Bank of America to Charge $5 Monthly Debit Card Fee

Blaming changing economics of offering debit cards, Bank of America will start charging customers who use debit cards for purchases a $5 monthly fee starting in early 2012.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Blaming changing economics of offering debit cards, Bank of America will start charging customers who use debit cards for purchases a $5 monthly fee starting in early 2012. (Published Thursday, Sep 29, 2011)

    Customers expressed their opinions on Bank of America's decision to charge a $5 monthly fee to customers who use their debit cards for purchases.

    A few examples from our NBC LA Facebook page:

    Linda Swan: "IF they were my bank, I'd find a new bank."

    Elvin Reyes: "Corporate greed!"

    Renee Lazear: "That's it, I am closing my account that I've had for 30 some years, not gonna give them one more dime!"

    Bank of America can no longer afford to offer the full conveniences of its debit card to its millions of customers, according to the company. The fee will starting in early 2012, according to a written statement from Bank of America.

    The bank blames the changing economics of offering debit cards, according to the statement.

    “The price of a debit card was previously determined by the amount and type of transactions," the statement read. "We were able to pass some of these costs along to merchants, but because of regulatory changes, we are adjusting our pricing to reflect today’s economics.”

    Bank of America is not the only bank bracing for future revenue losses expected from a Federal Reserve Board decision in June, which caps merchant fees at 24 cents per transaction when customers use a debit card at their stores.

    Wells Fargo and Chase are testing their own debit card fees, according to a September article from bankrate.com.

    Bank of America will notify customers in writing at least 30 days before applying the monthly flat fee, a company spokeswoman said.

    “You could use your debit card once a month for a purchase or fifty times a month for purchases. It will be the same fee,” said Betty Riess, a Bank of America spokeswoman.

    Customers who only use their debit card for ATM use will not be charged a fee.

    The new fee allows Bank of America to continue to offer the conveniences of a debit card with added features their customers have come to expect, like fraud protection, overdraft prevention, recording keeping, fraud monitoring, and savings programs, according to the statement.

    More from the NBCLA Facebook page: 

    Sabrina Argyleskin: "Tomorrow I'm closing our account and going with the local credit union. This is enough. They've raised all fee's penalize you for anything you do (too much money, not enough money) and now this. I'm sorry but I can no longer entrust my money in a business that doesn't even know the first thing about business.. customer satisfaction."

    Debbie Hennessey: "Um, they can kiss my butt! I've been a customer for 30 years. they need to do better than that!"

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