5 Ways Banks Recoup Abandoned Debit Card Fees

The stories fell from the headlines, but customers won’t forget when big banks tried to impose debit card fees.

Last fall, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo announced plans to charge customers a few for having a debit card.

Debit card fees

Without debit card fees, banks look for ways to recover the potential loss of revenue.

Well, the banks ditched those fees after customers publicized their disdain. Banks planned to use the fee to make up for about $12 billion in revenue after the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act limited swipe and overdraft fees.

To make up for that loss—about $15 to $20 per month from each depositor—higher fees, new fees or lower returns might show up on customers’ banking statements.

Service members, veterans and military families should be on the lookout for the following:

Lower interest rates

During the first six months of 2011, the average interest rates on deposits fell to 0.74 from 0.8 percent, according to Market Rates Insight. Sadly, there’s not much anybody—including military account holders—can do here other than shop for a higher-yielding account.

New cards

You better not lose your debit card. Getting it replaced will cost you $5 at Bank of America, or $20 if you want rush delivery. Expect other banks to follow suit.

Account fee

Hardly different than a debit card fee, banks are increasing the cost to have checking accounts with their branches. At Chase banks, customers pay $12 each month for a basic checking account. The minimal MyAccess checking account at Bank of America is also $12 a month, though it used to be $8.95. Citigroup’s fee is $10, up from its previous $8 cost.

Wire transfers

At TD Bank, incoming domestic wire transfers cost a whopping $15 starting in December 2011. This is especially important for military families traveling abroad. Look out at your bank for wire transfer costs and prepare so that you won’t need to wire money.

Transactions on your phone

Phone apps have come a long way. It’s possible to deposit checks from your phone, but at U.S. Bank Corp that will cost $0.50 per check. Be aware of what mobile transactions will cost you.

Unfortunately, service members and veterans—like all other bank customers—might already be paying these fees or other bank fees (link to “6 fees that might be hiding in your bank statement”). Be a conscious customer and don’t let hidden fees drain your bank accounts.

Photo thanks to BankSimple under a creative commons license from Flickr.