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Wells Fargo to test $3 debit card fee

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:02 PM
  • 13 Replies

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wells Fargo plans to test a $3 monthly fee for its debit cards starting this fall.

The San Francisco-based bank said the fee will be applied to checking accounts opened in five states starting in October. The fee would be in addition to monthly service fees ranging from $5 to $30 that Wells Fargo already charges.

Although it's unusual, Wells Fargo isn't the first major bank to test whether customers will be willing to pay to use their debit cards. Chase last year also began testing a $3 monthly debit card fee in northern Wisconsin.

Other major banks have also revamped their lineup of checking accounts in the past year or so, in many cases by hiking monthly fees or adding conditions customers must meet to qualify for fee waivers.

At Wells Fargo, for example, monthly service fees can be waived if customers set up direct deposit or maintain a certain minimum balances.

The industry's experimentation with fees is partly a response to a new regulation that will sharply reduce the revenue that banks collect on checking accounts. Starting this fall, a new cap will limit how much banks can collect from merchants whenever a customer swipes a debit card. It's not clear exactly how much banks will lose. In 2009 banks collected an estimated $19.7 billion in such fees from merchants, according to the Nilson Report, which tracks the payments industry.

Wells Fargo has said it plans to recover about half the revenue it loses from the new regulation, either through product changes or volume growth. Earlier this year Wells Fargo announced that it was ending its debit rewards program. Chase has also ended its debit rewards program and PNC Bank will no longer give customers with free checking accounts rewards for debit card purchases.

For now, Wells Fargo's $3 debit card fee test will be limited to accounts opened in Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. A spokeswoman for the bank, Lisa Westermann, did not say when the bank would decide whether to roll out the fee in other areas.

The test comes at a time when consumers are increasingly relying on debit cards.

An Associated Press-GfK poll last month found that about two-thirds of consumers use debit cards more frequently than credit cards. When asked how they would react if they were charged a $3 monthly fee for their debit card, 61 percent said they'd find another way to pay.

If the fee was $5 a month, two-thirds said they'd do the same. If the fee was $7, the figure rose to 81 percent.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Wells-Fargo-to-test-3-debit-apf-1350611214.html

by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
BleedinHeartMom
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:03 PM

$3.00? hell, just bump it up to 10 dollars...go for the gold..

Kaelansmom
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:09 PM

smh... glad we have USAA... the rewards are gone, but, no fee

timeforprogress
by Silver Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:10 PM
If you (general you) are paying any fees for banking, you are a sucker.

Banks rely on your deposits in order to make money. You are essentially loaning them money. Your bank should be paying you.
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timeforprogress
by Silver Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM
I am sad about the rewards :( but we still get tons of other perks and dividends.

Quoting Kaelansmom:

smh... glad we have USAA... the rewards are gone, but, no fee

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Kaelansmom
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM

yup..

Quoting timeforprogress:

I am sad about the rewards :( but we still get tons of other perks and dividends.

Quoting Kaelansmom:

smh... glad we have USAA... the rewards are gone, but, no fee


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Never have been a fan of WF.  Or BofA or even Chase.

I will stay with USAA.........hoping they do not follow suit any time soon.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Arthur Gordon
jonellg
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:27 PM

I love Wells Fargo, my guess is there will be a way around it. My checking account is $12, but they wave it if you have direct deposit.

OneToughMami
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:41 PM

So let me try and make my reply again! Since it only put "So"...This is why I am glad that I do not have Wells Fargo. They took over Wachovia and are making it extremely hard for some customers. My uncle had with Wachovia a special account for folks over 50. He no longer has it or the priveleges that come with it. I am trying to find him a bank now with better hours and a similar account for older folks, being he is in his mid 60s now. I need to find it ASAP. But I have TD Bank...best switch I ever made.


Thomigirl
by Platinum Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I effing HATE Wells Fargo.  Glad I bank with our local bank.

OneToughMami
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Just to add something...with all of their monthly fees to bank with them...it's going to be like those pre-paid debit cards that you get when you have poor credit. There's going to be no point in banking with Wells Fargo if they are going to basically treat you the same way a pre-paid company would.


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