Inside these posts: Fees

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Durbin to JPMorgan CEO Dimon: Stop whining

Sen. Dick Durbin, left, has criticized JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon for his bank's swipe fees, among other issues. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune; Bloomberg News)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who is critical of a key provision in the financial reform law, has been taken to task by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) in a scathing letter.

“There is no need for you to threaten your customers with higher fees when you and your bank are already making money hand-over-fist,” Durbin wrote to Dimon about the threat of higher debit card fees. “And there is no need to make such threats in response to reform that simply tries to spare consumers from bearing the cost of interchange fees that are anticompetitive and unreasonably high.” Get the full story »

Citibank to pay small checks first

Citibank said it will start clearing smaller consumer checks first, offering a reprieve for those who cut it close and sometimes get hit with multiple overdraft fees. Get the full story »

$5 ATM fees may be coming

Customers use ATMs at a Bank of America branch in Boston. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

Some of the nation’s biggest banks are imposing a variety of new fees on people who withdraw money from automated-teller machines.

The move is the latest example of the burgeoning new fees that banks are imposing on customers accustomed to years of free services. Banks are scrambling to replace billions of dollars in revenue expected to be lost from new federal regulations on overdraft charges and debit cards. Get the full story »

PNC vows to keep checking free

PNC Financial Services Group Inc., bucking a trend that is sweeping the banking industry, is vowing to keep its most-basic checking accounts free of fees. Get the full story »

Regulators question debit card fee limits

Top U.S. regulators said Thursday that small banks could be hurt by new limits on debit-card fees, comments that could fuel efforts to delay or change a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law.

The provision directs the Federal Reserve to cap “swipe fees” that debit-card issuers charge merchants each time a customer pays with a debit card. Banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets, however, are exempted from the limit and can charge higher fees. Get the full story »

U.S. Bank may end free checking

U.S. Bank is one of the last of the megabanks to offer free checking. But that may be about to end.

The Minneapolis-based bank recently hinted that it will add fees to its checking accounts — and even possibly to its debit cards — as it attempts to recoup revenue lost under new regulations. Get the full story »

Minnesota AG sues Discover over ‘protection’ fees

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is suing Discover over allegations that the credit card company charged customers for unauthorized account protection programs such as credit score tracking and identity theft protection.

Swanson filed a lawsuit Monday in Hennepin County District Court against Discover Bank, DFS Services and Riverwoods-based parent company Discover Financial Services. Discover is one of the nation’s largest credit card companies. Get the full story »

More credit card fees ahead

Less than a year after the passage of new laws limiting banks’ ability to impose certain fees on credit and debit cards, Bank of America Corp., Discover Financial Services, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other lenders are using different tactics to boost their fee income.

Some are raising minimum payments on certain customers’ accounts in order to increase late penalties. Others are ramping up credit-protection insurance programs and charging customers for coverage without permission. Still others are pushing aggressively into high-fee prepaid cards, which are exempt from most of the new rules. Get the full story »

American Express sued by U.S. over card fees

The Justice Department sued American Express on Monday for allegedly violating antitrust law over credit card acceptance rules, and settled with Visa and MasterCard on the same issue.

The Justice Department, in a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, said the case was focused on credit card companies’ efforts to stop merchants from steering customers to credit cards with lower fees imposed on the merchant.

In a proposed final judgment, Visa and MasterCard must allow merchants to offer discounts to customers who use cards that charge the stores less. Get the full story »

Credit card rates hit highest level in 9 years

(Getty Images)

(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Interest rates continue to tumble for the U.S. Treasury, companies and home buyers alike. But for a large portion of 381 million U.S. credit-card accounts, borrowing rates have been moving only one way: up.

And average rates are likely to climb further soon. New credit-card rules that took effect Sunday limit banks’ ability to charge penalty fees. They come on top of rule changes earlier this year restricting issuers’ ability to adjust rates on the fly. Issuers responded by pushing card rates to their highest level in nine years. Get the full story »

American charging more for front rows of coach

Flight attendant Robert Johnson stands in between first class and coach on an American Airlines 737-800 plane in 2009. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

As part of its quest for more non-ticket revenue, American Airlines will begin charging customers who want to sit in the first few rows of coach.

The price will begin at $19 per flight. Longer flights will cost more. For example, a seat on a Chicago to Honolulu flight will cost $39. A seat on a flight to Boston from O’Hare International Airport will cost $29.

American did not specify how many rows of seats will be affected by the new charges. Customers who purchase these coach seats also will be allowed to board in the first boarding group after first-class passengers and elite frequent fliers. Get the full story »

Gov. Quinn vetoes physical therapist bill

Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed Friday a Senate bill that would have allowed doctors to legally hire physical therapists because those partnerships, he said, would increase costs for citizens.

In Illinois, patients must have a doctor’s referral to see a physical therapist. But physical therapists can bill insurance providers for their services independently, which is why Quinn vetoed the bill.

“Senate Bill 2635,” Quinn said in a letter to the General Assembly, “also incents medical professionals to increase the volume of services provided.” Get the full story »

GAO: Airlines should disclose all fees

U.S. and overseas airlines should be required to disclose all fees to ensure passengers, are fully informed about how much their tickets costs, congressional investigators said on Wednesday.

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in a report that airlines made $1.3 billion in baggage and other fees in the first quarter of 2010, up 13 percent from the year-earlier. Get the full story »

Airline fees can add 50% to cost of plane ticket

Extra fees charged by airlines to check bags or reserve a seat with extra legroom can increase the cost of a ticket by more than 50 percent. That is a key finding of an analysis by the Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit consumer organization that studied the cost of extra fees on nine major airlines along four popular routes.

Tentative deal reached on debit-card fees

House and Senate lawmakers have tentatively agreed on how to regulate fees that banks charge merchants who accept payment with debit cards. Get the full story »