Swiping junkies, unite. Get ready to go cold turkey.
Since last year, when the Dodd-Frank Act capped fees banks can charge retailers when their customers pay with debit cards (from 44 cents to 21 cents per transaction), the banking industry has been working around the legislation by charging for other services to make up for the lost profits.
The latest, the most brazen, unabashed move is to charge you for shopping with a debit card, a card the banks so much wanted to give you for free a few years ago.
Chase and Wells Fargo have been testing a three dollar monthly fee in some cities, and this week the Big One, Bank of America, announced it will start charging customers five dollars a month for the privilege of swiping with a BofA debit card.
NPR spoke to BofA account holders outside a branch in Washington, D. C. and got a mixture of determined refusal and resigned acceptance.
BofA customers, you must lead the fight. If you roll over, other banks will surely follow. If BofA customers revolt, refuse to go along, stare down the bank as one, you can bet BofA and all its competitors will get the message.
BofA account holders, go up to your teller (and be polite, remember the teller isn’t to blame) and demand the fee be waived. Period. Or you’re taking your money elsewhere.
What if you can’t find a bank that promises it won’t charge debit card fees?
Oh, you will.
Just like the banks that waived checking account fees, waived annual credit card fees, and offered discounted credit card interest rates, there will be banks that will offer services without fees in order get and keep your business.
Remember. It’s your money sitting in that bank, not theirs. And he who holds the gold makes the rules.