Twitter account @NeedADebitCard collects pictures of debit and credit cards that people post to Twitter. Seriously? I’m guessing these people aren’t on top of their Facebook privacy settings, either, which makes them sitting ducks for identity thieves.
People, don’t be stupid. If you have to take pictures of your debit and credit cards, put them in the same place you keep your sex tapes.
“Banks also have benefited from the large increase during the recession in unemployment insurance. Increasingly, banks offer debit cards to the unemployed to collect their government benefits. These debit cards carry a range of fees that bolster banks’ bottom lines. What’s more, states — with their budgets shattered by the financial crisis and recession — have increasingly been moving to enroll new employees into Wall Street-run retirement accounts rather than government pension programs. That’s potentially more lucrative for Wall Street, which can charge fees for managing the savings of individual retirees.”
Adam Levitin’s analysis of the coming debit card fees from Bank of America and others is spot on, and it boils down to this: On the one hand, it’s an improvement to see banks being up-front about fees, instead of screwing you without telling you. On the other hand, a monthly fee has nothing to do with usage, risk, or anything else relevant. And, yet, maybe the biggest reason the banks are raising fees is because they can, because there isn’t any real competition in banking.
Gerri Willis from Fox Business News did just that. On the air.
Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com
Turns out SunTrust is also planning to add a monthly debit card charge. If you’re banking with Bank of America, SunTrust, or Wells Fargo, are you sticking with your bank, or are you planning to switch to a bank that will continue to let you use your debit card without nickel-and-diming you?
As of October 1st, banks will be able to charge only 21¢ per transaction for debit cards, due to the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin Amendment. That’s a completely reasonable charge for sending a few bits of data over the wires. But charging comically large percentages for transactions is how banks pay for the mortgages on those skyscrapers, so they’re just going to charge you, instead.
Bank of America will begin charging $5/month to use a debit card early next year, and Wells Fargo is already testing a $3/month fee in some states. In other words, debit card use is going to get a lot more expensive for consumers.
Price tags on everything else may rise, too, since Visa and Mastercard (not banks, so not bound by the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin Amendment) plan to quadruple their merchant transaction fee.
As the government moves to issuing debit cards rather than actual checks in an attempt to save money, banks are adding every conceivable fee to get some of those benefits. Even fees just to get the money. Ever see a free ATM? Call customer service, that’ll be 50 cents. How about overdraft fees of up to $20—even though they could just decline charges for more than what is on the card.
Jobless hit with bank fees on benefits | The Herald News
(photo: Wikimedia Commons)