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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Poll: State Nepotism Law Supported

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation agrees with a state law that prevents cities from hiring family members of mayors and city council members? 155 of 218 respondents (71.1%) agree with the state law, which came into play earlier this fall when the city of Coeur d'Alene fired three grandkids of Councilman Ron Edinger. 51 of 218 respondents (23.35%) disagree with the policy. 12 (5.5%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Would you switch banks if your bank began charging $3-5 per month for debit card usage?

Wells Fargo To Charge For Debits, Too

If you have a checking account with Wells Fargo, look out: The megabank is about to start charging some customers $3 a month to access their own money. According to a fee schedule the bank recently released, customers in Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and New Mexico will have to pay $3 every month to make purchases using their debit cards. The new fee took effect on Friday, and the company describes it as a test. If it creates widespread outrage, that could mean the bank will drop the fee entirely. But if customers accept the idea of paying $3 a month for the privilege of using their own money, the practice could become permanent nationwide/Credit.com. More here.

Question: Wells Fargo is starting small by instituting its debit card charges in five states, including Washington. Bank of America, of course, did this recently, too. Will a fee charged by the money changers to use your money cause you to switch banks?

Wells Fargo to test $3 debit card fee

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo plans to test a $3 monthly fee for its debit cards starting this fall.

The San Francisco-based bank said the fee will be applied to checking accounts opened in five states starting in October, according to the Associated Press. The fee would be in addition to monthly service fees ranging from $5 to $30 that Wells Fargo already charges.

Although it’s unusual, Wells Fargo isn’t the first major bank to test whether customers will be willing to pay to use their debit cards. Chase last year also began testing a $3 monthly debit card fee in northern Wisconsin.

Other major banks have also revamped their lineup of checking accounts in the past year or so, in many cases by hiking monthly fees or adding conditions customers must meet to qualify for fee waivers.

At Wells Fargo, for example, monthly service fees can be waived if customers set up direct deposit or maintain a certain minimum balances.

Why Fat People Pay w/Debit Cards

Skinny people pay cash. You could look it up. A study by professors of marketing at Cornell University and the State University of New York, Binghamton, found that more than 60 percent of American adults are overweight, and only 14 percent of U.S. consumers use cash at the supermarket. “Since paying in cash feels more painful than paying by credit or debit cards, paying in cash can reduce the purchase of unhealthy food items,” write professors Manoj Thomas, Kalpesh Kaushik Desai and Satheehkimar Seenivasan in an article to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The three researchers peered into the shopping carts of 1,000 people over a six-month period. They found that folks who paid for their groceries with plastic bought more junk food than those who used cash/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times News. More here.

Question: Do you pay for your groceries with cash or credit card?