Many banks dropping debit card fees

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

ATLANTA,None - Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland learned Monday morning Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank will eliminate its unpopular debit card fee.

SunTrust had been charging customers $5 per month to use the cards to make purchases. A bank spokesman refused to go on camera, but the bank did release a statement.

"That's great. I'm glad that they decided to do away with 'em," customer Stacy Scott said.

Scott said she had wanted to switch banks, but learned many were planning to charge similar fees.

"It shows you hit 'em in the wallet, they listen. You vote with your money," Wells Fargo customer Mark Gilbert said. His bank is dropping the fee as well.

"We talk to our customers. We listen to them. We want them to tell us how they feel about things, and we make changes. We respond," Wells Fargo bank spokesman Jay Lawrence said.

Bank of America is working out a set of options to help customers waive the fee.

"This is true consumer power," said consumer adviser Clark Howard, who cautions banks will look for revenue elsewhere.

"And they're going to come up with some way to charge you more fees. If it's not going to be obvious like the debit card, something else is coming," Howard said.