In the news

PennPIRG Education Fund
Philadelphia Inquirer
Alana Miller

With its latest fee, Bank of America has made the decision to balance its books on the backs of its customers, instead of changing its business model to be more consumer-friendly. ("Bank of America to charge $5 debit card fee," Friday). Chase and Wells Fargo are also testing a $3 debit card fee in certain markets.

Big banks have always had the biggest fees, and they get away with it on the premise that their customers won't bank elsewhere. But free checking still exists, and small banks and credit unions are not likely to copycat what big banks are doing on debit card fees.

As a consumer advocacy organization, our advice to consumers is clear: Vote with your feet. Ditch your big bank for a credit union or community bank. You'll be better off for it.

Alana Miller, PennPIRG, Philadelphia,

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