Bank of America to Charge Debit Card Users

Friday, September 30, 2011

For years we've been moving away from using paper and coins to pay for goods, and toward a cashless society. Now many people use debit cards as a convenient way to shop. But news from the Bank of America yesterday could change the way people feel about that. The banking giant announced it would impose a new monthly fee of $5 for checking accounts that use debit cards. Other banks are likely to follow suit. Why are we seeing increased banking charges and what can consumers do about it?

We're speaking with Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for our partner, The New York Times.


Louise Story

Produced by:

Susie Warhurst

Comments [12]

Evelyn C. from WA state

About 3 yrs. ago, I was getting sick of banking corporations in general and specifically BofA (where I'd banked for years) at the same time the local credit union offered a checking account w/minimal requirements (use debit card 12x/mo., receive my statement online & check it 1x/mo.) that paid 4% interest. I left BofA and put both my savings & my checking dollars into that checking account and, even w/the monthly interest 'down' to 2 1/4% now, I couldn't be more satisfied.

Oct. 02 2011 04:11 PM

So thanks to the financially questionable competence of Dodd and Frank which the media deliberately overlooks we will all be set back forty years and rely on checks and bank tellers once again.
This is not "progressive" but retrogressive.

Sep. 30 2011 02:06 PM
JB from Needham, MA

I am a BofA customer and I am not happy about the fee. I use my debit card all the time instead of a credit card but that will change based on principle. I wonder, how big were bonuses last year and how big will they be this year. I wish they would look inside BofA for ways to save. Maybe cutting back $1million from the CFO would help the bottom line as well!

Sep. 30 2011 10:33 AM
Angel from Miami, FL

What's wrong with cash? You got a debit card to keep you from buying everything in sight with your credit card. Show some control, folks. You asked for these companies to police your spending behavior and get angry when those companies want to get paid for baby-sitting you.

Sep. 30 2011 10:08 AM

The movie "A Wonderful Life" taught us there are two kinds of financal institutions. We all want to trust in George Bailey, but more and more all we get is Mr. Potter.

Sep. 30 2011 09:10 AM
Jack Brondum from Minneapolis

Re: the last comment read on Takeaway this morning about bank debit card fees: I've used my credit union debit card in New York, Budapest, St. Petersburg, Beijing, and many other places around the world, and have never had trouble accessing my money. Also, my credit union is part of a 5,000+ ATM network nationally, which charges no transaction fees. Just a guess, but could your last commenter be a bank shill?

Sep. 30 2011 09:03 AM
Jack Brondum from Minneapolis

In the discussion of BankAmerica's planned charge of a debit card fee, I haven't yet heard the two words "credit" and "union". Credit unions offer genuinely free checking, no-fee debit and credit card use, virtually all other traditional banking services (no currency arbitraging though), and highly personal - and humane - interaction. Also, the NCUA is even more solid than FDIC in guaranteeing deposits. Get with the program, John, and, while you're at it, dump Citibank - they're the worst of the lot.

Sep. 30 2011 08:55 AM

Is the root cause of this fee from banks the Dodd/Frank regulation which considering the checkered financial reputations of both men might as well be called the Laurel and Hardy regulation?
So now instead of banks "ripping off" people who breached their agreements due to their own fault, all customers in good financial standing will be "ripped off"?

Like the Community Reinvestment Act, is this another example of a meddling government playing political games in the banking industry and punishing the financially responsible?

Sep. 30 2011 08:48 AM
Paul from New York

BoA has a number of cute charges. They charge $12 any month in which the balance goes below a certain amount (not average daily balnce for a month, but any single moment during the month.) They also charge $3 for any month in which a check is written. This is a fee to show an image of the check on the monthly statement. There is no fee if you do all banking online. The interest paid for deposits is essentially zero. They blame this on loss of income from reform legislation, but actually it is a result of their own criminal activities and the ensuing economic disaster.

Sep. 30 2011 08:48 AM
Donna from Austin, TX

Only problem - with local banks and credit unions - I survived Katrina, the floods, etc. and then once out of the city could access my money because it was in a big bank. My friends with money in local banks and small credit unions could not access their money for weeks - one a month and a half.

Sep. 30 2011 08:42 AM
Mike from NYC

If Chase Bank starts to charge a fee, I will be out the door. Bad enough they have my money and no interest, but I'd put it under the mattress before they'll charge me.

Sep. 30 2011 08:19 AM
Helena from Middleboro

Good morning John,

I'm Canadian and moved to US 4 years ago. I live in Montreal all my life and monthly charge fees are in force in all banks. No need to say how thrilled I was when I found something different in US. I'm with a credit union because I despite banks. However, It won't take long for the Credit Unions to do the same. Cheers!

Sep. 30 2011 08:16 AM

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