Battle debit card fees

Published 12:33 am Saturday, October 15, 2011

Charlotte-based Bank of America has been taking a lot of heat over its recent plan to charge customers a $5 monthly debit card fee.

Customers have every right to be angry about yet another fee implemented to protect bank profits.

Banks are initiating the fee to recoup revenue lost under the Dodd-Frank statute which took effect Oct. 1. An amendment to the statute placed limits on the amount banks can charge customers for using debit cards for retail purchases, known as “swipe fees.” Prior to Oct. 1, the average swipe fee was 44 cents per transaction. The cap is expected to drop the average to 21 cents per transaction.

Banks are not in the business of losing money and the only thing standing in their way is you, the customer.

Since the swipe fee limits only apply to banks with over $10 billion in assets, now might be a good time to explore your banking options with credit unions or smaller regional banks.

Unless larger banks have a change of heart, it might be the only way for customers to fight back.