I recently received a pamphlet about the “improvements” that Bank of America is making on several of their checking accounts. But after reading through it, all I see are a bunch of small fee increases.
For example, many people have the MyAccess checking with no minimum balance requirement and no direct deposit requirement. Now, the monthly fee is either $8.95 or you need a direct deposit. And you can now be dinged by the $35 overdraft fee up to 10 times in one day. I guess they aren’t scared of another class action lawsuit. You can see all the pricing changes outlined here.
I guess they need to drum up some more money somehow, and most of the fees are still avoidable. But given that around 27% of their revenue comes from fees, and that there were $36.7 billion of overdraft charges by banks last year, I really think this is another reason banks are pushing their debit cards so much. Not only do they earn transaction fees, it makes it that much more likely that people rack up more overdraft fees. Imagine this: You lose track of your balance once, but make 5 small purchases over two days before realizing. That’ll be $175, please!
Be careful out there… those “free” checking accounts have to be paid for somehow.