Fight for your right to Swipe–freely


The banks got us hooked to debit cards, and now think we’re hopelessly addicted and will pay for our fix.

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.

Bank of America Tower in Miami

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.

Power to the people.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Fight for your right to Swipe–freely

  1. Pingback: Go on. Swipe freely. Bank of America retracts debit card fee. | kevinshaub

  2. Paul

    That’s exactly why I go Credit Union. We are not members, we are share holders. My credit union holds elections and we the share holders vote what we do or don’t want our Credit Union to do. Banks make money on the interest of holding the cash for you. You get the trickle down after they take their cut. The card holing fee is just another way for the CEO’s to pay for their personal jets and gold plated shark tanks. My Credit Union (not saying this is the case for all credit unions) takes the money they accumulate and re-distribute it in community projects, insurance policies for members as well as bonuses that trickle down when we’ve had a good year.

    Banks make their money…they are just trying to make more on you.

  3. Brian

    Better yet? Take your money to a local credit union or community bank. They don’t line the insides of their top executives’ pockets with fee-income and your money is staying local.

  4. Michele Ball

    I think the customer should go to the president of the bank. Not the teller. The teller has no power and the president will get tired of being bothered by so many people.

  5. Okay, I agree…to a point. I don’t like unnecessary fees, either. But don’t banks have to make money? They were charging a fee for services that Congress interrupted and now they are looking for another way to make money to run their services. Isn’t that what we all do…unless we aren’t in business for ourselves?

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