Bank of America says the $5 fee is just the cost of offering the service. "This new fee allows us to continue to offer the convenience of a debit card with the full range of added features customers have come to expect - fraud protection ($0 Liability), overdraft prevention, record-keeping, fraud monitoring, and savings programs (Keep the Change and Add-It-Up)," a spokesperson said in a statement.

The bank probably figures that at worst customers will simply stop using debit cards and use cash instead. Better yet, it would be great if customers start switching to credit cards which are more profitable for banks. But they probably aren't counting on customers actually leaving the bank and taking their business elsewhere.

After all, when the nation's largest bank charges a fee, won't all the others follow suit?

Readers, is the $5 monthly fee the last straw? Will you leave Bank of America? Take our poll to find what readers of TheStreet think.


Will you leave Bank of America over the $5 debit card fee?

Yes, I am sick of being nickeled and dimed.
No. I will just use cash.
I want to switch, but I am too lazy.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Shanthi Bharatwaj.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/shavenk.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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