Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Time to Stop Using Debit Cards?

While my gripe about debit cards used to be the tricky overdrafts, apparently there is a new fee in town. . . . The debit card usage fee. Now that we've moved to a very cashless society, some banks are now looking to charge customers who want to use a debit card. Wells Fargo is now testing a $3 monthly debit card fee and JP Morgan has already tested the $3 fee! Ouch. Just $3 right? But overtime . . . And, we all know that $3 would just be the start. Surely, I am a cynic.

Banks argue that these new fees are in response to the Fed's cap on the fees they can charge retailers on card transactions. An Associated Press survey, though, says that 61% of consumers will find another way to pay if banks charge for using the debit card. Way to go consumers! I wonder, though, if this will turn out to be a tricky fee. For instance, do you get the monthly fee if you use your card in your own bank's ATM? In other ATMs?

At least at this point, Bank of America has not yet jumped on the debit card fee bandwagon.

1 comment:

Jim Chen said...


Is there any circumstance under which a consumer would prefer to use a debit card over a no-fee credit card with a grace period, assuming that the consumer pays off all balances within the grace period?