Bank of America Raises MyAccess Checking Account Fees 5/24

My very first big boy bank account was with Bank of America, opened when I first landed at college nearly 15 years ago. I realized today that even though I have probably opened and closed nearly a hundred (yes, 100) bank accounts since then and pocketed several thousand dollars in signup bonuses (yes, a least that much) in the process since then, I have always kept that same Bank of America account open.

BofA has a bunch of different accounts across the nation, but from what I recall, the MyAccess Checking account I opened was one of the most basic and the easiest to avoid a monthly fee on. Today, I received notice that they will be raising some fees, effective for statement cycles starting on or after May 24, 2011. The monthly fee is now $12, up from $8.95. To avoid it, I’ll have to keep at least $1,500 in my account or have a direct deposit of at least $250. Previously, a direct deposit of any amount was acceptable.

Neither of changes will really affect my current banking patterns, but it does signal that fees are going up and reminds me that there are other deals out there. Am I somehow emotionally attached to a bank account after all these years? Or maybe I’m just a creature of habit.


  1. MyAccess comes up from time to time for no fees if you open online. I got tired of maintaining a minimal direct-deposit on mine, so I cancelled last year, then got an offer from them to get something like $50 for opening it again – this time with no minimum balance fees.

    I maintain an account there for the same reasons – they are everywhere, and sometimes I want to deposit a paper check. I actively seek out other ATM for withdraws, though. I don’t feel right giving them their high ATM fees, even if Ally pays me back.

  2. Money Beagle says:

    I haven’t seen any rate increases for our bank yet (Fifth Third) but even if they did, hopefully they would have the waivers along the lines of what you mentioned. If that were the case, it wouldn’t affect me either. Ours is free checking as of right now!

  3. Paper Stacker says:

    BoA was also my first ‘big boy’ bank account. After becoming gainfully employed and building a serious balance, I realized that they just weren’t competitive with rates and benefits. Closed the savings account first (it was earning a paltry 0.05%) but left the checking account for direct deposit. I was too attached to just let it go. Finally, the fact that they were going to charge me $25 for a new book of checks was the last straw.

    I would say that a majority of people are too attached/habitual to change their financial lives even when its clearly beneficial.

  4. I was reluctant to close my first checking account, even though I had moved on to much greener (ha) pastures elsewhere. Something about it being the first one, and that it was with me for my first job!

  5. Have gotten no rate increase notices. To be honest I don’t even know what type of account I have with them. Just know that when I opened my account over 10 years ago, it required direct deposit and there was a $2 service charge to visit a teller. Yet to visit one.

    BofA IMO has about the best online banking/bill pay product out there. Have no other products with BofA but have continued to use their checking/online banking product for over 10 years. As said before, they are everywhere, including the Von’s I shop at. Very easy to deposit checks when I go shopping.

    @Paper Stacker. Why would you get your checks from BofA when there are so many alternative check printing companies who do it for far less. Does anyone really use checks that much when you can pay someone with bill pay and have BofA pay the postage?

  6. Does anyone have experience with Bank of America’s eBanking cheeking account? (Free with paperless statements until you make a transaction with a teller resulting in a $8.95/month fee.) Can you still see a teller in person to ask questions, get help with problems, etc? So as long as you don’t make a transaction in person you still avoid the fee?

  7. I am also still using my first checking account that I opened more than a decade ago. With dozens financial accounts (internet saving, mortgage, loans, investment, etc) linked to that checking account, I need to be really motivated to go through the hassle of switching checking account.

  8. Debbie says:

    BofA is my first big girl checking account! At the time, it was Fleet, but made the transition to BofA within a month of me opening the account. My parents still have their first original bank account too. Even though its not nearly as good as it used to be (having gone from World Savings to Wachovia to Wells Fargo), they still keep theirs because of the fact that theres a note in their account that says Priority Customer, even though they’ve long since moved the majority of their money to online savings accounts. I’d like to think if I keep my account with BofA for long enough, something similar might happen as well. Though a $250 DD requirement may be the catalyst to making me leave, esp. if you can’t fake it with an ACH transfer.

  9. BOA does have one of the nicest online interface and good ATM’s everywhere. I do believe they charge for external transfer tho, so I just use Ally/Etrade for push/pull.

    By the way:
    “Beginning June 6, 2011 we will no longer provide the on-going match in Keep the
    Change. We will pay the match on all qualifying transactions through June 6, 2011”

  10. I agree with JD and Shraz that the online banking and ATM experience is what keeps me at BofA. I’ve opened accounts at other brick-and-mortar banks with online banking options, only to discover that their ATMs are still using envelopes, and I’m not able to perform external transfers of money in nor out! BofA has crummy interest rates and you can get dinged on fees if you’re not careful, but I still use them as a hub between my various bank accounts. Now if only they would allow me to take photos of my checks to deposit them…

  11. shraz,
    Where did you read that keep the change will be going away? This has been a real money maker for me. I’m on my 8th Ktc, and I’ve made nearly $2000 from this program in just over a year, although it does require some work. Ack!

  12. I recently closed my account because of the $8.95 fee. Good thing I did, I guess.

  13. David: This month bank statement

  14. Robert says:

    I stopped banking big banks.

    I’m not sure who I’m mad at the most though. Government for being itself and passing legislation that resulted in all of the new fees and perks going away….or the banks for doing it.

    I bank with USAA. Accounts are free, fees schedule is very reasonable, and they refund all ATM fees which makes up for the fact that they don’t have any ATMs. You have to have a military connection to be a member though.

  15. I got a notice a few months ago that they would start charging fees for my checking account. I switched to a not-in-person checking account that had no fees (can’t remember the name) basically as long as you didn’t use tellers. Made no difference, I only use online/ATMs anyway. BoA may not treat customers the best but I stay for the ATM locations and nice online banking interface.

  16. Shraz,
    I checked my statement, and it said it is only stopping the matching if you enrolled before December 1st 2010… so anybody after then still gets it (people that applied before then are only getting the minimal match anyway since the 3 month window is up).

    I looked at creating a new account, and KTC still exists as an option for now. I would think if they were trying to end the program, they wouldn’t keep offering it as an option.

  17. I phoned BofA and said that, since I had opened my account online, I was supposed to get it free and I asked if that had changed with the new fees. I was told that it would continue to remain free, even though there’s nothing in the new fee schedule that states this.

  18. KHodges says:

    eBanking sounds like the account you need. I just switched my Campus Edge (College Account) to this one today. Apparently I can go in and ask any questions like normal but the person cannot do any deposits or withdrawals from my account for me. I am strictly limited to use of the ATM machine unless I am depositing something like coins which the machines obviously don’t handle. The end result will be the same banking experience as a free checking with all statements received through email. I think this is a great deal and seems to me to be bank of America’s way of ditching the younger more tech savvy customers who don’t visit the branch anyway. I on one hand haven’t been inside my banks branch in over 6 years. Soon they will do away with the personal teller all together… this is the end goal since they have to makeup the fees they would have normally charged to those persons with an account that ended up changing.

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