B of A drops debit card fee

After other big banks announced they will not charge monthly debit card fees, Bank of America follows suit.

By Giselle Smith Nov 1, 2011 1:59PM

Bank of America said today it's dropping plans to charge customers a $5-a-month fee to use their debit cards next year.


The second-largest U.S. bank announced the fee in late September, and customers responded with a flood of protests. Some threatened to leave en masse as part of Bank Transfer Day, Nov. 5.  Post continues below.

"In response to customer feedback and the changing competitive marketplace, Bank of America no longer intends to implement a debit usage fee," Bank of America announced in a press release on the company website, adding:

"We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee," said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer. "Our customers' voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so."

Competitors JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo said Friday they would not impose monthly debit card fees on their customers, after both tested a $3 monthly fee in some states.


"SunTrust Banks Inc. and Regions Financial Corp. said on Monday they would end monthly charges and reimburse customers," Reuters reported.


Too late to save customers

Bank of America's move may come too late to appease angry customers. One reader wrote on MSNBC:

Too little, too late. They no longer have my money, and the local credit union does. Good riddance, as far as I'm concerned.

Said another on SFGate's The Bottom Line blog:

(T)his had nothing to do with listening to customers. They just fell into line with the other big banks. I'm still moving my money.

Los Angeles Times Money & Company blog reader "Alejandro Sins"wrote:

It's too late. Customers will no longer accept BofA with their unscrupulous practices. Many of them are switching to their local banks which will benefit their communities as well. Enough of these "too big to fail" banks, and more real competition.

Some customers are relieved, however. One reader said on USA Today, "This saves me the trouble of changing my bank. Good news."


What do you think? If you are a B of A customer, are you happy it reconsidered the fee and will you now keep your account where it is rather than switch?


More on MSN Money:


Nov 1, 2011 2:34PM
Netflix, Bank of America, ...    who's next to learn that American consumers have had it with companies that "just dont get it". And if they dont know what I mean by "just dont get it", I rest my case!
Nov 1, 2011 2:49PM
It wasn't "customer feedback"....it was customer backlash. 
Nov 1, 2011 3:50PM

Take your money out of BoA people. They will come up with something else to charge you with. Do not trust BoA.

Nov 1, 2011 3:41PM
This makes no difference to me. I have been a customer with them since I was 16. I am 28 now. I had a second checking account that I opened up with my husband about 3-4 months ago for money that is to be spent for grocerties/gas, etc. My primary one is for bills since we have direct deposit. After my paycheck goes in the primary one and bills are debited, I transfer the remaining into the other account so I know what I have to spend for the week and don't have to guess. Just got a notice in the mail saying that because I transfer between the 2 accounts, they are imposing a fee. I even told the employee when I opened this second account that I was planning on transferring money between the two. Screw you B of A. You lost my business. And now I feel like transferring my B of A credit card balances to a different credit card as well to screw you even more.
Nov 1, 2011 3:12PM
Why do business with a bank when your local credit union beats them on every aspect. better loan rates, better interest rates etc.  It's a no brainer!
Nov 1, 2011 3:54PM
I left BOA years ago because the way my Mortgage was handled. I made my payment at a local branch five days before it was due. Later that month I got a letter from BOA stating that my payment was late. This happened again the next month. When I called BOA,  I was told that I was making my payment at the wrong branch. I argued that I made my payment at BOA, what should it matter which branch received the payment as long as it was at BOA. They told me that it had to be made at the branch in Maryland. I don't live in Maryland, I did not sign my contact in Maryland. Why could I not make my payment at any of the branches nation wide as long as it was at BOA. I was told that to stop the late fees, I would have to make my payments at a earlier date at the branch in Maryland. This was an easy fix. I refinanced though another bank. A few months later BOA sent me a letter saying I could pay at any branch nation wide. To late. I will never put a dime in BOA again. I hope more people change banks. Some times bigger is not always better. Only thing getting bigger are the CEO wallets. 
Nov 1, 2011 3:31PM
First Netflix, now BofA....who's next pigs, step right up and face the American people.
Nov 1, 2011 3:31PM

17 years ago when interest rates were climbing and the BIG banks were spreading across the country they began making horrendous mistakes and abusing their customers. I left both BofA and Wells Fargo and RAN straight to my local credit union. I had had enough. When Citi Bank started to raise interest rates on credit cards (I had a 7.99% rate at that time) I decided to wait it out and see where they went. I have excellent credit so I didn't expect to be abused. WRONG. My rate went to 12.99% and then 17.99%. I called and had to speak to a person in India (that really upset me). I asked why even if I had excellent credit. I was told and I quote "Because we can". I then said ok I can leave because I CAN. So I went directly to my credit union and changed accounts. I immediately went back to the 7.99% rate. I will never use a BIG bank again. I love the service I get now, I love the respect I get now and if I have a problem it is resolved quickly. I tell everyone...run don't walk to your local bank or credit union and enjoy a much better relationship experience and much better rates.

