Clients Flee from Other Banks because of Debit Card Fees


David Teague was a lifelong customer of a regional bank and stuck with them merger after merger. Then his wife alerted him to the fact that their bank was going to start charging them $4 a month in debit card fees.

“It didn’t hit me right,” Teague said. “It wasn’t so much the money—it was the fact that they were going to impose a charge on me for things that every bank does.”

Jason Brake and his wife Aimee had been clients of another regional bank for seven years. But then the bank got rid of free checking, and the next thing they knew they were being charged $5 a month to use their debit card.

“We looked into it, and we couldn’t get out of the fees no matter how much money we had in the account,” Brake said. “I shouldn’t have to pay to use my money.”


Teague and Brake both decided to open checking accounts at Pinnacle, which offers free checking and does not charge fees for debit card use.

“Once we decided we were going to make a move, we talked to some people who had personal accounts at Pinnacle,” Teague said. “There wasn’t a question where we would go.”

Brake said the process for opening an account went quickly. Because Pinnacle issues debit cards instantly, he was able to access his funds right away instead of waiting weeks for the card to arrive in the mail.

He plans to transition his other accounts over to Pinnacle because of the personal service and sophisticated online banking system.

“I like that when you call, you get a person and not an automated system,” Brake said.


Brake also likes how Pinnacle’s online banking system integrates with the third-party program he uses to track his finances.

“Pinnacle is small enough but has all the features of the larger banks,” Brake said.

Teague and his family have been Pinnacle clients for about a week.

“It’s been great so far,” he said. “They’re very personable. I never got that type of customer service from my previous bank.”

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