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What's better: A share of B of A, or a debit fee?

This final note today. One share of Bank of America could be had at the close this afternoon for $6.35. The country's biggest bank's been in some trouble lately, as you might have heard here and elsewhere. So it's doing whatever it can to get by.

Which now includes, apparently, charging people for using their own money. B of A announced today it's going to start charging debit card users monthly fees. $5, starting in January.

Which gets me back to the share price. Which would you rather have? $5, or a share of B of A?

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Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Just another reason to use a credit union!

I'll go back to write checks if i want to use my cash available or pay with a credit card and paid balance monthly to avoid finance charges

as a share holder you will have free of charge debit card?

$5! of course!

BofA forced my daughter to open a savings account when she opened a student checking account, then they raised the minimum on the savings account. She was a novice at reading bank statements. Not anymore. BofA drained $120 in fees from her savings account because it didn't meet the new minimum. BofA use to be our #1 bank. Now it's at the bottom. I'm in the process of terminating them. No $5 debit fees for me. Unfortunately, they are too big to fail, so as taxpayers, we'll always be on the hook to them.

I'm not sure how BofA is going to get by when they are getting so good at pissing off customers (even ones that have been with them for 40 years). If they can't get customers to make deposits, they'll need to play the shell game and buy more credit default swaps. You know what that will lead... more bailouts from us taxpayers.

Won't many people leave BoA? Or will all the other banks - wait, there are only two now, Chase and Wells Fargo, - also try to charge people to use debit cards? Charging a fee for debit cards is robbery - or at least double-dipping - because they already get $ from the merchant when they collect part of the interchange fee on every transaction.

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