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Bank of America Starting to Scale Back Debit-Card Fees
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Bank of America Starting to Scale Back Debit-Card Fees

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Quick Summary
Bank of America Starting to Scale Back Debit-Card Fees

After being slapped with criticism over a monthly debit-card fee, Bank of America is expected to start offering customers ways to avoid the charge.

More on CNBC...

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  #2 (permalink)
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Yeah like maintaining $20,000 balance or something. I don't think that is going to fly with most people.

My local bank pays me 3.0% APY on my checking account on balances from $0 to $25,000. And it pays me 2.0% APY on my savings account on balances from $0 to $25,000. You can see that is a bit backwards, so they are still a bank after all, but still - I am taking full advantage of both because they are good rates. And they all know me when I walk in, there is never a line, they are always helpful with anything I need and are truly happy to have my business. Imagine that!

BofA has the opposite idea --- if you don't keep large amounts of money, they will charge you all kinds of fees. And even if you do keep large amounts of money, they will pay you a tenth of 1 percent interest, or less.

Mike

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yes i read on the ABC website that the were not going to start charging all the people that use their debit cards. the test market was in something like three states. one of them was wisconsin and guess what i live in wisconsin. also the part i read never said that they were going to stop charging in the test area just that they are not going to go any futher.

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Chase, Wells Fargo drop debit fees, BofA to adjust

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chase and Wells Fargo are joining the list of banks that won't be charging customers to use their debit cards, as the backlash over Bank of America's planned $5 monthly fee continues.
The retail banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. will stop charging $3-per-month fees for using debit cards when its current pilot in Wisconsin and Georgia is completed in November, a source with knowledge of the bank's plans told The Associated Press. The individual asked not to be identified because the bank has not officially announced the program will not go forward.
Chase, which operates in 23 states, began its test in February.
And it's not alone in rethinking its actions. Wells Fargo & Co. began a similar pilot in five states on Oct. 14, testing a flat $3 fee for using debit for purchases. On Friday it also announced that it is cancelling its test program.
Other banks already have more widespread fee policies. SunTrust Banks charges $5 a month for debit cards used to make purchases, and Regions Financial Corp. charges $4.
But it was Bank of America Corp.'s plan to start charging $5 per month that lit the issue on fire. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank last month said it will begin assessing the fee in 2012.
Banks are justifying the fees by stating that they need to recoup revenue lost to new regulations that limit the fees they can collect from retailers for handling debit card transactions. But the new fees sparked a huge backlash.
Signs like, "I bailed out the banks and all I got was a $5 debit card fee" have been spotted the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and its sibling protests around the country. The author of the regulations, Sen. Richard Durbin, D.-Ill, called the fee an "outrage" on the floor of the Senate.
"It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit," he said. "Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible."
Durbin encouraged customers of banks that charge fees to "vote with their feet," but consumers were already ahead of him. Credit unions and community banks nationwide are reporting huge spikes in new accounts as consumers seek no-fee options.
"People are literally walking into branches and cutting up their Bank of America cards," Kirk Kordeleski, CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Long Island, N.Y., said last week.
The backlash hasn't gone unnoticed by other banks.
Citigroup Inc. almost immediately pointed to its policy of not charging for debit, although at the same time it changed requirements for its mid-tier checking accounts to make it harder to avoid a $20 per month service fee.
Huntington National Bank, Ally Bank, USAA and on Friday, TD Bank, are among those that are publicizing that they will not charge debit card fees. And institutions like CDC Federal Credit Union in Atlanta are sending emails out with "No Debit Card Fees" in the subject line to entice people to move their money.
The anger appears to be resonating.
On Friday, Bank of America bent. A source at the bank, who asked not to be identified because the policy is still evolving, said it likely it will offer ways for its customers to avoid debit card fees through using direct deposit, maintaining minimum balances or using Bank of America credit cards.
But a good deal of damage is already done. "Too little, too late," one angry customer posted on Facebook. "I've already switched to USAA!"

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