Banks Still Raising Under-the-Radar Fees

So you may not want to cheer the $5 debit card fee you're not paying
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2011 2:40 PM CST
Banks Still Raising Fees, Just Not for Debit Cards
A protester sits in front of an ATM machine as a customer gets money at a Bank of America branch in Oakland, Calif., Wedsesday, Nov. 2, 2011.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – You may want to stop celebrating over Bank of America’s scrapped $5 debit card fee, because the bank has been quietly adding or increasing other fees to make up for it. Think $5 to replace your debit card, or $12 per month for a basic checking account—up more than $3 a month from earlier this year. Other banks are following suit, the New York Times reports, as they attempt to recoup the $200 to $300 per year it costs them to maintain each customer’s checking account—a feat that got more difficult with new rules curbing overdraft fees and debit card swipe fees.

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In order to make the same income they did before, banks need to get back between $15 and $20 per month from each customer. “Banks tried the in-your-face fee with debit cards, and consumers said enough,” says a co-founder of MyBankTracker.com. “What most people don’t realize is that they have been adding new charges or taking fees that have always existed and increased them, or are making them harder to avoid.” Those fees involve everything from ATM withdrawals to paper statements, and banks are simultaneously raising the minimum account balance required to waive some of the fees. And the founder of Commerce Bank doesn’t predict the situation will improve: “I think we will see a lot more fees.” (Read about how BofA is charging the jobless for using pre-paid cards.)

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