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Banks Will Stop Fee Foolishness Only When We Close Our Accounts In Protest

Bank of America plans to charge customers $5 for using their debit cardsLast month, we reported that Wells Fargo and Chase were testing a $3 monthly fee for certain customers who use their debit cards.

Looks like Bank of America is going all in — and for a higher price.

Beginning next year, BofA will charge customers a $5 monthly fee for making purchases with their debit cards, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The nation’s biggest bank by assets will not charge for using the cards at its ATMs.

So for the privilege of paying with a card it provided you, Bank of America will take an additional $5 out of your account every month.

No matter if you only used it once to buy coffee and a bagel that cost less than the actual fee.

You chose debit as your plastic? Pay up.

This is, of course, ridiculous, a temper tantrum being thrown by BoA over new, capped debit card swipe fees that go into effect Oct. 1. The caps knock the average fee banks can charge merchants every time you swipe the card at a register down from 44 cents per transaction to 24 cents.

Banks are going to lose a lot of free money as a result. And, per usual, when the banks take a hit, they immediately take it out on their customers.

What a way to win friends and influence people.

If you’re a customer of one of these big banks, you shouldn’t stand for this nonsense. Pull your money.

If enough people raise a stink, the banks will listen.

If fact, the last of the big four banks to hold out — Citigroup — said earlier this month it would not charge its customers fees for debit card use.

Citi isn’t holding off because its execs get a warm feeling in their hearts when thinking about customers.

It’s scared of what would happen if it did slap a fee on its customers.

Check out this paragraph from a Reuters story: “The head of banking products for Citi’s U.S. consumer bank said customers told the bank a debit card fee would be ‘a huge source of irritation.'”

We know this negative sentiment is real.

An Associated Press-GfK poll this summer found that more than 60% of consumers would ditch their debit cards if their banks charged a $3 monthly fee. Bump it up to $5, and two-thirds would bail.

But will we — the customers — take that power and act on it?

There is absolutely no reason to keep your money with a big bank if they are going to keep charging you trumped-up fees while paying you no interest on the money you keep with them.

That’s not banking.

That’s highway robbery.

Don’t let them get away with it.

Make the switch.

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Comments (5)
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5 Existing Comments
  1. Gerri Detweiler said:
    on September 29th at 02:47 pm

    My DH just changed credit unions thanks to annoying debit card fees. My sister just closed an account due to a monthly fee to use her debit card for purchases. (It wasn’t her main account though.)

    This will either have backfire on the issuers or have the effect they want – weed out less profitable customers!

  2. Julie said:
    on September 29th at 05:03 pm

    I’m already learning to do without my debit card; I just take out a chunk of cash from the atm at the beginning of the month and learn to use cash during the month. No way do I want the fees. It made me spend less. I do bank at Wells Fargo and they will lose me if they stick any kind of fees.

  3. 1999 said:
    on September 29th at 07:40 pm

    People still use Bank of America as their bank? hahaha

  4. Mom Equity said:
    on September 30th at 09:58 am

    I just posted about fees on my blog. I agree, I just need to switch to a credit union but with all the auto-debits it’s going to be a hassle.

  5. conq said:
    on October 1st at 11:02 am

    I live in GA (where Citibank has no branches) and Citibank just sent me a letter (October 1st) saying I’d need to pay $15 a month for my checking account or have $6,000 deposited in my linked accounts (by November 10th.) I just switched my paycheck direct deposit to my ING Direct account and will close my Citi accounts as soon as I can. I want to also close out my Citibank AMEX and MC cards but probably wont since that’s intimately tied to my credit rating (but I will stop using those credit cards in favour of my Chase Sapphire.)