Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bank of America, Your New $5 Fee Doesn't Scare Me

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...Image via WikipediaBank of America is initiating a $5 monthly fee on people who want to use their debit cards for purchases. Customers using their card just at the ATM will not have to pay the fee. Already Wells Fargo, the other giant mega bank, has said it plans to test a $3 fee, which they say is because of new federal rules that made the cards less profitable for banks.

Out of all the banks, Bank of America has the most financial problems. It has more problems with bad mortgages, fallout from the sales of bonds made from those loans and questions about how it serviced its home mortgages. So it was inevitable they would be the first bank to try and recoup some of those losses.

The only way around not paying the fee is to have your mortgage with them or have more than $20,000 in account balances. So for the average customer, the fee will have an impact.

What should you do?

You can change banks and find one that doesn't have the fees. Many people are looking not to other banks but to an alternative thats been under the radar for many years, credit unions. These institutions main purpose is to serve the community. They are mostly local and sometimes regional. They are run under a non-profit business plan. So the fees are low or non-existent. The interest rates charged on loans and mortgages are lower than normal. Also the interest rates they pay are higher. They run the business totally for the benefit of the customer. In the U.S. you have the choice of many credit unions.

Go to CULookUp.com to find a credit union near you

Why not just pay the $5 fee?

If you have been at a bank for many years the hassle of finding and moving to another bank is just not worth the hassle over $5. I spend that much on one Starbucks coffee. Many people already have a bank they are happy with. They know where every branch is, the hours of operation, the ATM's, etc. It's not like they are charging you a exorbitant fee. For the price of a movie rental, you have the convenience you are already use to.

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