Just about one month after they announcing a $5 surcharge to use your debit card for purchases, Bank of America is now reportedly looking into new ways for more account holders to avoid the fee and may consider reversing the fee altogether. Showing that voting with your feet and moving your money elsewhere really does work, several banks including Wells Fargo and Chase have now completely dropped their plans to institute these fees altogether after witnessing the backlash and public outcry against debit card fees. Score one for the little guys.
Bank of America, my favorite bank in the world, is allegedly working on revisions to its programs. Customers who have the bank’s credit cards, use direct deposit or keep a minimum balance or some combination of the three may see their fees waived. It had previously been reported that Bank of America would waive its $5 monthly fee only if the debit card holder had a minimum balance of $20,000. I have a feeling that the slow burning anger that caused many customers to jump ship to credit unions might not go away even with these options.
Kristin Christian, was so pissed off with her bank that she declared November 5 “Bank Transfer Day” and started a Facebook group dedicated to urging people to move from their big banks to smaller, local banks or credit unions on that day. That Facebookpage currently has 30,000 “likes” so this idea might be catching on.
Credit unions were the big winners of the new large bank policy of instituting fees. In the past month, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions recorded a 350% increase in web traffic to its online credit union locator, CUlookup.com. The portal matches visitors with institutions they might be eligible to join based on affiliations, such as school, employer or church.
Credit unions have also had a good time poking fun at bank fees. There are quite a bit of brand new commercials on Youtube for local credit unions, but this older one fits the sentiment completely.
So, if you thought that you would accomplish nothing by moving your money to a different banking institution, think again! As I walked into Chase on Friday, the representative was nearly pleading with me to open another account. It seems they had been having trouble holding on to customers. I wonder why?
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