The big news in the consumer banking industry yesterday was that Bank of America intends to roll out a $5/month service fee for customers who make purchases with their debit cards. Yikes! Five dollars? Per month? That’s a lot. And it won’t matter if you use your card just once or dozens of times.
The good news is that you’ll still be able to use ATMs without facing the new charge, but still. Five bucks. Per month. Ouch. The change will go into effect at the beginning of next year.
And Bank of America isn’t alone in this… Wells Fargo will be testing a $3 monthly fee in certain states starting in October, and Chase has been likewise testing a $3 monthly fee.
These changes are coming in response to new limits on swipe fees that banks can charge merchants when a customer pays with a debit card that will go into effect tomorrow (October 1st). Unfortunately, it looks like these fees are the wave of the future — at least at big banks — so it may be time to start looking at your options.
One possibility would be to find a new bank or credit union that doesn’t charge these fees — at least not yet. Another possibility would be to switch from debit cards to credit cards.
What do you think? Would you switch banks to avoid these fees? Or switch how you pay for things?