As if losing your debit card isn’t headache enough. It may soon cost you $5 as well.
Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank, says it plans to start charging customers $5 to replace lost debit cards. It’s just the latest unwelcome news for consumers who have seen banks introduce a steady stream of new and higher fees over the past year.
Bank of America says the fee, which goes into effect in September, will be waived if the card is stolen. For overnight delivery of a card, the fee will be $20. There is currently no charge for either service.
But the new replacement fee isn’t that unusual in the industry. Chase, for example, also charges a $5 fee to replace lost cards.
Checking account customers should be getting accustomed to such unwelcome news. Last year the availability of free checking accounts with no strings attached shrank for the first time since 2003. Only 65 percent of checking accounts were free, down from 76 percent in 2009, according to Bankrate.com.
One reason for the fees is that banks are contending with new regulations that will sharply reduce their revenue from checking accounts. The Federal Reserve on July 21 is set to cap the fees banks can collect from merchants whenever customers swipe their debit cards.
The move is projected to slash revenue by $14 billion for the industry.