Wells Fargo Bank, the primary brick-and-mortar bank I’ve been holding onto for my branch-based banking, ATM deposits, and immediate check-writing, is jumping on the debit card fee bandwagon.
Chase was one of the first banks to start playing around with fees and debit card changes. Chase increased its ATM fee to $5, eliminated the short-lived debit card rewards, tested a limit of $50 for debit card transactions, and is still currently testing a $3 monthly fee for debit card users.
That same fee will grace Wells Fargo account holders’ bills in the states of Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon. If the pilot program is successful, you can be sure Wells Fargo will roll the new few out to customers throughout the rest of the country.
Monthly fees and other nuisances are increasing as banks find it more difficult to maintain the profits they’ve grown accustomed to seeing. If interchange fees are limited through regulation, despite the abundant profit banks generate from spending customers, they will continue to grow the business’s profits through other means.
As I’ve grown older and perhaps more financially secure, I don’t automatically dismiss any product with a fee. But if there are better, free choices for the same service, you can be sure I’ll send a message by ending my relationship as a customer — and by sharing my experiences with whomever is interested in reading them.
The monthly fee will begin in the states mentioned above on October 14.
Updated October 9, 2016 and originally published August 16, 2011.