Bank of America Announces Monthly Debit Card Fee

Bank of America's debit card users will be charged $5 every month to use their cards to pay for purchases beginning in January

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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)

    Forget free debiting. To pay with the card, you'll have to pay the cardmasters.

    Bank of America will begin slapping a $5 monthly fee onto its debit card users, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The fee will take effect in January.

    The new fee is part of a trend seen amongst all national banks, who are shifting burdens from retailers onto customers. The move was announced Thursday, ahead of new banking rules that take effect Saturday which limit how much banks can charge retailers for accepting debit transactions.

    JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are testing $3 monthly fees in select areas, according to the newspaper.

    This may not be all, either. Financial analysts are predicting that Visa and MAstercard may "drastically increase fees" on small purchases, according to the newspaper.

    It's been a bad year for BoA, the newspaper observed. The company's stock has lost half of its value this year alone, and the North Carolina-based  bank laid off about 10 percent of its workforce.

    "The economics of offering a debit card have changed with recent regulations, and we've decided to introduce a monthly fee for customers who use their debit cards for purchases," Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for Bank of America, told Bloomberg News.