Whether you use your card for one purchase a month or 20, you will pay $5 per month starting in 2012. It doesn’t matter if you select “debit” or “credit” at the point of sale. If you don’t use your card at all, you won’t be assessed a fee, and you can still use ATMs as much as you want without getting hit with the new charge. Plus, customers with certain premium accounts will be exempt from the charge.
Other banks have been flirting with the idea of introducing a fee for debit card usage, but Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) is one of the first major institutions to announce that it will make this a reality for active debit card customers. The move coincides with the implementation of new rules limiting the revenue banks will be able to get from merchants. Beginning this weekend, a cap on the fees banks can charge retailers every time customers swipe their debit cards will take effect.