Bank of America: "Free" Checking Means You Have To Call And Have The Fee Waived Every Month

Reader Tara has a checking account with Bank of America that’s supposed to be “free” if she meets 1 of 3 balance requirements. She meets one of them, but Bank of America keeps charging her $20 — and they don’t intend to stop.

My husband and I have 4 accounts with Bank of America – equity line of credit, checking, savings and a credit card. To qualify for free checking, you have to meet 1 of 3 requirements. 1st is to have a minimum of $5,000 in your checking account, the 2nd is to have $5,000 in your savings and the 3rd is to have a line of credit over a certain amount. Well, our equity loan is over that 3rd limit.

However, for the last couple of months, we continue to get the $20 account maintenance fee on our checking account. The first time we called, the associate waived the fee. The second time the associate waived the fee but told us we will have to continue to call to have it waived EVERY TIME after it was charged.

We were not sure why, so this last time my husband and I were very angry. He went in to our local branch and wanted a complete explanation of why we were continuing to get the charges and when they were going to stop.

They told him that though you only had to meet 1 of 3 requirements, that only one the computer checked every month was the $5,000 limit in your checking (which for most average Americans is the only requirement that is most likely the hardest to meet, especially during these economic times).

Even if our savings met the limit we would still get the $20 fee. My husband asked if he was really going to have to monitor our account every month for it, and the only way to have it not charged to us is to call after the fact EVERY MONTH? She said he was correct! So, Bank of America is more than willing to rip you off with the hopes that you don’t keep up with your accounts, even though you meet the requirements for fee-free banking! We have banked with them for 8 years and have 4 accounts, and the answer we got was that we would have to call monthly, sit on hold and speak to someone different every time to make sure the bank wasn’t taking the money they shouldn’t be taking in the first place. Ridiculous! Needless to say, as soon as our house sells (it’s on the market now), we are closing all accounts and moving elsewhere.


Tara C. from Nashville, TN

Sounds like a good plan to us. Anyone else have this problem with Bank of America?

(Photo: epicharmus )