Consumer Warning: Debit Cards
Banking experts have warned that the days of free debit card use are may be up. Bank of America, US Bank and other banks have indicated they plan to implement fees and limitations in connection with the use of debit cards.
Bank of America Corp., the biggest debit-card issuer, said earlier this month that it will begin charging retail customers checking-account fees unless they maintain minimum balances, make regular deposits, use credit cards or take advantage of online services.
U.S. Bancorp executives hinted that later this year, debit cards might no longer be a free product at the bank. That would make it the first bank to adopt such fees. They hhinted that to recapture revenue that most likely will be lost from recent legislative changes and proposals, the bank might change its checking account pricing, reduce rewards and "perhaps" add a debit card fee, among other action items. U.S. Bank is just the latest bank to announce new checking account fees in reaction to regulation.
Another one of these expected changes is the reintroduction of the minimum account balance requirement. With this, if a consumer makes too many purchases and slips below a predetermined amount in their checking account, they could be hit with a big penalty fee. Pay special attention to any mailings from your bank as they are required to provide written notice of any account changes.