Bank of America, the largest debit card issuer in the country, is also the latest to incorporate a monthly fee tied directly to debit card use. As with other issuers who initiated this practice, including Wells Fargo and SunTrust Bank, premium account holders will be able to mitigate the charges.
This strategy, and others like it, will almost certainly motivate basic checking account customers to cast about for a more cost-effective means of keeping their debit card account, but it’s too early to tell exactly how this will impact consumer behavior. What’s also uncertain is if there will be additional fees charged for the checking account itself, thereby compounding the cost to accountholders.
According to an internal memo sent to the bank employees today that is cited by Dow Jones, “The fee will apply to various consumer checking accounts but will not apply to customers in certain premium accounts.”