Exposed: Bank of America’s fee increase letter

bankofdeathstar

Here it is: an official letter from Bank of America spelling out all the bad news.

For one, they’re raising their fees in several areas. Two, they’re expanding their definition of the “Foreign Transaction.” And three, they’re eliminating a credit card rewards program for average cardholders.

Talk about a bummer. You can download the entire letter here, but we’re going to go into more detail below.

boaletter_fees

Let’s start from the top: Bank of America is raising fees on this entire list of card features. And no matter what the fee ends up, the minimum you’ll pay on each is $10. Do all seven? That’s at least $70 extra on your bill. Who can afford that?

The thing is, American 1 doesn’t charge a fee on any of those listed items. None.

boaletter_foreign

As you can see above, BoA is expanding their definition of a “Foreign Transaction” so they can charge you their 3 percent fee plus any other fee that applies. That fee is triple what American 1 charges.

boaletter_travel

Finally, Bank of America is cancelling their Basic Air Rewards for everyday cardholders.

After doing some digging, we found out that Basic Air Rewards are still available – but only to Visa Signature and World MasterCard accounts. If you’re a basic BoA cardholder, you’re stuck with FlexAir Rewards.

American 1 does it differently: our ScoreCard rewards points are available to everyone, no matter what card you have.

This letter from Bank of America just shows why having one of their cards in your wallet can cost you. Find out more at our Top Secret Visa site, and think about transferring your BoA credit card balance to an American 1 Visa.

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7 Responses to “Exposed: Bank of America’s fee increase letter”


  1. 1 William Lauterbach May 18, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    This is the reason why we “fired” B of A at the first of the year. However, this was from a BUSINESS standpoint!

    Our company had a merchant account with B of A to handle our credit card transactions. They were raising our fees and rates per transaction every other month! Then when I found out they were given OUR TAX DOLLARS as a bailout and also bought Countrywide Home Mortgage, I said….”That’s it! You’re fired!”

    We went straight to American 1 to open our business account….

    Now if I can only get rid of B of A as our home loan lender! We’re not in any type of foreclosure situation. However, just being associated with these crooks (my opinion) makes me cringe every time I send in our mortgage payment.

    Plus….we are stuck and unable to refinance with American 1. We are just one of MILLIONS of homeowners whose mortgage is “under water”….

    Sincerely;

    William E. Lauterbach, Jr.
    Owner, DWM Communications
    Hanover, MI

  2. 2 american1fcu May 18, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Sorry to hear about your experiences, William, but we’re glad to have you at American 1.

  3. 3 William Lauterbach May 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Sorry to hear about your experiences, William, but we’re glad to have you at American 1.
    ==============================================================
    Not any longer. I’ll be moving back to Comerica tomorrow. They have “real time” balances in their “Available Balance” hopper that doesn’t trick a customer into overdrafting on their debit cards….

    It’s hard to judge ones exact balance on a debit card from American One. When gas stations and mail order businesses put a hold charge or a test charge (along then the actual charge) on your purchases, you are not able to see what actually is going on with your account because American One doesn’t list those holds or test charges. Comerica Bank does. Comerica Bank is REAL TIME, both on AVAILABLE BALANCE and CURRENT BALANCE logging.

    That’s why we never had an overdraft problem at Comerica.

    I wish now that I hadn’t have bought into your commercial ad campaign against Comerica….

    Regards;

    William Lauterbach

  4. 4 american1fcu May 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Sorry to hear about you leaving, William.

    This is a great illustration of why it’s a good idea to keep your checkbook balanced. By keeping up to date on your spending, you know how much is in your account at all times.

    No one is trying to trick anyone. In fact, credit unions like American 1 encourage responsible money management. The “current” versus “available” issue has to do with how you use your debit card and when merchants take the funds out. We’d be glad to have someone talk it over with you.

    Home banking can spoil us at times. I’m guilty of it myself.

  5. 5 William Lauterbach May 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    No one is trying to trick anyone. In fact, credit unions like American 1 encourage responsible money management. The “current” versus “available” issue has to do with how you use your debit card and when merchants take the funds out. We’d be glad to have someone talk it over with you.
    —————————————————————-
    Before accusing a business of not keeping a check book balanced, perhaps you should find out the facts before keyboarding.

    I had an unauthorized charge that triggered this cascading effect. Now how would I know about the unauthorized charge until it CLEARS? The problem??? American One doesn’t ITEMIZE pending transactions as Comerica does. Comerica has a real time online chart entitled: “Pending Transactions”. It lists the amount and the name of the business. American One does NOT provide this service.

    Had I still been with Comerica, I would have come home and found that the unauthorized charge from the auto parts store did, in fact, transpire. I would have then returned to the store for a credit….and NOT have ordered the same part online….thus triggering this cascading effect.

    If you don’t believe financial institutions are attempting to “trick” consumers, you are not being honest with yourself. For example, why is it that “Check 21” was set up for electronic debits only? When batching out my credit card terminal, the electronic credit/deposit takes 48 to 72 hours to complete. We all know why this is. So debits make it through the system quicker than the credits. This produces fees for the financial institutions.

    If you doubt that financial institutions haven’t become “fee based”, please read the following:

    **Banks have found even trickier ways of raiding your wallet, and they’re even targeting good customers who never bounce a check.**

    By Liz Pulliam Weston

    Article URL:

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/BetterBanking/BankFeesAreMoreOutrageousThanEver.aspx

    Sincerely;

    William E. Lauterbach, Jr.
    DWM Communications

    P.S. Someone from American One has phoned this morning and hopefully, the issue will be resolved.

  6. 6 american1fcu May 26, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    No one was accusing you of anything, William. Given the context, simply pointing out that balanced checkbooks are a good thing to have was a “tip of the day.” The “you” in my comment was directed at a general audience.

    Thanks for sharing the article. Liz makes a good point in her article, that credit union “fees and terms are often much more consumer-friendly than the typical bank.” Looking through the specific fees she lists, I’d put our fees up against almost anyone’s.

    You’re right: a heads-up on upcoming transactions is a useful tool, and a neat idea. You’ve found something that works for you, which is great. We’re always looking at ways of improving our online products, and your experiences elsewhere point us in a good direction.

  7. 7 William Lauterbach May 26, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    We’re always looking at ways of improving our online products, and your experiences elsewhere point us in a good direction.
    ————————————————————
    I hope this is a sincere statement and we will soon see an itemized “Transactions Pending” hopper. I would like to see American One improve it’s online banking technology. We also have a personal account with you folks as well as my business account. So we need up-to-the-minute banking info, day and night.

    I must say you a MUCH further ahead than the local “County” bank. They’re so behind the times that they send checks through the Federal Reserve system via Pony Express!

    ;-)

    Bill Lauterbach


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