Bank Of America Debit Card Fees – Bank of America has a change of heart about charging fees for customers to use their debit card. Citing customer concerns and a “changing competitive marketplace,” the nation’s leading financial institution said it won’t charge customers. However, those charges can come in other services.
“We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee,” said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer. “Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.”
On Monday, SunTrust, Regions, and Wells Fargo announced that it has canceled plans to charge customers in five states. JPMorgan Chase, which has been testing new fees in two states, has also decided not to extend the fee when it expires this month, according to a source with knowledge of the plan who isn’t authorized to discuss it.
Bank of America’s plan to charge customers $5 a month to use their debit cards sparked a powerful consumer backlash. Even President Obama weighed in, stating the fee pointed up the need for a strong consumer watchdog. Activists have designated Nov. 5 as “Bank Transfer Day” and are urging consumers to switch to a small financial institution or credit union.
“For many consumers, the Bank of America debit card fee was the last straw,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program.
While customers will escape these fees, there will likely be another way to make up for lost revenue, less visible ways, analysts say. Free checking, for example, is rapidly disappearing. Only 45% of non-interest checking accounts are free, down from 65% in 2010, according to a recent survey.