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Will I be Charged a Bank of America Debit Card Fee?
Old 10-10-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Will I be Charged a Bank of America Debit Card Fee?

I have a Bank of America checking account. For most of my ongoing expenses, I charge them to my Visa credit card and then when the credit card bill is due, the amount to pay off the credit card is automatically pulled from my checking account on a monthly basis.

This set up has thus far worked for me. I get some points from the credit card too. Based on this type of set up, will I get charged the $5 a month fee that Bank of America is going to start collecting as a debit card use fee? Or is this fee only assessed if you go into a store, make a purchase, and select to use your BofA card as a debit card?

I called Bank of America, but they are closed today.

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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My understanding, at least with my bank, is that only Debit cards purchases will be charged. I applied for a regular credit card and will be tossing my Debit card this month. Once the banks realize everyone is moving to credit cards I believe they will figure out another way to charge us the fees, but we shall see. I also set up with my bank to pay my credit cards charges in full when they are due so I never forget.

If will be interesting to see what hurdles the bank will put up next that I have to jump.

Maybe soon we will all have to go back to cash and screw these banks.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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Maybe soon we will all have to go back to cash and screw these banks.
Could be -- but for now I have checking and debit card accounts with USAA, Schwab and a CU based in California, and I haven't paid fees for anything in many years. USAA and Schwab also rebate ATM fees. I'm sure there are others, too.

Unlike many other times when customers get screwed, this time we can fight back, at least.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ziggy29
Could be -- but for now I have checking and debit card accounts with USAA, Schwab and a CU based in California, and I haven't paid fees for anything in many years. USAA and Schwab also rebate ATM fees. I'm sure there are others, too.

Unlike many other times when customers get screwed, this time we can fight back, at least.
Glad I don't have BoA as I read what they are really trying to do is get rid of the unprofitable customers since they are getting their debit transaction fees cut. Something like 30-40 % of customers are unprofitable. The customers they want to get rid of are ones who 1) write checks 2) small
amount of assets on deposit 3) Wont buy their investment or cross categorical products 4) Don't use online banking and use teller services. Looks like they would drop me in a heartbeat based on this. I guess they don't want customers stuck in the 1970's still!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:20 PM   #5
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I charge them to my Visa credit card and then when the credit card bill is due, the amount to pay off the credit card is automatically pulled from my checking account on a monthly basis.
If this Visa credit card is not the same as the B of A debit card, no, you will not be charged a fee. The debit card fee is just that: a fee for a service. If you don't use that particular service, you don't pay that fee.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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Could be -- but for now I have checking and debit card accounts with USAA, Schwab and a CU based in California, and I haven't paid fees for anything in many years. USAA and Schwab also rebate ATM fees. I'm sure there are others, too.

Unlike many other times when customers get screwed, this time we can fight back, at least.
I am very happy with USAA (I don't have business with the other companies you listed). USAA has been my bank since the day they opened. Free checking and free checks. ATM fees reimbursed (up to $15 a month). No hidden fees or murky double-talk. I appreciate, and am spoiled by, Deposit@Home.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:26 PM   #7
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Glad I don't have BoA as I read what they are really trying to do is get rid of the unprofitable customers since they are getting their debit transaction fees cut. Something like 30-40 % of customers are unprofitable. The customers they want to get rid of are ones who 1) write checks 2) small amount of assets on deposit 3) Wont buy their investment or cross categorical products 4) Don't use online banking and use teller services. Looks like they would drop me in a heartbeat based on this. I guess they don't want customers stuck in the 1970's still!
I guess BofA really HATES me LOL! I write checks, not too many but I still do. I don't keep a lot on deposit there, maybe $1,500-$3,500 daily in a given month. I considered moving some of my investments from my Fido account to one of their mutual funds but did not find anything to my liking. I use their online banking but only to make one monthly payment and to more easily monitor account activity. And I use their teller services maybe once a month. At 1% interest forgone, that comes out to about $2 per month. BFD.

I very rarely use the ATM/Debit card for purchases. The last time was back in 2008 and the time before that was in 2006, so not being able to use the debit card fee-free is not a big deal. I always thought of it as a safety net, so now it will be a costlier safety net. I do not have a credit card with BofA, so if I use a credit card as the primary safety net then BofA will actually lose some of my business (and they will have another check to process when I pay the bill LOL!).

BofA is for me mainly a conduit for ACH payments (i.e. bills) and ACH deposits (i.e. incoming dividends) as well as ATM machines for cash. Yep, BofA must hate me as a customer even though I am on friendly terms with many of the staff at my local branch.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by midnighter777 View Post
I have a Bank of America checking account. For most of my ongoing expenses, I charge them to my Visa credit card and then when the credit card bill is due, the amount to pay off the credit card is automatically pulled from my checking account on a monthly basis.

This set up has thus far worked for me. I get some points from the credit card too. Based on this type of set up, will I get charged the $5 a month fee that Bank of America is going to start collecting as a debit card use fee? Or is this fee only assessed if you go into a store, make a purchase, and select to use your BofA card as a debit card?

I called Bank of America, but they are closed today.

Thank you for your advice.
Seems like a lot of banks are doing this - I would look into a credit union.


Google "bank of america arrests customer" and you will know how I feel about them.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
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In charging these fees the banks are like the people who strategically default on mortgages. When the banks could make money on checking deposits in the high interest loan days, they weren't giving some of that back--now they have their swipe fees cut (but not eliminated!), rather than figure out a way to trim operations costs in these areas, they want the difference made up by the customer.

I predict BOA will back off these fees just like the old First Chicago backed off the $3/teller visit fee several years ago.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:39 AM   #10
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The merchants I have talked to about this have to pay more when a customer uses credit card than when they use a debit card.

I think the debit card fee is a win-win for the banks. They win if low profit customers leave, they win if customers switch to credit instead of debit, and thereby get the higher credit card usage fees from the merchants.

This seems like a potentially good move for the banks, not so good for customers and merchants.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:51 AM   #11
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Personally, I think we ALL should go back to writing checks. It will cost both the merchant & the banks MUCH more to process those. Also, complain to store management about all the increased time waiting in line to check out. Maybe even walk OUT of the store w/o buying anything & complaining LOUDLY about long check out lines.

When the store start loosing business (they requested the cap on debit fees) they just might begin to sing a different tune let alone when the banks have to either hire more staff or start paying OT to process all that paper.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:15 AM   #12
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The best may be yet to come. To stimulate the economy by encouraging consumption , how about -
. banning cash (currency) transactions in excess of $100?
. charging a fee instead of paying interest on bank accounts?
. imposing a tax on money held in bank accounts?
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Could be -- but for now I have checking and debit card accounts with USAA, Schwab and a CU based in California, and I haven't paid fees for anything in many years. USAA and Schwab also rebate ATM fees. I'm sure there are others, too.

Unlike many other times when customers get screwed, this time we can fight back, at least.
I have used Schwab as my main (checking account) bank for a number of years, and they gave me a drastically underpriced HELOC several years ago. I have also been very happy with Pen Fed for CDs, mortgages and a car loan. I became a member of Navy Fed last year and they had relatively attractive CD rates (and they are now by far the cheapest on car loans). Lots of options out there besides the fee-hungry behemoths.
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