BofA Offers More Ways Around $5 Debit Fee
$20K minimum balance isn't the only option
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2011 1:51 PM CDT
Protesters with the "Occupy Seattle" movement burn a Bank of America debit card as they protest, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in downtown Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – Turns out Bank of America customers won't have to maintain a $20,000 bank account to avoid monthly debit fees after all. With other banks canceling debit fee plans, BofA will now offer customers other means of avoiding its $5 monthly debit card payment—like having paychecks directly deposited, or using the bank's credit cards. Or customers can simply pay a $9-to-$20 monthly fee to avoid further penalties, Reuters reports.

As for other banks, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase both nixed their proposed $3 debit card fees yesterday. Citigroup Inc. never included such a fee; bucking the trend, SunTrust Banks is instituting a $5 monthly debit fee for checking account owners. One consumer activist praises JPMorgan for dropping the fee but isn't sure BofA's changes will ultimately benefit the customer. "Clearly, there is overwhelming public support to drop the fee," she says.