Bank of America is testing a pilot program in which the bank is trying out new checking accounts and new fees. The programs are currently being tested in the states of Georgia, Arizona and Massachusetts. The checking account fees and charges come in a variety of different amounts and also employee various restrictions and user fees if the customer does not maintain a predetermined balance. The bank states that they are implementing these new programs in order to clarify to customers the banking charges they could incur if they violate the provisions of the program they select.
Here is what Bank of America is prosing:
Bank of America said the monthly fees in the pilot will be $6, $9, $12, $15 and $25, depending on the type of account and level of service that comes with it. Bank representatives declined to be more specific about what fees are attached to each account, stating it is testing different fees in the three states.
- “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 days of the free checking account may be coming to an end. Most major banks are looking into ways to eliminate free checking and charge fees, depending on which program you choose to join. What I find interesting is that the bank is testing different fees in each state. It seems that B of A is trying to figure out how much they can gouge , oops, charge their customers.
The biggest changes in the banking industry is how they charge for over draft fees. Hopefully those who read this were smart enough to inform their bank to remove over draft protection on their accounts.