Nov 1, 2011 3:28PM

Im taking my money out of this ----- bank, They charge fees for everything. Ive been a customers for many many years and not happy anymore. The had the nerve to charge me $15 late fee for my credit card that i paid in full on line a day late and the reason it was late is because they had online problems and I couldnt get into their site.. Their fault and the little snot nose guy that answered  when i called to complain said you could have found another way to pay. I always pay online and did not know they were having problems.

So forget Bof A. I hope everyone takes their money and runs.

Nov 1, 2011 3:40PM
I got an e-mail from my bank today stating they would not be charging the debit card fee, they had earlier stated that they would be starting in November.  If more people would do what the Netflix customers did and drop these gouging corporations, things would turn around.  Can't rely on Washington, time for Americans to take this economy back, one dropped service at a time.  Charter, Verizon, T-Mobile, Direct TV, you guys work for us not the other way around.
Nov 1, 2011 3:07PM

Had an issue with them about 10 years ago.  Wanted to add my new wife to my BoA account but they wouldn't add her until she paid for some 2 or 3 year old fee from another state where she was a BoA customer, even though she had already paid it and closed the account.  I immediately closed my account and have never done business with them since. 

Nov 1, 2011 2:48PM
Don't be fooled, they will still impose hidden fees like balance limit fees that cost 20 bucks a month, and when you call to ask why they don't even bother to offer a refund or change your type of account. I had my mortgage with them and all was rosey, when I sold my house and they would not give me another mortgage and Wells Fargo did I went with Wells. Ever since they (BofA) have treated me and my wife like red headed step children. Do your self a favor go elsewhere, just help B of A go belly up by pulling your accounts and going elsewhere where you will be treated like a person.
Nov 1, 2011 3:47PM
I am not dropping BOA because of future fees but because of things like charging me $10.00 for me transfering funds from my savings to checking online and at the ATM. Also 60 days ago I asked them not to pay a charge that was being debited to my acct before the 1st of the month but they did it anyway so the they could charge me &70.00 in overdraft fees. NOT Again BOA!. Bye Bye. Us Seniors with fixed incomes can,t allow you to make us HOMELESS.
Nov 1, 2011 3:33PM

Negative publicity for this whole debacle...Priceless.

Nov 1, 2011 3:54PM
Well it appears that the big banks only respond when the $$ is threatened. Perhaps the middle-class can get something done about the economy. Let's try withdrawing money from big banks and depositing the funds into credit unions and community banks. This would bring Wall street to its knees. We the people may have found the solution.
Nov 1, 2011 3:23PM
The $5.00 debit fee was our last straw.  Not the $5.00 as I piddle that away in Starbucks almost daily, but the fact that BoA just had no regard for its customers and only has eyes on the almighty dollar.  We moved everything to a credit union and our four married children did, too.  Multiple accounts.  BoA will NEVER admit it, but deep in my heart BoA purposely shut down its web site the day of the announcement on the $5.00 debit card fee.  Too much money was being transferred out.    If our family was just a random sample, think how many others did the same.  No way it was "maintenance".  Don't let moving your auto-debits and direct deposits deter you - all of our creditors were VERY helpful in making the change for us and the direct deposits were even simpler.  Bye bye BoA!   We won't be romanced back!
Nov 1, 2011 3:11PM

Hmm.  C D (LoyallyLOST4815162342) must be a BOA employee.  "Stop nitpicking Bank of America."   Really?


Hey, CD.  How about Bank of America stop NIT PICKING (and nickel and diming)  their CUSTOMERS?   What's next in line for them?  Are they going to start charging for a direct DEPOSIT transaction into your account of $1.00 each?  Going to start charging you monthly management fees? 


How many other banks paid 4.4 BILLION DOLLARS in BONUSES to their TOP employees in 2010?    I'll wait for your answer.  


I read this morning that Boeing Employees Credit Union (Washington) added over 10,000 NEW accounts in October alone.   That's awesome!

Nov 1, 2011 4:03PM
Does not matter, I am still switching banks.
Nov 1, 2011 2:44PM

These banks are all scum. First they lose a ton of our money for whatever reason, we the tax payers bail them out saving their butt's and then they want to steal you blind.


Everyone should be at credit unions instead. Let the banks just dwindle then disappear.  

Nov 1, 2011 3:47PM

B of A was not really listening to their customers, they were looking at their bottom line and too many customers were planning on leaving B of A and that is why B of A changed its outlook on the charge. 


Its all about the money they were going to lose by enforcing the charge.

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