Debit Cards Will Soon Have A Cost, If They Don’t Already

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STATE — Starting early next year, Bank of America will begin charging debit-card users a $5 per month fee to pay for purchases. Several other banks have also recently introduced or started testing debit card fees recently.

The move is an attempt to make up revenue lost because of a new federal regulation that limits the fees banks can charge merchants when consumers use debit cards.

It’s yet more bad news for checking customers. A survey of major banks in 25 of the nation’s biggest markets by found that just 45 percent of non-interest checking accounts are free, down from a peak of 76 percent two years ago.

The average bounced check fee also rose to a new record high, up to $30.83 from $30.47 last year. Since the survey began in 1998, the average overdraft fee has increased every year.

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