Bank of America backs off of debit card fees

No debit card fee

TAMPA - Bank of America dropped what sounded like a bombshell last month saying it would charge customers who use their debit cards. It triggered a public backlash that has forced the biggest names in banking to back down.

In a one-paragraph press release, Bank of America cited customer concerns and announced they no longer intend to implement a debit usage fee.

But for some, like Azucena Martinez, who have already pulled money out of Bank of America over other fees, it may be too little, too late. "it is not enough.  I would really have to see the changes," said Martinez.

Late last week, Chase Bank and Wells Fargo scrapped plans to charge customers $3 dollars a month for using their debit cards. Monday, SunTrust ended its $5 a month debit card fee after consumers said they were fed up.

In recent weeks, credit unions across the country reported an uptick in new business.  Frustrated consumers across the country closed bank accounts and sought refuge from debit card and other bank fees.

The question remains:  What will big banks do now to recoup the billions lost from the limits placed on the amount they can charge retailers for every debit card swipe?

Some experts say it is not over and the banks may try to bring that revenue back in more subtle ways, such as higher introductory rates on credit cards and raising fees already in existence.

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