With millions of people suffering from exorbitant amounts of credit card debt, individuals are choosing to use their debit cards to make purchases with. The advantage of using a debit card is that it limits you to spend only the amount that’s in your bank account. Besides, no one enjoys getting a credit card in the bill every month. However, you might be shocked to hear that many banks are now charging their customers for using their debit cards.
For most individuals, myself included, paying to use a debit card sounds kind of counter-productive. After all, reason people use them over credit cards it to save money and prevent fees from occurring. Unfortunately, the days of free debit cards might be coming to and end, as banks are in the early stages of charging their customers for debit card usage.
SunTrust is one such bank that’s begun charging their customers $5 per month if they use their debit card. This isn’t a per transaction fee, but rather a monthly fee if they want to use their debit card. Both Chase and Wells Fargo are also charging their debit card customers, although it’s slightly less at only $3 per month. A $5 per month fee probably isn’t going to break anyone’s bank account, but that’s an extra $60 bucks per year. When people expect free usage of their debit cards, they don’t want to be hit with an annual fee of $60.
There are a couple of things you can do to help avoid such fees, one of which is to limit the amount of times you use your debit card. Depending on the terms of the bank, you should be able to prevent the fee from occurring if you refrain from using your debit card in a given month. Perhaps you go could go every other month using your debit card. Doing this will cut your annual fee from $60 down to $30.
You might be able to avoid paying a bank debit card fee by switching banks. While most of the larger banks are charging their customers a monthly fee, the smaller ones aren’t. Spend a day calling or visiting some of the local banks in your area and asking them about their debit card fees. Chances are you could bypass some of these new fees by switching to a smaller bank. In addition to lower fees, small banks usually offer other perks such as reward programs, higher interests rates, etc.