Debit card users react to news of new monthly fees

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE)- Debit cards are probably one of the most convenient ways to pay for purchases. Some of us swipe almost daily.

"Every time I make a transaction, it's with a debit card," Steven Alexander, of Memphis, Indiana said.

But, that debit card could cost you more than just the things you buy. As of October 1, new rules limit how much banks can charge retailers for swipe fees. Some analysts said banks are trying to make up that lost revenue in other ways. Bank of America recently announced it plans to charge customers, starting next year, $5 a month to use their debit cards.

"I think it's absurd," Alexander, who is a Chase Bank customer said. "Why should people have to pay money to spend their own money that they've worked for?"

"I don't think it's fair," Sarah Thorne, of Scottsburg, Indiana, who is an Indiana Bank & Trust customer, said.

WAVE 3 asked Denise King, of Charlestown, Indiana, what she would do it her bank started charging her for using her debit card.

"I'd probably try to find another bank that didn't do that, if I could," King said.

Jacob Hall, of Charlestown, Indiana, does not have a debit card. But, he said he considered one.

"Honestly, yeah, I was. But not now," Hall said.

The plan for one bank's new fees have him avoiding bigger banks.

"I'll probably go to MainSource (Bank) and see if they'll get any charges and then if they do get charges, I just won't use my debit card at all," Hall said.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin spoke out about Bank of America's plan to charge Bank of America customers.

"Now a lot of these credit card companies are crying, are screaming bloody murder, crying all the way to the bank," Durbin said. "They've announced that they are now going to create new debit card fees to charge consumers."

In Iowa, Durbin urged people to 'vote with their feet' about the debit card fees if they found them to be unreasonable.

"If you think the debit card fee that bank of America is going to impose is unreasonable, go shopping. Find yourself another place that's going to treat you a lot better," Durbin said. "We have to stand up as consumers and retailers across America and say to the banks and credit card companies, 'If we're going to have an expanding economy that's fair to retailers, that's fair to consumers, then we can't allow you to have this price fixing and impose these charges on individuals.'"

Others, like Alexander, were watching and waiting to see what their banks do.

"I'm praying that they don't do it," Alexander said.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved