BB&T plans to change the direct deposit fee waiver for its basic checking account, called the Bright Banking account. The bank will also introduce a new checking account that is exactly the same as the Bright Banking account, but it has a different fee policy. Furthermore, two other BB&T checking accounts will see an increase in their monthly fees.
Currently, BB&T’s Bright Banking account has a $10 monthly fee that can be waived with a single direct deposit of $100 or more per statement cycle. The fee can also be waived when customers have a $1,500 average balance, keep a combined $6,000 in deposit and loan balances in various BB&T accounts or have an active BB&T mortgage.
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Starting Aug. 12, the Bright Banking account will require a combined direct deposits totaling $500 or more per statement cycle. The other fee waiver options remain unchanged.
Depending on a customer’s unique financial situation, the change could make it easier or more difficult to avoid the monthly fee.
Customers who have multiple direct deposits totaling $500 but never a single direct deposit of $100 will find that they’re able to dodge the monthly fee. Those who do receive a direct deposit of $100 but never $500 in direct deposits in the month will soon have to deal with the monthly fee.
Other banks that have changed direct deposit fee waivers to similar formats include Chase, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank.
New account on the way
BB&T will launch the new Fundamentals Checking account, which comes with a non-avoidable $5 monthly fee. According to a BB&T customer service representative, the new account will offer the same features as the Bright Banking account.
For customers who are absolutely sure that they cannot avoid the $10 monthly fee on the Bright Banking account, they are advised to go with the Fundamentals Checking account for the cheaper $5 monthly fee.
Again, BB&T is not the first bank to offer different pricing models on basic checking accounts with the same features.
TD Bank offers its TD Simple checking account for a $5.99 monthly fee while its TD Convenience checking account has a $15 monthly fee that can be avoided with a $100 minimum balance.
Bank of America is also testing two similarly-featured checking accounts, one has a fee that can be avoided when customers opt for electronic statements and refrain from teller assistance for deposits and withdrawals while the other has a reduced, flat monthly fee.
Other upcoming changes include an increased monthly fee from $25 to $30 for BB&T’s Elite Gold Checking account and an increased monthly fee from $5 to $6 for the bank’s add-on identity protection program.
BB&T spokespeople did not reply to requests for comment as to why the bank decided to make these changes.
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