If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then on the issue of debit card fees Bank of America isn’t the belle of the financial services ball.
According to an article in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, J.P. Morgan Chase has decided not to impose a monthly fee for customers that use their debit cards. This follows similar decisions by other large banks including U.S. Bancorp, Citigroup Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and KeyCorp.
According to the article, Chase has been testing a $3 monthly fee in two states but isn’t going to renew it when the test period ends in November. Wells Fargo & Co. is testing $3 fees in five states.
The decision by Bank of America to charge customers $5 per month to use their debit cards, as a result of the Durbin Amendment regulating interchange fees, was a major catalyst for Bank Transfer Day. The web-originated movement is encouraging people to shift their accounts from banks to credit unions on Nov. 5.
WSJ cited the success of Bethpage FCU in Bethpage, N.Y., which has signed up twice as many new members than usual since Bank of America announced its debit card use fee. The $4.2 billion credit union is offering new member checking accounts a guaranteed lifetime pledge that it will not charge debit, maintenance, minimum balance or foreign ATM fees.