charged for each overdraft transaction occurring on an account. You will be charged no more than the daily maximum, as disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule.
Is there a fee charged on returned items?
Yes. A Returned Item fee is charged for each transaction that is returned non-sufficient funds. The fee amount is disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule. There is no daily limit on Returned Item fees. In addition, a fee also may be assessed against you by the business that had expected to be paid by the returned item.
How does the Bank determine whether to apply overdraft coverage, and how does the Bank determine how much coverage to apply
The amount of overdraft coverage varies and depends on a number of factors, including how long you have had your Bankers Trust account, whether you make regular deposits, and how long your account remains in an overdraft position. The Bank uses an automated system to risk-rate and assign an overdraft score to your account using the aforementioned criteria. The daily overdraft score is what determines the amount of overdraft coverage. For accounts in good standing, overdraft coverage ranges between $250 and $500, plus any fees that may be assessed.
Are there alternatives to standard overdraft coverage?
- We can link your checking and savings accounts so that money is transferred from your savings account to your checking account to cover overdrafts. There is a fee for this service as disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule.
- You can establish a Checking Reserve line of credit, which transfers money in $100 increments, up to your credit limit, when an overdraft occurs on your checking account. This line of credit is subject to credit approval and an annual fee, as disclosed in our Service Fee Schedule.
- You can establish a home equity line of credit, which transfers money in $500 increments, up to your credit limit, when an overdraft occurs on your checking account. This line of credit is subject to credit approval and an annual fee of $15.00.
- You can establish a Bankers Trust credit card, which automatically transfers money for the amount of the overdraft or $25, whichever is greater, up to your credit limit, when an overdraft occurs in your checking account. This line of credit is subject to our prior credit approval and may be subject to an annual fee, as disclosed in our credit card terms and conditions.
In addition to overdraft protection plans, are other services available to help me manage my account?
Yes. Bankers Trust provides several alternatives to assist you in managing your account.
- Internet Banking allows you to manage your account online. You can enroll at BankersTrust.com. Additionally, you can enroll in e-mail and text message balance alert services and e-Statements (electronic statements) via the Internet Banking service. Please see the Internet Banking Agreement for additional information and limitations on the e-mail and text message balance alert services.
- Easy Access allows you to manage your account by telephone. You can access this service at (515) 245-5252 or toll free at 1-800-932-3279.
Please note, not all debit card transactions clear in real time and you may have outstanding check, ACH, and other electronic transactions you have authorized that have not yet posted to your account. To determine your account balance, Bankers Trust recommends you keep detailed records of your deposits and withdrawals. Account balances obtained by electronic means, such as by Internet Banking or Easy Access, do not include authorized, outstanding transactions that have not yet posted to your account. Further, email and text message balance alerts are not provided in real time. The service will retrieve your account balance after nightly processing and message you the following morning.
Do debit card transactions clear my account immediately?
No. Not all debit card transactions clear your account immediately (in “real time”). Debit card transactions made using your personal identification number (PIN) typically – but not always – come out of your balance immediately. Signature-based transactions – transactions made without providing your PIN – may clear immediately or may clear within one to three business days depending on the merchant’s procedures. Furthermore, a debit card transaction may be preauthorized for an amount different than the final settlement amount. Examples of these types of transactions include pay-at-the-pump gasoline purchase transactions that preauthorize for $1 and later clear for the full purchase amount, and restaurant transactions that are preauthorized for 15–20 percent more than the check amount to leave room for a tip, but later clear for the agreed upon amount.
Are other sources available for information on budgeting, financial education, or credit counseling?
Yes. There are several sources for free consumer information that will assist you in everything from becoming a well-informed bank customer to creating and managing a budget to managing your debt.
A few resources include:
Consumer Credit of Des Moines
6129 S.W. 63rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50321
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa
1608 S. Duff Ave., Suite 300
Ames, IA 50010
Neighborhood Housing Service of Phoenix
1405 E. McDowell, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85006
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Consumer News & Information
1100 Walnut St., Box #11
Kansas City, MO 64106
(877) 275-3342 (877-ASK-FDIC)
Federal Reserve Board
Federal Reserve Consumer Help
P.O. Box 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55480
Consumer Federation of America
1620 I St., N.W., Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20006
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
P.O. Box 4503
Iowa City, IA 52244