In the world of credit unions, courtesy pay fees are the equivalent of overdraft fees — when you attempt to make a purchase but don’t have enough money in your account to complete the transaction, the credit union will spot the transaction for you and issue you a fee for allowing your account balance to fall into the negative. Delta Community Credit Union accounts come with an automatic courtesy pay service that enables the financial institution to cover certain types of transactions, including:
Delta Community can cover other types of overdraft transactions, such as one-time debit purchases and ATM transactions, but you first have to opt into Courtesy Pay Plus.
Financial institutions are not obligated to cover any transactions that overdraw your account, regardless of transaction type or overdraft protection status. The decision is ultimately at the credit union’s discretion.
Delta Community Credit Union charges $35 per item that overdraws your account.
If you overdraw your account at Delta Community Credit Union, a number of scenarios could occur.
Courtesy pay fee
Courtesy pay fees most often occur when you are not opted into overdraft protection and the credit union allows you to overdraw your account on checks, ACH transactions, automatic bill payments, recurring debit transactions, and any other transaction made using your checking account number. You can also incur a courtesy pay fee on ATM transactions and one-time debit purchases if you’ve opted in.
A non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee — also called an insufficient funds fee or returned item fee — occurs when you make a purchase but there are not enough funds in your account to cover the transaction. Instead of covering for you, the bank will decline the transaction, or return the item unpaid. Delta Community charges $35 for each transaction that it returns unpaid. The bank will not charge you an NSF fee for ATM or debit card transactions unless you’ve opted in, but can charge you a fee for:
Overdraft protection transfer fee
Overdraft protection transfer fees most often occur when you are opted into overdraft protection and the bank allows you to overdraw your account by transferring funds from a qualifying linked account. Rather than a $35 overdraft fee, Delta Community will charge a $3–$5 overdraft protection transfer fee if you are opted into the program.
To enable overdraft protection, you must link a qualified account so that the bank can transfer funds from one account to another in the event of an overdraft. Qualified accounts include:
Delta Community Credit Union does not have a limit on the number of courtesy pay fees and NSF fees that you may be charged on a single day.
You will be automatically enrolled in Delta Community Courtesy Pay if:
By opting into overdraft protection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your transactions can be covered even if you don’t have sufficient funds in your account; however, you should consider a few things before opting in.
Overdraft protection is optional. In fact, your bank is legally required to ask whether or not you want to opt in. The service can unfortunately do more harm than good if you do not budget or use overdraft protection effectively. It could dig you into a deeper hole than had you allowed some applicable transactions to be declined.
According to a study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, opted-in accounts typically pay more on bank fees than accounts that aren’t opted in, which is why you should consider your lifestyle, spending habits, and financial goals before opting into overdraft protection. When in doubt, know that you can opt into or out of overdraft protection at any time.
Overdraft fees are one of the most common charges detected on Cushion customers’ accounts, but there are small actions that you can take to avoid them:
Unfortunately, courtesy pay fees can be inevitable sometimes, but luckily there are ways to reclaim that money. With our ⚛️ Fee Genius and optional 💭 Fee Negotiation add-on, Cushion monitors your accounts 24/7 for fees, finds and alerts you about pesky fees, predicts when you’re in danger of overdrawing your account, and can even automatically negotiate fees on your behalf if you’ve opted in.
If you’d prefer to negotiate with your financial institution on your own, there are a few things that you can do to increase your chances of success.
Prepare your information
Name, address, bank account number, the fees that you’d like to negotiate — have them ready for the customer service agent.
“Hello. My name is [your name], and I recently received a courtesy pay fee. I’m contacting you to see if you would be willing to refund this fee.”
Have your points of leverage ready
Have you been financially affected by COVID-19? Is this overdraft a rare occurrence? Are you a loyal customer who has banked with Delta Community Credit Union for an extended period of time? Do you have multiple accounts with the bank? Do you make regular deposits?
Be patient, persistent, and prepared not to get a refund every time
A little kindness goes a long way. Remember: The representative that you’re speaking with on the phone likely didn’t write the rules on refunds. But also, don’t hesitate to press the issue if you initially hear “no” — that’s what your points of leverage are for. Sometimes, whether or not you’re successful depends on the agent that you speak with, so try calling back a few days later to speak with someone new.
Finally, you have to be willing to lose some negotiations. Try not to get discouraged, but do try to take the necessary steps to avoid a courtesy pay fee in the future.
Find Delta Community Credit Union’s courtesy pay breakdown here.
Cushion helps you waste less money, save more, and live a financially healthier life. We monitor your bank and credit card accounts 24/7, find and alert you about pesky fees, let you know which fees are negotiable, which banks are cooperative, and can even automatically negotiate on your behalf.* To date, Cushion has secured customers more than $11 million in bank and credit card fee refunds—and we’re just getting started.
*Cushion only negotiates fees with high refund odds. We cannot guarantee any negotiations, a regular frequency of negotiations, or fee refunds—your bank makes the final call.