If you have an online checking account it is easy to manage and you have the ability to view all of your transactions instantly online. However, just like a regular banking account it can be easy to get overdraft charges if there are insufficient funds available in the account when checks or debits come through. There are a few actions you can take to help prevent and even eliminate your chances from being the victim of overdraft charges against your online checking account.
Always balance your account. In the past it might have been difficult to do so as your bank statement only came once a month. With an online account you can view your account daily as transactions are deducted to monitor your balance. There is no excuse to not know how much money is in your account at any given time. Make sure to keep track of all transactions made whether they are deposits, debits, credits, ATM withdrawals, or automatic payments.
If there are any errors you should be able to spot them and get them corrected. The bank is run by human hands and they do make errors. You do not want to be on the receiving end. It happens more often than you think. Keep copies of your deposit slips and ATM receipts. The deposit that you made could be applied to another account or the amount entered was incorrect. Your record makes it easier to get the error corrected.
You should setup an overdraft protection line of credit. Although if this is activated you will pay interest on any money that is transferred into your account, it is cheaper than paying the overdraft charges. If one check or action bounces normally there is more than one. Once you get funds go ahead and pay the line of credit off.
Most banks have a cut off time when they will not apply the deposit made on the same day. Usually this is 2 pm. If you need the money in the bank, try and get it credited prior to this time. Otherwise cash the check first and then deposit it. This will ensure that it gets entered into your online checking account.
Do not spend more money that you earn. Trying to take advantage of the float is no longer possible. Most banks immediately remove funds within 24 hours. Many remove payments prior to entering deposits. Keep a cushion amount in your checking account or savings account that you will not spend. And if necessary have the ability to transfer funds from your emergency account to your online checking account should you become low on funds.