BofA Reaps Fees From Unemployment Benefits Loaded On Debit Cards

While Bank of America’s now-abandoned plan to charge debit card users $5 a month has received a halogen spotlight recently, far less attention has been paid to how it collects fees off the unemployed. In some states, unemployment benefits are issued via Bank of America debit cards. States save money by not using paper checks, but the unemployed lose out from all the fees hiding in the cards.

The Huffington Post interviewed an unemployed woman who estimates she’s paid about $350 to Bank of America in fees, just to access her unemployment benefits.

Some of the fees include a $1.50 fee for using an ATM more than once a week, $1.50 for using an out-of-network ATM, 50 cents for entering the wrong PIN more than 4 times, and $1.50 for calling up and talking to customer service more than once a month.

With no Bank of America ATM in her small town, the woman racks up additional fees every time she tries to use her money, sometimes as much as $5 per transaction.

“When you are living on $325 in unemployment benefits a week, believe me, you need and notice every penny,” another woman, Sandra, told the Huffington Post. “So I called, I know one week, three or four times before I realized those calls were costing me money. I was, well let’s just say, utterly outraged.”

For Bank Of America, Debit Fees Extend To Unemployment Benefits [Huffington Post] (Thanks to Mike!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.