Big banks drop debit card fee plans

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Worried you’ll have to pay a fee for using a debit card? Worry no more. In response to a wave of customer outrage, the nation’s biggest banks have decided to scrap plans to charge debit card fees, at least for now. I’m Claes Bell with the personal finance minute.

Last week, banking giants Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust and Bank of America shelved plans to test or implement monthly fees for customers that use debit cards. The fees had been planned in response to new government regulations that capped the swipe fees banks charge merchants for processing debit transactions.

Still, it pays to keep an eye on your bank. The market and regulatory conditions that led them to consider debit fees are still at work, and they’ll be looking to make up that revenue somewhere else. Banks must send customers a new fee schedule when they raise checking account fees, so be sure to open all correspondence from your bank.

Also, remember that what counts isn’t what an individual fee is called, but the total monthly cost of your checking account, including monthly maintenance fees and other costs. Carefully review your bank statement to monitor how much your bank is charging you, and if that’s more than you’re willing to pay, feel free to shop around.

For more on this and other personal finance topics, visit I’m Claes Bell.