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Use Your BofA Debit Card for Purchases? Get Ready to Pay a $5 Monthly Fee

Photo by Dmitriy Shironosov via Shutterstock
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If you're a Bank of America customer and you swipe that handy debit card for purchases, get ready to have a $5 monthly fee charged to your account starting in early 2012. The bank announced the impending imposition today, and intends to use the added revenue to help pad themselves against losses they'll incur on new caps placed on fees merchants pay for debit transactions.

"The fee will apply to customers with various checking accounts during any month they use their debit card to make a purchase. The fee will not apply to customers who do not use their debit card to make a purchase or who only use it to make ATM transactions," explains the Wall Street Journal.

Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace told Reuters on Thursday: "The economics of offering a debit card have changed." She added that "customers expect certain features for their accounts, like overdraft and fraud protection, and the [new monthly $5] fee will offset some of those costs."

Debit users are a pretty easy target to find such fees applied to their accounts. Usage of debit cards for point-of-sale transactions has become widespread, and is on the rise. Both Chase and Wells Fargo have been testing a similar fee in some markets, but neither bank has made a final decision to make those fees permanent.