Sunday, June 12, 2011

Checking Accounts Fees Headed Higher (Thanks to Congress)

An insider battle between Congressional lobbyists of banks and retail merchants appears to have been won by the merchants. It will likely mean higher fees for retail bank customers.

Regulatory changes to be issued July 21 are expected to sharply limit the fees that banks can collect from merchants whenever customers pay with debit cards.
An attempt to delay implementing the rule by a year was narrowly defeated this week, meaning banks will be looking in earnest for ways to make up an estimated $14 billion in lost revenue.

Customers have already seen the fallout start to take hold, according to AP:

Bank of America is testing a new lineup of accounts that come with fees ranging from $6 to $25, depending on the level of service selected. Citi already revamped the terms on its checking accounts last year to include higher fees in many cases. Chase, PNC Bank and Wells Fargo ended or scaled back their debit rewards programs.

And more unwelcome changes are likely in store. Among the possibilities: Fees for debit cards and even a $50 or $100 cap on transactions.


  1. Why does anybody even bother with banks anymore? We've been with our credit union 20 some years and have never paid one penny in checking fees! Screw 'em!

  2. In the new terms with U.S. Bank, they waive the fee if you have direct deposit, or a balance of more that $1500

    I intend to look into a credit union one of these days, so far it's costs me nothing to procrastinate.