Higher risk credit card holders will be given a choice of whether or not to opt out of their accounts with Bank of America® (NYSE:BAC) now that the bank plans on introducing a new $59 annual fee to cover its costs.

The fee, which broke earlier this week with Boston.com, will affect May card statements and affect just 5% of the bank’s credit card holders.

Betty Riess, a spokeswoman for Bank of America®, confirmed with MyBankTracker.com that the bank would be applying the new fee, adding that customers will have the choice of either opting to pay the new $59 fee or permanently closing their credit card accounts.

“We believe this is a fair price for the value customers receive in having continued access to their current credit line and ensures that we are covering our costs to provide and maintain the account,” Riess said in her statement.

The new fee is expected to affect just 5% of card holders and will not be tied to any particular type of credit card the bank offers. Those that are considered to be high risk by the bank, for example, those that make late payments, have lower than average FICO scores, have maxed out their credit card balances are most likely to be targeted. Such customers already pay a substantial 14% interest rate on their account balances.

The Credit Card Act, signed into law in 2009, placed limits on the ways credit card companies are allowed to charge fees in ways that included restricting finance fees to $25, prohibits inactivity fees, and allowing card issuers to charge just one fee at a time. In the event of a rate change, customers must also have advanced notice before the change occurs.

READ: Credit Card Interest Rates Up: CARD Act to Blame?

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    Beware of Bank of America! They cannot be trusted. It’s time to dump BOA and use the services of your independent local community banks & credit unions. Check out their benefits and you will be glad you did!

    • Alex Matjanec

      Do you have a community bank or credit union that you use, which you could recommend to our readers?


        I have all my insurance needs with STATE FARM! They are also my CREDIT UNION & BANK of choice. They provide excellent service & benefits. Go to http://www.statefarm.com for more info.

  • Iizcheer

    Wow this fee was applied to my BOA account. I carry a balance of less the 20% of my credit limit, haven’t been late in a couple years and have over a 700 credit rating. This article makes me even madder. I also have a checking, saving and cash reserve with BOA. All of which I am closing.

  • Mlarsen1984

    I just got a notice today saying they are adding the $59 anual charge to my account. Funny thing is they just doubled my line of credit 4 days ago, on an account that has a zero ballance. I think they are hitting a LOT of people with this charge. These greedy slimey bankers make me sick, they want to squeeze every ounce of blood out of you. I will be closing my account.

  • Kscrull

    Boa is full of devious actions! I have never paid late, and carry a small balance with them. I have a ding on my credit from two years ago when my ex husband quit paying our mortgage we had with them due to job loss. We have since settled with them on repayment. I have a 770 credit score and a good full time job. I will definitely be paying off that card and never using them again! Boa sucks and they were of no help when our house didn’t sell for three years and my ex lost his job. They didn’t give a crap!

  • TBone

    I was also hit wit this fee…….I called the bank to find out exactly why and after some back and forth was told that this charge was being implemented for all cardholders, not just high-risk. I plan on paying off my card and closing my accounts at BOA.

  • Eric

    I have 2 cards with BoA for the last 5 years and have never been late with my payments once. They sent me the notice for each that they will be charging a $59 fee on my cards. Time to take my business elsewhere…

  • badfroggy

    I got the fee too. My credit rating is around 770 and I have never been late on one of their cards (or anyone else’s). I’m guessing they tagged me because I have been carrying a balance, and because most of the balance currently carries an interest rate of 1.25 percent. Captive audience….

  • NO BOA

    I also received notice of the fee. We currently have a credit score of over $700. I have never been late on my payments, pay more than the minimum and also only owe 20% of the total credit limit. I have had other loans with BOA in which are also always paid on time. I will also be closing my account and changing banks. We have gone to a credit union.

  • John R.

    I suspect this 59 dollars times however many cardholders will generate enough cash to raise dividends this year to stockholders in attempts to attract more investors and thus drive BOA’s stock up for all the top executives. I have closed my account and will challenge their legality if my credit score is negatively impacted when they were the ones who changed the terms of the agreement. Call it what you will but it’s blackmail.

  • starskater

    I also got the notice. I am not “high risk”! I always pay on time, paying off a $1000+ balance every month. My credit score is Excellent with no bad marks. I have been a BOA customer for over 9 years. I have my bank account with them also. The real reason may be Obama’s crack down on credit card rules put out in Dec.

  • Gene Whalen is not my name

    I opened a month-old “important letter” Thursday and discovered BA planned to bill me the $59 fee!!! Since it has no cash back or other noteworthy features, I only used it where they don’t accept my Discover or if I forget my Discover. On average I charge $5 a month and pay it automatically, so they probably don’t even cover the postage to mail my statement. I felt the $59 was there way of telling me to f* off. On Friday I called my credit union and applied for and was approved for a no-fee visa that was (1) issued in my own state (2) has no over-limit fee (3) no cash-advance fee (4) automatically forgives the first late fee in 12 months. That night I received my Apr statement – we have “reconsidered” that $59 fee we were planning to charge you, “no action is required on your part”, if you have any “confusion” please call customer service. Right. I expect them to revisit the fee thing next year.

  • Amberelise

    They really will not remove the fee, so I closed my $5.45 balance, $10,000 limit, 12 year old line.  My FICO score loss immediately, their loss over time.