It seemed like such a good idea at the time — to Bank of America. But on Tuesday, the banking behemoth announced that it would not, in fact, start charging BofA debit card owners $5 each month for the dubious privilege of simply using that branded piece of plastic to make transactions.

Politico called the bank’s move “a win for President Barack Obama and Occupy Wall Street,” and pointed to the online petition started by 22-year-old Molly Katchpole as the crucial piece of consumer feedback that led BofA to ditch the egregious fee plan.

Update: MarketWatch’s Jennifer Waters makes the sobering point that consumers shouldn’t get too excited about this victory, as BofA and its cohorts are likely to find ways to compensate for the $5 they’re not able to squeeze out of customers in this particular way.


“We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee,” said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer, in a statement Tuesday. “Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.”

The move comes as banks generally recoiled at the public outrage that followed Bank of America’s announcement of the new fee.

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