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Posted at 01:43 PM ET, 09/30/2011

Bank of America customers, angry at new fee, look for alternatives in the Washington region


(Chuck Burton - AP)
Bank of America customers are talking, and they’re not happy.

Many area customers said they’ll be shopping for a new bank after the company announced it will soon charge users $5 a month to shop with their debit cards.

The fee will affect basic checking accounts, and the monthly charge will only apply to purchases made with debit cards. ATM withdrawals, online bill pay and transfers made using cell phones are exempt.

News of the fee, which is a first for a major bank, spurred many area customers to call for a boycott.

I need to find a new bank. #BankofAmerica is ridiculous. Any suggestions for a bank that will not charge me to spend my own money?Fri Sep 30 14:34:29 via web

What a horrible decision by Bank of America. Everyone I know who has BofA account has said they are leaving. Small bank boom coming...Fri Sep 30 17:05:44 via web

Also what is this about @BofA_Help @BofA_News new $5 monthly fee on debit cards?? Looking for a new bank....Fri Sep 30 17:11:34 via web


The Post’s Ylan Q. Mui has the full story. And if you’re looking to compare your options, here’s a place to start.

Banks in the Washington region

The area has plenty of options, including smaller local banks and credit unions. The Independent Community Bankers of America, a trade group, has map for finding local banks near you.

The National Credit Union Administration also had a tool for finding nearby credit unions. (Thanks MinArlington for the tip in the comments!)

Among some of the major players:

BB&T: Locations and information on basic checking accounts and debit cards

Citibank: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

Eagle Bank: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

Key Bank: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

PNC Bank: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

SunTrust: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

TD Bank: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

Wells Fargo: Locations and information on checking accounts and debit cards

Tips for switching banks

The advocacy group Consumers Union offered some advice for those switching to a new bank, including:

• Open your new account with a small deposit to avoid extra fees.

• Leave a small amount in your old account for at least a month to cover any charges you may have forgotten are coming.

• Get written confirmation that your old account has been closed.

Share your thoughts

If you’re a Bank of America customer, are you planning to switch?

If you use another bank, which is it and what you do think of it?

Let us know in the comments.

By Emily Ingram  |  01:43 PM ET, 09/30/2011

 
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