Debit Cards: Chase, Wells Fargo Cancel Plans to Impose Monthly Debit Fees

Only a month after Bank of America shocked consumers by announcing they would impose a $5 monthly fee for using their debit cards, Chase and Wells Fargo have spoken out, saying they would not follow suit.

According to an anonymous source with knowledge of the retail banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s plans, Chase will stop charging $3-per-month fees for using debit cards when its current pilot in Wisconsin and Georgia is completed in November, a report from The Associated Press revealed. The source asked not to be identified because the bank has not officially announced the program will not go forward.

Chase, who launched its “test” program in February, is not alone in rethinking its actions however.

Wells Fargo began a similar pilot in five states on Oct. 14, testing a flat $3 fee for using debit cards for purchases. On Friday it also announced that it is cancelling its test program.

“Wells Fargo remains committed to helping our customers succeed financially and we believe this decision is in the best interest of our customers,” a Well Fargo spokesperson told USA Today.

Although BOA has said there would be ways of avoiding the $5 debit card fee, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2012, customers are still outraged and many have already resorted to switching their bank accounts to other institutions that don’t impose the charge.

“People are literally walking into branches and cutting up their Bank of America debit cards,” Kirk Kordeleski, CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Long Island, N.Y., told the AP last week.

Manager of Consumers Union’s financial service program, Norma Garcia, said the backlash that the debit card fee announcement has caused is a blatant sign that Bank of America should listen to its customers who are saying loud and clear: “drop the fee or we’ll drop you.”

Garcia added, “All banks that are considering debit card fees should ditch those plans.”

via USA Today