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Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 09/30/2011

In wake of Bank of America’s new debit charge, tips on how to avoid fees

Bank of America announced Thursday that it would charge debit card users $5 a month when they shop. (Guy Calaf - BLOOMBERG)
Bank of America’s announcement that it would charge customers $5 a month for using their debit cards has not gone over well on Wall Street or Main Street. The company’s stock tumbled Friday morning, and some consumers are pledging to boycott the bank.

So what can you do to avoid pesky fees? At least one consumer group is offering up some tips. In a statement released Thursday, Consumers Union suggests paying attention to the enclosures in mailings from your bank, as those might give you an early heads-up about possible new fees.

The group also says that many banks first try out new fees as “trial balloons” to see if customers will tolerate them. Given that a fee might only be an experiment, Consumers Union says consumers should complain to the bank, as they might ax the fee if enough customers gripe about it.

Have you discovered any useful strategies for avoiding bank fees? Tell us about it in the comments section.

By  |  12:12 PM ET, 09/30/2011

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