February 23, 2024

Bucks: Chase Ends Test of $5 A.T.M. Fees

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JPMorgan Chase quietly ended a test in which it was charging a hefty $4 or $5 fee for non-Chase customers in two states for access to its A.T.M.’s.

The change was noted this week by The Consumerist and others, although the pilot ended more than a month ago. The test began Feb. 8 and ended at the end of March, said Tom Kelly, a Chase spokesman. Non-Chase customers in Illinois were charged $5, and those in Texas were charged $4. The bank has gone back to the $3 fee it charged earlier.

Mr. Kelly wouldn’t say why the pilot was halted or what the bank learned from it — or whether higher fees might be coming nationally. Other big banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank, also charge $3 to noncustomers for using their A.T.M.s. But smaller banks charge less and the average is less than $2.50, according to credit.com.

Banks are looking for ways to increase fee income ahead of the federal limit on so-called swipe fees, which merchants pay banks to help process credit and debit card payments. Banks tend to see higher fees for noncustomers as one way to raise fee revenue while avoiding alienating their own customers.

But there may be a limit on how much people will pay for convenience. I may grimace at a $2 or $3 fee to use another bank’s A.T.M., but I’ll pay it if I’m in a hurry — say, when I’m running to catch a flight — and another bank’s machine is handy. But I might try harder to find one of my own bank’s A.T.M.’s if the fee starts inching above $3. Or I might hunt for a new bank that has more A.T.M.s in my area — which is probably part of the plan when banks raise their fees.

At what point would a fee make you walk a few extra blocks? Or switch banks?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=250044d773f362d1826e276ae50d3c21

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