New Bank of America Checking Fees & Checking Accounts for 2011

Marina Shifrin

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Thu Jan 6, 2011, Last Updated on Mon Nov 17, 2014

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Not to be out done, Bank of America announced its plans to introduce a new selection of checking accounts that bring with it a tiered checking fee structure.

America’s largest bank plans to roll out their new checking accounts through a pilot program that will be tested in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts beginning this month.  With the plan to expand the program across the country in the second half of 2011.

Back in October we highlighted the decision to discontinue their Free Checking. Shifting their focus to a new account called eBanking, which they launched during the summer of 2010. The new tech-savvy account was designed for those consumers who banked without the use of tellers or branch services.

While not fully confirmed, it seems under the new program, consumers will have a choice in how they pay for their accounts. Options, such as linking multiple accounts, or opening credit card with the bank would allow you to avoid fees as high as $25 a month. This move slightly mirrors a direction deployed by Wells Fargo, which forced customers to extend their relationship to multiple accounts to avoid fees.

Not much is known of the new fee structure, but NPR was able to learn that customers will have the option to apply for monthly fees of $6, $9, $12, $15 and $25.

Bank of America’s New Checking Account Model

The new model offers four types of checking accounts:

  1. Bank of America Essentials: designed to be the most basic of their four accounts, the new checking account carries no minimum deposit. Unlike the other accounts, this option will probably require a high direct deposit, along with a minimum average daily balance. We expect the fee to be in the $6 – $10 range.
  2. eBanking Account: as we highlighted above, Bank of America rolled this account out last year. It carries no monthly fee when you choose online paperless statements and make your deposits and withdrawals online or by ATM, with out a teller, otherwise the fee is $8.95 per month.
  3. Bank of America Enhanced: unknown if this account will offer a tiered interest rate, do expect the monthly fee to be between $15 and $25. This option will also carry a monthly fee that could be unavoidable, unless you maintain a $2,000 balance or $5,000 in combined balances through linked BofA account, such as a savings or an investment.
  4. Premium Checking: Their new top tier checking account requires a minimum balance of $20,000 in linked accounts to avoid monthly fees.

With this new direction, it seems Bank of America will also be discontinuing their MyAccess Checking Account and Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking Account. No word on which of the new accounts users would be switched to, but our guess is MyAccess customers would switch to the Essentials account and Advantage with Tiered Interest would move to Premium Checking. Which means the $10,000 combined minimum balance to avoid fees is now $20,000.

New rewards program for high net worth customers

Among the changes, Bank of America is also introducing a new Platinum Privileges rewards program that offers special rates on mortgages, CDs and money market accounts when you carry a combined balance of $50,000.

This change comes as banks prepare to loose billions of revenue a year due to new interchange laws, that sets caps on the amount banks can change retailers for debit and credit card swiped transactions.

Though the concept of needing to meet certain requirements to avoid Bank of America fees is nothing new, for some current and future Bank of America customers, not knowing your banking habits could cost you as much as $300 a year.

Changes to additional banking services and fees took effect on January  6, 2011:

DescriptionFee
Non-Sufficient Fund (Overdraft)$35
Stop Payment item$30
Return Deposit$35
Domestic Wire Transfer (Outbound)$25
Domestic Wire Transfer (Inbound)$12
ATM and Debit Car Fees: Non-BofA ATM$2

How do you feel about these new Bank of America fees? Will you be staying with Bank of America this year or is this change enough to start looking for a new checking account?

In the Article

 

Post a Comment

  • living check by check

    As a struggling single mom. I was one of the last people who changed to the paperless system with BofA. Computers make mistakes all the time. I fell like we are being “railroaded” into paying more fees we can’t afford. It’s time to look for a smaller bank that appreciates it’s clients.

    • Amster3110

      state farm has no fees……

  • S.

    These options are awful! I will move if they change my account. None of the new options are acceptable to me.

  • Fuckbofa

    When will Americans wake up and start hanging bankers in the streets? This is class warfare and I for one am sick of always losing.

  • Me

    Ridiculous.

    BOFA needs to come up with better management and leadership instead of charging its customers to keep it alive and profitable.

    After being a Bank of America customer since 1994, i am officially done! This ‘straw’ definitely broke the camels back.

  • The_general_1968

    It’s not Bank of America you should be angry with. The article fails to reveal the reason B of A and other banks are raising fees. The federal government and federal reserve conspired to have legislation passed that allows the federal reserve to cut the revenue on debit transactions by 90% for issuing banks. They, in turn, have to start charging fees to make up for the lost revenue. Other banks will have to do the same, as the legislation applies to them as well. Another case of government trying to “help consumers” and it backfiring. You can comment to have the Interchange Fee Cap repealed by logging on to the federal reserve’s website and posting your comment against the Durbin amendment that limits Interchange Fees.

    • greg

      absolutely not! Those debit transaction fees are rediculous too, the government had to get involved on this one!  These fees are ridiculous the problems witht he banks are the evil jews that are running them!  In the bible this is called USURY just like when the LORD overthrew the money changers tables in the TEMPLE!   This is profitering it has become time for people to start boycotting these damn banks all together Bank of america is the worst bank of all and i have been an account holder for over 20 years when they were called nations bank but no longer I will change banks! a small local bank! 

  • Dirby

    While I have been with Bank of America for 20+ years and have 8 different accounts with them. I will not stay if they charge me a checking fee. Dave

  • greg

    absolutely not! Those debit transaction fees are rediculous too, the government had to get involved on this one!  These fees are ridiculous the problems witht he banks are the evil jews that are running them!  In the bible this is called USURY just like when the LORD overthrew the money changers tables in the TEMPLE!   This is profitering it has become time for people to start boycotting these damn banks all together Bank of america is the worst bank of all and i have been an account holder for over 20 years when they were called nations bank but no longer I will change banks! a small local bank! 

  • Rainbo2

    They made many bad loans etc and we have  to help them back.  BOff to another bank-more solvent

  • Jconsent

    I am definitely changing to a local, people friendly bank. They even offer interest on my checking and saving accounts! Good bye, BOA, after almost 40 years (includes past buy outs and take overs – Fleet, Summit, etc!) 

  • Person

    Unless I decide to put my money into a mattress then yes i will still bank there. For the service and benefit the charge is fair. Like any other business they have a right to make a profit as long as they are transparent, and we the consumer have the choice. others say they will take there banking elsewhere but where? Most banks will be charging in this fashion. And have you ever banked at a credit union, I’m sorry but im always on the go and don’t want to waste my gas and time driving across town just to use them.

    • Leintellectuelle573

      When they start charging you $12/month (Chase) for not using your checking account one month,you’ll change your mind.

  • Kathey

    My daughter will likely change her account to another bank due to the requirements to maintain an acct. She has been unable to find a job so has no place to deposit $250 direct deposit per month nor a job to maintain $1500. Since she has no job, how can she afford the maintenance fees? She no longer qualifies for s student acct. I am sure other people will also be in this position

  • j kansas

    i have been banking with ba over twenty years have advantage checking feb of 2013 o got my first $14 matiance fee i have $3,000.00 sav, murel linch 32,000.00 withe broakage
    acount in the past i would run low checking balance and was not charged a service fee
    in the middle of 2012 my checking was renamed platium cliant with out my permision
    i did e mail ba and thay said i will be charged the fees i will bee changing banks
    where theres free checking midland national bank offers free checking better intrest
    and unlimited checks for customers over 50yrs good deal
    SCREW BANK OF AMERICA with there high balance and service fees