Monthly Debit Card Fees: Who Has Them and How You Can Avoid Them | Families
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New federal limits on debit-card "swipe fees" are expected to cost U.S. banks an estimated $6.6 billion a year in lost revenue. As a solution to make up the lost revenue, many banks have implemented monthly fees for using a debit card to make purchases.
Starting early 2012, Bank of America customers with basic accounts will be charged a $5 monthly fee for shopping with their debit cards. The fee will be charged whether customers choose 'debit' or 'credit' at the point of sale. Whether you use your card for one purchase a month or 20, you will pay $5 per month starting in 2012.
ATM usage fees will remain the same, and those customers who do not shop with their debit card will not incur the $5 monthly fee.
Bank of America also plans to apply its new debit card fees to anyone who uses the card to make recurring payments like gym fees or cable bills.
The fee will apply to basic accounts and will be in addition to any existing monthly service fees. For example, one of the bank's basic accounts charges a $12 monthly fee unless customers meet certain conditions, such as maintaining a minimum average balance of $1,500.
Bank of America is the most recent bank to join the debit fee trend. Wells Fargo, for instance, is notifying customers this month that beginning in October, the bank will test a debit card "activity fee" of $3 a month when a customer makes a purchase or payment with a debit card linked to a personal or business checking account. (ATM transactions won't trigger the fee.)
SunTrust Bank recently implemented a $5-a-month fee for debit card purchases for holders of its basic Everyday Checking account and will add the fee to its student checking account next spring.
Regions Bank, now charges a $4 monthly fee for debit card purchases for holders of its basic LifeGreen Checking account and its student checking account, according to the bank's Web site.
Citibank is one of the few that said it would not introduce a charge for debit card use.
On our unoffical poll on the First Coast News Facebook page, we asked, "Will you stay with B of A or move your money?" More than 100 of you responded, with most of you planning to move you money. We put together a quick database of national and local bank fees and also included a few local credit unions.
SEE OUR DATA BASE ON BANKS AND THE FEES THEY CHARGE: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/data/article/221149/528/Bank-Debit-Fees-Database