Wells Fargo's $3 Debit Card Charge: A Sign of More Bank Fees to Come?

A new report emerged Tuesday that Wells Fargo (WFC) will begin charging some customers $3 every month to use their debit card -- further indication that banks are putting on the squeeze as new swipe-card regulations are set to take effect.

Wells Fargo already sent letters to customers in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington that the fees will begin Oct. 14, according to MyBankTracker.com. That's just two weeks after Federal Reserve-mandated rules slash the amount banks can charge retailers for every debit card purchase. Regulators reduced the maximum bank take on each transaction from 44 cents to 24 cents.

A chain reaction was already in effect before Wells Fargo acted. In March, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) began assessing a $3 service fee for debit card use and $15 for checking accounts in certain regions, according to reports. Chase has also pondered the idea of capping the amount per debit-card purchase at $50 to $100, along with other major institutions such as Citigroup and Bank of America, the New York Post reported.

Not only would customers not be able to pay for items as modest as a children's bicycle with the debit card, they would likely be forced to make more individual transactions that would generate more charges.

In another strategy to offset anticipated losses from the upcoming Fed reductions, Bank of America (BAC) already raised its ATM fee to $3.

The bad news may keep coming for Wells Fargo customers. At a recent conference, Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf outlined other possible revenue generators, including raising minimum account balances and slapping on a fee for even the right to have a debit card, MyBankTracker wrote.

Wells Fargo estimated it would save more than $200 million in losses with the $3 debit card fee. But it might also anger a lot of account holders in the process. If the fee were to go in effect nationwide, it would hit 40 million Wells Fargo customers, the article said.

While the banks figure out to the penny how to offset the inhibited profit flow, one wonders if anyone in the industry is putting a price on customer resentment?

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George

Wells Fargo already charges $2.50 for use of Non-Wells Fargo ATM. Dutch Door action other banks charge up to $3.00.

Remedy, go to the Supermarket purchase $1.00 of Gum or water, and get money back as a check card. No, stinking fees for the moment.

October 10 2012 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PGM

If you live in the Pennsylvania area where Wells Fargo bought Wachovia take all your money out close your account and go to Metro Bank. Best bank I have ever come across. They have absoultly no ATM fees at all even to check your ballance at an ATM. They charge no monthly ATM fees and best of all when you go to a branch and sign up for an account they create your ATM check card right there at the branch you don't have to wait 5 to 7 business days for it to come in the mail. Plus there open till 8 pm mon though Friday and open Sundays.

September 28 2012 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
manski

Have been a customer of Wells Fargo for more than 12 years. And have been fighting against extra fees for about as long. Every time I jump through the Wells Fargo hoops to avoid fees -- savings acct, debit card, credit card, auto deposit, bill pay, electronic statements -- you name it. Even after all of that, WF started charging $13/month in fees. Went to bank to see what was going on. Employee just said, "Well, that's the way it is unless you have a balance of $7,500." I wasn't given any other options (hoops), which angered me. Said I would close account. Employee said, "Fine." Finally left in anger and employee said, "Have a great day." How's that for service?

August 30 2012 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NYC PATRIOT

MY ADVICE TO ALL AMERICANS is to BUY a GOOD & SECURE METAL SAFE, BOLT it to the FLOOR and KEEP all your money at HOME and tell these bankers they can go to HELL!!!

March 11 2012 at 9:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diana Villalobos

Thats why i have USAA... BEST BANK

March 08 2012 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shannon

Closed my account with wells fargo

March 08 2012 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
h_lt

it's my money why the bank charge when i access my own money? if they do that, i rather change the bank, i don't like Wells Fargo bank any way, they are not good in service. Every time I need banking they are so slow, I have heard that Citi Bank even better than they are.

March 08 2012 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
h_lt

it's my money why the bank charge when i access my own money? if they do that, i rather change the bank, i don't like Wells Fargo bank any way, they are not good in service. Every time I need banking they are so slow, I have heard that Citi Bank even better than they are.

March 08 2012 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OZMAN28

I took out all my money and went straight to chase. Chase is literally the best bank in the world!!! I use them for everything!

March 08 2012 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
glojul

This would onloy add insult to injury -Wells Fargo is charging ridiculous fees already. I didn't ready the fee disclosure carefully after the transition from Wachovia. The actually charged me a $2.00 balance inquiry fee PLUS a $2.00 non ells Fargo ATM fee on one withdrawal! $2.00 just to view an additional screen! Looking for a new bank, maybe a credit union.

October 28 2011 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply