by Christopher Kendalls
I like Bank of America, but I must admit they know how to nickle and dime a customer to death. I got sick and tired of paying them $35 for overdraft charges, charges for not putting money into my account in five days, their adamant refusal to deny a bill collector access to my account electronically, which led to more overdraft charges. Needless to say I never did pay off that bill.
This is the fun part; they not only closed my account because the amount I was paying towards my balance each week was not enough but I still receive electronic notices for the money I owe them.
My favorite bank is in the news again because they are introducing a new checking account with a fee. According to ABC News, “the new account structure includes a basic checking account called “Bank of America Essentials” with a monthly fee of $9.Currently, basic checking customers can avoid a monthly $8.95 service charge by maintaining a balance of around $1,500 or by having at least one direct deposit made each statement period.”
One has to laugh at the irony; if you could afford to keep $1,500 in your account to avoid the $8.95 monthly fee you would get a better deal with another bank.
Now that regulations have changed and customers have the option to refuse the banks “goodwill” to allow them to overdraft their accounts, banks have become creative and found new financial instruments to use against consumers. Consumers that may have finally gotten their affairs in order are going to bleed all over again. If you have the option to receive an account through a credit union or employer, I would suggest going that route. Many accounts do not have any overdraft fees and will not nickle and dime you to death.
Credit unions continue to be a great option for those who simply cannot afford the fees that banks impose. Even prepaid cards are better for some consumers who simply need to know what the fees are going to be upfront and cannot afford any surprises.