BofA Tests New Checking Accounts With New Fees

Bank of America is trying out a new system of checking accounts with new rules—and new fees for breaking them.

The new accounts will be called “Essentials,” “eBanking,” “Enhanced,” and “Premium.” The monthly fees on the accounts will be $6, $9, $12, $15 or $25, depending on the account and level of service it offers. The bank won’t yet say which accounts get what fees, but they have revealed how these different accounts will work:

  • “Essentials” is one checking account with a debit card and a monthly fee, probably about $6.
  • “eBanking” is already in play and it’s one online checking account with a debit card and no fee as long as you get e-statements and don’t see any tellers. Walk up to a teller, though, and boom! Fee.
  • “Enhanced” will have a fee if you don’t keep a minimum $2,000 balance. The account will let you link up with up to two checking and two savings or money market accounts.
  • “Premium” mandates a minimum $20,000 monthly balance between accounts, lets you link up to four checking and four savings/money market accounts, and gives you free money orders and check printing. I’m betting it will get one of the higher fees as well if you don’t meet the requirements.

The accounts are designed to recoup some of the revenue already lost from recent consumer protection acts, as well as some of the cash they’ll lose out on once the interchange fee caps go into place in July.

The new accounts are getting tried out in Arizona, Georgia, and Massachusetts and will probably get rolled out nationwide by the end of the year.

Bank of America tests wider account fee choices [CharlotteObserver]