Accidents Can and Will Happen
If you’ve ever dealt with a returned check or had a debit card unexpectedly declined, you know it doesn’t take much more than a few math errors to end up in an awkward situation. Despite your best efforts to keep an accurate account balance, accidents can and will happen. Maybe your paycheck hasn’t hit your account yet, or your spouse got a tank of gas on the way to work and forgot to tell you.
Whatever the reason, having a transaction declined or returned for insufficient funds can be embarrassing, frustrating and expensive. Merchants may charge penalties of up to $200, and may even refer your bill to a collection agency. You could wind up with damage to your credit report. You could even find yourself in legal trouble. Knowingly writing a check where there is not enough money in the account to cover the promise you’ve made is a felony in most states, and you can face fines and jail time if convicted.
Courtesy Pay is a service that allows Highmark to pay an item presented for payment against your checking account even if it causes the account to become overdrawn. This may include checks (share drafts), ACH, in-person withdrawals, ATM withdrawals, debit card and Bill Pay transactions.
Courtesy Pay may provide certain account holders in “good standing” with the ability to overdraw their personal checking account up to $1,000.
If your account is in good standing, defined as: A) Your Checking Account has been open for at least 30 days; B) Making regular deposits sufficient to cover transactions; C) Bringing the account to a positive balance (and maintaining that positive balance for twenty-four hours) at least once every thirty days or less; D) There are no legal orders outstanding on your account; and E) You do not have any loans with us that are more than 30 days past due, we may, at our sole discretion, pay overdrafts up to the limits mentioned above, including our normal Non-Sufficient Funds or Courtesy Pay charge(s). Whether we pay or return an item, your account will be assessed a fee for each transaction, either as a Courtesy Pay charge or a Non-Sufficient Funds charge, but you will not be charged both fees.
Although you are not charged for using Courtesy Pay unless you have an overdraft ($35.00), you may opt-out of Courtesy Pay at any time. If you receive a direct deposit of your monthly Social Security payment into your checking account or for any other reason do not want Courtesy Pay eligibility, you must advise us to stop us from paying your overdrafts with these funds; you must advise us of your decision to opt-out in writing.
If you have established other overdraft protection methods, such as a line of credit or automatic transfer from your other accounts, we will always look to pay any overdraft by those other methods first before paying your overdraft utilizing Courtesy Pay and imposing a Courtesy Pay fee for each overdraft we pay.