Checking account wars, behind the scenes

Source: Rob Lieber, The New York Times

This week, Senator Dick Durbin took to the Senate floor and called for a run on Bank of America. The Illinois Democrat had pushed legislation, which went into effect a week ago, that limits the fees big banks collect from merchants, and he now finds himself the fall guy for Bank of America’s new $5 monthly debit card fee. His response? He ranted and raved and suggested that consumers “get the heck out of that bank.” But even as Bank of America and other institutions are adding fees and other restrictions, a company called PerkStreet, which you may have read about in this column before, is hoping that those Bank of America customers will run to its Web site. PerkStreet gives checking account customers as much as 2 percent back on their purchases when they use its debit cards.

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