You may not know it, but your bank may be charging you a monthly fee for using your own debit card.
Bank of America has already started charging its debit card users $5 monthly fee since September while Wells Fargo & Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. are also thinking of following suit.
Financial analysts explain the extra fee is designed to regain lost revenues due to new federal regulation, where it slashes half the amount of money banks gain from debit-swipe transactions.
The Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation Bill is only applicable to banks with assets exceeding $10 billion and the banks are estimated to lose $6.6 billion in revenues per year.
If you’re not too sure if you’re bank is charging hidden fees for debit card services, check with your local bank manager to find out.
If indeed your bank is charging you, analysts suggest looking for an alternative in smaller thrift banks that are not affected by the new federal regulation. There are still smaller thrift banks that offer the services for free.
Debit cards have long been the alternative against drowning in debt with credit card usage. But with this new scheme, it practically defeats the purpose while adding more financial burden on your part.