Here we go again. Bank of America is currently testing several new fee structures in Arizona, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Nothing like being a “fee guinea pig” for a company that received billions and billions of dollars in a taxpayer funded bailout because the company made thousands and thousands of bad loans … loans they knew would go bad. I guess this is how Bank of America repays us taxpayers for bailing them out — fees to access our own money.
What galls me even further is that while BOA is stabbing their customers in the back, PerkStreet is rewarding their customers with up to two percent cash back on non-pin debit card purchases (read: Why Do I get Rewarded for Non-Pin Debit Card Purchases?). What could you do with a 2 percent refund? For most families it’s in excess of $600 per year!
What new fees is Bank of America trying?
It’s the same old song and dance. All they really want is your money (sounds like the IRS).
One fee is a flat, across the board fee. Some customers in those three states are currently paying a monthly across the board fee of between $6 and $9 to access their own money in a Bank of America checking account! Under this fee structure customers lose up to $708 per year (the $600 in lost rewards + $108 in new fees).
Another fee being used to slap customers in the face is a conditional fee. Other customers in those test-states are being charged a range of fees between $9 and $25 for using their checking account, but have been given the option to avoid the additional cost if they keep a minimum balance or opt in to using other Bank of America services. Under this fee structure customers lose up to $900 per year ($600 in lost rewards + $300 in new fees).
- What services? – a BOA credit card (you have MUCH better options for credit cards).
- Minimum balance? – no word on how much it would be BUT it costs the same amount to maintain a checking account regardless of whether the balance is $20 or $20,000. But there’s a lot less money to loan out of a checking account with only $20. That’s why there would be a minimum balance.
How to stick it to Bank of America and their fees
1. First, you’ll need to switch banks. It isn’t that difficult (read: How to Switch Banks in 6 Easy Steps). The best option in my opinion is to switch to PerkStreet. A close second is Ally Bank followed by the ING Electric Orange checking account. Another good option is to move your money to a local community bank or credit union.
2. Next, stop borrowing from them. Move your borrowing to a peer to peer site like Prosper.The interest rates for Prosper borrowers are LOWER than Bank of America’s rates anyway.
3. If you need a to replace your Bank of America credit card, check out my Credit Card Page. Once it loads, you can easily search and apply for the credit card that suits your needs. You can search by Rewards Cards, Business Cards, 0% Intro Rates, Balance Transfers and by what type of credit score you have. On that page you can find a credit card that’s right for you (be sure to pay it off each and every month).