Craziness in Debit Card World

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Posted: October 4, 2011
Craziness in Debit Card World

Bank of America is the first bank to lose their mind and start charging debit card fees. This monthly fee will start showing up on customer statements next year. Now we know that Wells Fargo is drinking the same Kool-Aid that Bank of America drank. Wells Fargo has been testing a $3 monthly fee in five states – Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Georgia, and Washington. A notice was recently sent notifying me that Tennessee was coming soon. Why are they going to do this?

“We have not specified how long the pilot test will run,” said Wells Fargo spokesman Ruben Pulido. Nor would he say what the parameters are. For example, in BofA’s case, if you’re fortunate enough to maintain a minimum balance of $20,000 in your combined accounts, you’re exempt.

According to the note I received, I would have to keep $15,000 in my account to be exempt. My Wells Fargo account is a play account I use for random stuff, nothing important, just to have fun and collect PayPal payments. Wells Fargo you can have the account back.

But Wells Fargo and Bank of America aren’t the only banks going nuts. JP Morgan Chase, Regions, and even my main bank SunTrust are testing fees in different areas. From what I have been told from someone at SunTrust, if you have your mortgage with them, you are exempt. That’s good news.

If you are looking from a refuge from this craziness, look to Citibank. They’re holding strong right now and hopefully that will remain. According to them, they have no plans to charge customers for debit card usage.

Wonder why this is happening? I don’t blame the banks too much. It’s the result of the Financial Reform Bill that was passed recently. Banks can’t charge as much in fees anymore and they are losing money fast. What do they do? They hit everyone’s pocket with this.


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