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Picture this: You're in the checkout line, about to pay for your items at the grocery store, but as you reach into your wallet for your debit card you start to worry. Did you remember to deposit money into your account or will your card be declined?

With overdraft protection, this fear will be a thing of the past.

What Is Overdraft Protection?

Overdraft protection is a feature that kicks in when you try to take more money out of your account than you have available, allowing you to complete a transaction. Your bank automatically transfers money from another account or a credit line of your choice to make up the difference.

If you use your debit card to buy something that costs $30 but you only have $25 in your checking account, you have an overdraft — your purchase is $5 more than your account balance. When this happens, you usually have to pay a fee. Your transaction may also get declined. But with overdraft protection, your bank would automatically take $5 from your savings account and move it to your checking account so that you could complete the transaction and avoid getting hit with an overdraft fee.

How Can Overdraft Protection Help You?

Having overdraft protection can help you out in several ways. It saves you money in fees and prevents the inconvenience and embarrassment of getting a payment rejected. It also eliminates stress over how much is in your account — you don't have to worry if you have the exact dollar amount needed for a purchase. If you have overdraft protection, forgetting to transfer money from one account to another won't ruin your shopping trip.

What Are the Options?

KeyBank offers several overdraft protection options. You can have funds automatically transferred from a preferred credit line, a credit card, or a home equity line of credit. Each of these choices allows you to borrow money instead of incurring an overdraft. While you have to pay an overdraft protection transfer fee to use one of these methods, you'll spend less than you would for an overdraft.

You can also choose to have funds automatically transferred from your Key Active Saver® Account, Key Gold Money Market Savings®, or Key Silver Money Market Savings®. If you decide to move forward with one of these options, you won't have to pay an overdraft transfer fee.

Spending a few dollars more than your account balance shouldn't be a big deal. And with overdraft protection, it doesn't have to be. You get to complete your transaction and go on with your day — your bank will take care of the rest.

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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