Warning - Bank of America's Sneaky Fees!


[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (http://firefinance.blogspot.com).]

Recently we had published a cool $100 sign-up offer from Bank of America(BOA). One of our loyal readers whom we shall call "J" had availed a similar offer. The good news is that he earned $100 as bonus. However he has provided a great feedback regarding BOA's sneaky policies which ate away quite a hefty portion of his bonus. We quote him verbatim:

Reader"I'm appreciative of the bonus I received. BoA's online ACH withdrawals from their account cost 3$. No biggie, a bit of a ripoff but nonetheless. I withdrew my money expecting the fee to be automatically deducted. It wasn't, and my balance was -3$. This is NSF (Non Sufficient Funds) so they slammed another 20$ on top of it. They wait 5 days to subtract your 3 dollars, sneaky.
Like your site, J."

It is to be noted that BOA always charges a transaction fee (currently $3) for withdrawing funds by ACH from our checking accounts.

Our experience
When we wanted to close our checking account with them, their customer service informed us that we needed to bring our account's balance to $0 before their closure process could kick in. Now being frugal we did not pay $3 ACH fees for withdrawing money out of our account. BOA's bill pay is FREE. So we did a bill pay for the entire balance to our savings account elsewhere.

After five business days when our online account balance showed $0, we called their customer service and requested a closure. To be on the safe side we also sent a bank email to the same effect. Within a week the account was closed and we received a letter from BOA stating the same. But that is not the end of our story!

Here is a recap from our scary experience of BOA closure: For the next few months we continued to receive statements for the closed account. Every month BOA charged $3 as monthly maintenance fees for NSF on a closed account! We quote from our previous post:
"We followed up the statement with a call to Bank of America's customer service. The representative was extremely friendly and helpful. He told us that according to Bank of America's policy we would continue to receive statements for our closed accounts for 60 - 90 days after the closure. But we should be careful to notice the charges on the statements. If there were any monthly fees that were charged to our closed accounts, we should immediately call them (i.e. BOA's customer service) and have it reversed. Else the charges might add up and go to a collection agency if we do not pay them. That would definitely affect our credit history!"
Time and again we have learnt that corporate America can be deeply sneaky. We need to really read the fine print and all paper work with great care. But even then we may be taken for a ride. Here are a few of our harrowing experiences with various corporations:
If you have had rough sails or unpleasant experiences we would request you to kindly share them for the benefit of all. We sympathize with J and thank him heartily for sharing his experience. His story will help our audience to be careful in their dealings with BOA and other corporations. Looking forward towards your experiences, feedback and opinions.

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Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

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