Monday, October 31, 2011

Wells, Chase, Others Back Down on Debit Card Fees

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out.

Wells Fargo announced on Friday that the 5 state test of debit card fees started on October 14 will be canceled.  TD Bank, the Canadian bank that acquired Commerce Bank last year, followed suit.

And, word is leaking out of Chase, accoding to the AP, that they will stop charging their $3-per-month fees when the current Wisconsin and Georgia pilots end next month.

Bank of America had news on Friday, too.  As with Chase, an unidentified source told the AP that B of A will offer ways for its customers to avoid debit card fees through using direct deposit, maintaining minimum balances and/or using their Bank of America credit cards.

Citibank, where debit card fees are already implicitly reflected in fees as high as $20 a month for the underlying checking account, is going to town talking about their never did, never will policy towards debit card fees.

Countering that, at least one credit union - Bethpage FCU in New York - is offering Free Checking for Life for new members of the Credit Union.  With commercial banks (like Chase) offering bounties of $100 or more to acquire a new customer, that might be pretty sharp marketing - communicating peace of mind and value, and spreading the bounty out over a longer period of time.

One thing is for sure.

The Waiting is the hardest part.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, THANK YOU for supporting KCSN and playing our beautiful little Plaza del Sol theater at Cal State Northridge on Saturday night.  We will never forget you.

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