I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I, Amanda Miller, am a Bank of America customer. Although, not a thrilled and loyal customer, I’m a customer nevertheless. In fact, this bank has done some things over the years I’m not very happy about but I continue to bank with them because I love their mobile application (Yes, I bank with them strictly because I love their iPhone app).
However, Bank of America got my blood boiling today when I learned that they are planning to charge millions of us customers a $5 monthly fee for using our debit cards.
Since new government regulations cap what banks can charge merchants for debit transactions they feel the implementation of the monthly card fee will help recoup it’s revenue that will be lost due to the new regulation. The new regulation of “swipe fees” is expected to cost U.S. banks around $6.6 billion a year. To offset this loss many banks will be charging a debit card fee, adding monthly fees to checking accounts, raising minimum balance requirements to avoid certain fees and are scaling back reward programs.
Bank of America expects to lose about $2 billion in revenue annually all on it’s own so it’s making a hasty decision with this large charge in monthly debit card fees. It appears other big banks (Chase and Wells Fargo) will be introducing fees as well but not as high as $5. Some of those living in Nevada, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico and Georgia should expect to see a $3 charge for debit card purchases made starting October 14, 2011 if you bank with Wells Fargo. As of right now Wells Fargo is just testing the program, not implementing it across the board.
The fee will be charged monthly if one’s card is used in a debit transaction but not if it’s used at an ATM to withdrawal cash.
“The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations,” a spokeswoman for Bank of America said Thursday. – Source.
According to memo within the company Bank of America customers will have until early next year until fees come into play. Which is plenty of time to see what other banks will be doing and if it would be wise to use another bank if you’ll be shopping with a debit card most of the time. However, other big banks are expected to follow this trend.