Use your debit card from Bank of America even once and you’ll be charged a $5 fee. That’s on top of other fees that BoA charges.
The bank that is hardly the top of the most customer friendly list has decided that it can no long afford to be in the banking business without money grabbing fees. The company blames recent rules that limit the amount that can be charged to merchants accepting debit card transactions. However, BoA is charging everyone, regardless of whether they make a debit card (limited fee) or credit card (unlimited fee) transaction. In other words, they want to charge the fee to as many customers as possible.
Obviously, Bank of America customers who are not fools are better off opening another banking account with a credit union or less greedy bank (or one that knows how to actually make money being a bank) and using the debit card from them.
One option for those who don’t want to hassle with another brick and mortar bank is to open an online banking account. Most online checking accounts offer a free debit card. Transfers between banks such as Bank of America and Ally or ING Direct are typically free. Just transfer your funds to the online bank and use their debit card instead. You don’t even have to close your BoA account or change your direct deposit to another bank.
Customers with brokerage accounts may wish to check for checking or debit card options there as well. Fidelity, for example, offers free checking and a free debit card. Again, funds can be easily (and freely) transferred between the bank and the brokerage.
Finally, people who don’t want to pay Bank of America’s $5 debit card fee tax can also take advantage of a PayPal account with a debit card. Not only is the debit card from PayPal free, it offers one percent cash-back, paid monthly and credited directly to your account, no waiting.
In other words, you can pay Bank of America $5 per month for no reason, or you can earn 1 percent on every transaction you make. If you are sticking with using your Bank of America card, then you get what you deserve. As they always say, the markets will sort it out. In this case, the markets will separate the suckers from those who are smart enough to actually care about their money.