Bank of America may have retreated from the $5 debit card charge last fall. (See previous topic http://www.buxr.com/topic/bofa.....cards_5526
) But they are back at it again, testing new fees for basic checking accounts.
Other banks, including Wells Fargo and Chase, already charge $10-$15 fees for basic accounts.
The Wall Street Journal ran an online poll asking "Would you pay a monthly fee to have a checking account, regardless of your balance?" A whopping 91% of readers (3461 votes) said "No!"
Bank of America pilot programs in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts now are experimenting with charging $6 to $9 a month for an "Essentials" account. Other account options being tested in those states carry monthly charges of $9, $12, $15 and $25 but give customers opportunities to avoid the payments by maintaining minimum balances, using a credit card or taking a mortgage with Bank of America, according to a memo distributed to employees.
It is unclear whether the bank, which counts more than 55 million U.S. households as customers, will stick with its initial idea for a basic flat-fee checking account that doesn't offer a way to avoid paying a charge. That scenario is considered less likely than telling checking-account customers they will face a new fee unless they go online or take other steps outlined by the bank.