Hot topic as of late is Bank of America’s new charge for using Debit Cards. Another reach-in by the big banks who try to sucker you in and then find ways to take your money, and it’s not just Bank of America.
It’s actually a good thing that BOA decided to start charging $5 for using a debit card. Why? Quite simply; it’s an eye opener for many. So many people don’t realize the new found fees that banks have been trying to push in recent months. It’s just not Bank of America with their $5 fee. Chase and Well Fargo are pushing a $3 fee for use of their debit cards, Regions bank is starting a $4 debit card fee starting next month, and even SunTrust is going to have a $5 fee as well for use of their debit cards. Welcome to the new world of banking.
This new world of banking though only effects you if you require one of the bank’s lower standard checking account services. We can be real honest when we call these fees what they really are: A tax on the poor. Yes, it’s just another instance of big corporate banks trying to tax the poor, who their fees might have the biggest impact on. High-balance checking accounts (see: ones that aren’t a nuisance to the bank) don’t end up having the same $3, $4, or $5 fees associated with debit cards. This is nothing new necessarily in the way banks prioritize their accounts, but it should be an eye opener to some who may not of understood how things work in the past. It’s the big accounts that provide the highest yield for banks and why those accounts will always be the last to see any fees attached.
Let’s get one thing straight. Banks are in business to make money. They aren’t here to be our friend and they surely aren’t here to make sure that people possibly have the extra $5 a the end of the month to buy a loaf of bread and a package of bologna. Their one purpose is to keep their income flow steady and to make themselves and their investors money in any way they can. Unfortunately for many of us, that comes straight off of our backs. While this may not seem fair and may seem like the bank is out to get us, this is just their way of continuing their flow of income in light of recent regulations. That’s not to say that banks care, because let’s be honest here; they don’t. We think it’s absurd to add this burden onto every day people, but there again we make the same choice to patron them and we can just as easily walk away.
So what can you do to avoid the debit card fees that the big banks are placing upon us? There are a few options out there including; using a credit card, look into local credit unions and banks, go back to using cash, see if there are ways your bank might offer to avoid the fee, and go back to using checks. These are just a few ways to help fight back against the fees that your bank might charge.
While some of these forms might not be preferred like using a credit card for example, it might just be the best way to stick it to the bank by keeping your money to yourself. If you’re smart with a credit card and pay off your balance immediately (with your banks check) then you’ll have nothing to worry about. Even if you don’t qualify for a credit card then you can always start using cash once again as your primary purchase. While it may not be as convenient anymore to keep cash around, it just might be the right idea to keep from having to pay those fees. The best alternative might be to look into joining a credit union or applying at a local bank. Credit unions are usually community based and not usually there to turn a large profit, and local banks are usually trying to make a name for themselves. Both of those options should normally not have any fees associated with debit cards and credit unions usually only require you keep a minimum balance of at least $5 in a savings account.
We’re entering a new banking age and it’s one that is going to be interesting for all parties involved. Bank of America’s stock is suffering thanks to their announcement and people will soon be suffering the almost $40-$60 annually in fees. The bright spot here is that just like everything else out in a competitive world, someone will more than likely rise above and start advertising themselves as the bank that doesn’t change debit card fees. If the airline industry has Southwest Airlines for no baggage fees, there’s no reason the banking industry can’t have their own as well that would win the day with no debit card fees. The sooner people get loud and the harder they fight back, the sooner someone will be there to listen.