Get ready for a new wave of bank fees. Bank of America will begin charging a $5 monthly fee at the beginning of next year for customers who make debit card purchases. Whether you use your card for one purchase a month or 20, you will pay $5 per month starting in 2012. If you don’t use your card at all, you won’t be assessed a fee. And you can still use ATMs as much as you want without getting hit with the new fee. Other banks have been flirting with the idea of introducing a fee for debit card usage, but Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) is one of the first major institutions to announce that it will make this a reality for all active debit card customers.
The move coincides with the implementation of new rules limiting the revenue banks will be able to get from merchants. Beginning this weekend, a cap on the fees banks can charge retailers every time customers swipe their debit cards will take effect.