By Denise Koch

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Paying for the privilege to spend your money. That’s what the nation’s largest bank is asking customers to do. Bank of America is going to start charging a $5 monthly fee to use your debit card, and other banks could soon follow.

Denise Koch has more.

Bank of America’s customers did not exactly welcome the news of the debit card fee.

“I think it’s absolutely crazy,” said Bob Celestin, an entertainment lawyer. “It’s ludicrous. I mean, at the end of the day, they charge us all these other fees. This is ridiculous.”

Bank of America joins Sun Trust in initiating fees for using a debit card. Wells Fargo and Chase are also testing the idea as bank fees continue to climb to record levels.

The average fee for using an ATM, if you’re not a bank’s customer, is now a record $2.40, according to And the average fee a bank hits you with for a bounced check is now $30.83, also a new record.

“I would say the era of free checking has gone the way of the dinosaur,” said Adam Levin of

Adam Levin of says the banks are trying to recoup losses from the Card Act, which limited their ability to raise rates and charge overdraft fees.

This weekend, another new regulation takes effect that limits the amount a bank can charge merchants for debit card purchases, which now stands at 43 cents.

“And the Federal Reserve, empowered by the Dodd Frank Act, has actually reduced that now to approximately 23 cents a transaction,” Levin said.

The bank says “the economics of offering a debit card have changed” with the new regulations. Bank of America also has to offset the cost of billions of dollars in bad mortgage loans.

Comments (6)
  1. Tripweaver says:

    Come on…you had to know this was coming. First they create a cashless society, saving them billions in employee costs, infrastructure and so on, then they turn around and CHARGE you for the savings you’re creating for them. List to me, all B of A customers. The vast majority of you are eligible to join a credit union somewhere…you just need to look. Most of them still have free checking, free debit cards, and amazingly low credit card and loan rates. So, go look for one. Not only do I NOT pay for my debit card, my credit union gives me refunds of ATM fees charged by other facilities, and gives me cash back on my Visa purchases. So…what are you waiting for?

  2. bonnie rolek says:

    The comsumer did not make the bad desion the bank did .Yet they are putting the cost on our nacks/This is our money we are spending not theirs> I am most sure iI can find a band that will not charge me for spending my own money, which is help by my spending. I have been with BOA for many year but this my be the straw that broke the cameals back. As i am already on a fix income and barly making ends meet.And i also pay my bill by debit as i do not drive and the mail takes forevver…….NO MORE CHARGE FOR THE CUSTOMERS PLZ

  3. Marshall H. says:

    Ha. I think this is exhilaratingly funny.
    I was a BOA customer in the early 90s. They were raising rates and adding fees back then, and it didn’t make “sound financial sense” to continue banking with them.
    I made the decision to move my money to a Credit Union, as a result of BOA’s greed more than 20 years ago. I can’t tell you how much money I have saved since then.
    BOA is “banking” on the idea that Americans are too busy, and too stupid to choose another, less costly institution for their banking needs.

    And, what can I say… Just look at the number of customers that still pay their fees like idiots. We are talking about millions of morons, folks.

    It is currently Friday (payday) for most people. BOA is open late this evening. My very best advice for even the dumbest of folks is: Drop by BOA on your way home, close your accounts with them and start banking with an institution that “pays you” for the privilege of doing business with you.

    As previously stated, I did this some 20 years ago. And its been all smiles since.

  4. Debbie says:

    As I talk to people more and more are leaving BofA and this will result in many more moving to small local banks and credit unions as welll as using more cash.
    At my place of employment our checks are cut on BofA so many opted for them for convenience but are steadily leaving because of their practices. It is time for our politicians to step up and put a stop to this greed instead of rewarding it with bailouts.

  5. Marshall H. says:

    ” It is time for our politicians to step up and put a stop to this greed instead of rewarding it with bailouts.”

    I hear you, Debbie. But, the problem is…BOA and politicians are both motivated by the same objective; to harness as much of our earnings as possible.

    For this reason, the wise person does not rely on politicians or (anyone else, for that matter) to “step up to the plate” and solve the problem for them.

    We are still a nation of free enterprise, for the moment. As Americans, who enjoy the benefits of said system, we are free to “shop” for the best deal, in every situation.

    Failure to shop for the best bank, and the lowest fees associated with that bank, is horribly similar to “pledging allegiance to financial slavery”.

    Youv’e got to like the slogan employed by the MD Lottory; “You’ve got to play to win.” -What they imply, but stop short of stating, is: “If you don’t play to win, you are a loser.”

    In the case of banking, one cannot just go with the flow, and “do nothing”. After all, this is the way of the American Loser.

    Make a better choice for yourself, and your family; and don’t wait for someone to do it for you.

  6. reunificacion prestamos personales says:

    Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog so i came to return the desire?.I am trying to find issues to improve my site!I guess its good enough to use a few of your ideas!!

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