Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

5.71% Money Market Savings Account at Bank of America

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Bank of America
Update 10/27/07: Rates have continued to fall on this account. Please check BoA's website for latest rates.

Bank of America is offering a Money Market Savings account with a yield of up 5.71% APY. It's not their typical savings account. But unlike their affinity money market accounts that I mentioned last year (see post), there are no implied membership requirements. I've confirmed with the banking rep that anyone can apply.

It's the MyExpressions Banking, Defenders of Wildlife, Money Market Savings Account. Here's the direct link. Due to the fancy website they have, this might not take you directly to the rate table. So here's how to get to this page from Bank of America's home page:
  • From the home page, Click on "MyExpression Banking New!" link. That will take you here.
  • Click on "See All" under Charitable Causes. That will take you here.
  • Click on the Defenders of Wildlife "Shop for products" link. That'll take you here.
  • For the Savings product, click on the right arrow of the "More savings options, 1 of 2". This should take you to 2 of 2.
  • Click on "Rates & Fees" and then the "More" link. The rate table should then appear.

I've noticed that this rate table changes a little for different states. Here is the rate tier for Texas:

Balance Rate APY
Less than $2,500 2.96% 3.00%
$2,500 - $9,999 5.22% 5.35%
$10,000 - $24,999 5.32% 5.45%
$25,000 - $49,999 5.32% 5.45%
$50,000 - $99,999 5.57% 5.71%
$100,000 - $499,999 5.57% 5.71%
$500,000 - $2,499,999 5.57% 5.71%
$2,500,000 and over 5.57% 5.71%

As you can see, even the low tier between $2.5k and $10k is a very respectable 5.35% APY. Here are some of the important terms of this money market savings account:
  • Minimum opening balance of $1000
  • Minimum daily balance of $2,500 to avoid $12 monthly maintenance fee
  • Write up to a total of three checks each monthly statement cycle
  • If transactions exceed the legal limit (6 withdrawals, 3 by check), $10 per transaction
  • Hard credit pull when you apply as a new customer
  • No fees to close the account at anytime.

I checked the savings accounts for the other charitable causes, and all had much lower rates. So I thought there might be a mistake. I did an online chat session with the banking rep, and when I asked why the rate was so much higher than the others, he said "Great Question, this rate just became available, enjoy the high rate and open a new account." So it's hard to say if this will last. Unlike the affinity accounts, this one isn't indexed with the MFR, so it could change at any time in the future. But according to the rep, there are no closing fees. He did say there's a hard credit pull. However, readers have noted this can be avoided if you already have a BoA account and log in during the application.

We'll have to wait and see how long these rates will last. I'm sure many people may be a little distrustful of Bank of America. I've been hit with fees on my past accounts, and many readers have also reported being hit with fees. I've been able to get the fees waived after complaining, but it's always a hassle. Also, several readers have reported problems receiving sign-up bonuses. But there are some advantages of having an account at a major bank with a nationwide network of branches and ATMs.

For more Bank of America accounts and promotions, please see my Bank of America promotion post.

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this money market account in the finding deals post.
  Tags: money market accounts, savings account, Bank of America

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Comments
60 comments.
Comment #1 by mk (anonymous) posted on
mk
Wow .... just in time to move funds from FNBO

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
There is another BOA 5.71% money market savings account offered, if you prefer the Humane Society. It is shown under the second batch of charitable accounts.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Best deal for combo I have found is HSBC for local banking at 5.05% APY linked to 2.50% Online billpayment account linked to .05% interest checking for those rare times when u need to deposit cash to a teller, then automatically use the ATM after the deposit to move it to online savings. Then linked to either IndyMac or Countrywide depending on how much funds you have. If you have 25k+ indymac is the best bet. If you had 10k+ then countrywide is the best bet at 5.75% and 5.50%.

If anyone knows of a better LOCAL BANK IN NYC than HSBC with 5.05% APY to use as my primary banking relationship to link other accounts with let me know. :-) Im always on the lookout for such.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Teaser rate that will end in 2 weeks. BofA sucks...

1
Comment #5 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
While rates could change I would hardly call them "Teaser Rates" I have had these affinity accounts for over a year now. Started with the AAA account and at that time the Defenders account rate was 5.20%. recently opened the Defenders account when the AAA account dropped some because it's indexed to the MFR. In the last month the Defenders account has had a couple nice bump up's, Not sure why. Still have the AAA account which has moved back up to 5.34% APY. So can easily move money between accounts. I have found BoA to be an excellent bank and is nice to have a strong bank so no worrying about exceeding FDIC limits

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just opened my account! Yook me 30 secs!

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To Scott--

Glad to see your positive review. Have you ever had a problem with the wrong interest rate being applied?

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Could someone please tell me what the "MFR" is? Thanks

1
Comment #9 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
I have had the AAA, NEA and now Defenders. Have had correct interest 100% of time. Also since BoA has been offering such great rates I have moved a bunch to them. It only takes $100k to get a Premier relationship with them and you get your own personal local rep to use for any problems.

MFR, Is Money Fund Report. It updates every Wednesday afternoon. You can find all the info you need here
http://www.imoneynet.com/

right now rate is 4.71%, Then add .25 for $10k+ and .50 for $50k+



$2,500 - $9,999 MFR 4.71 4.81
$10,000 - $49,999 MFR + .25 4.96 5.07
$50,000 and over MFR + .50 5.21 5.34

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Comment #10 by djc314 (anonymous) posted on
djc314
This is incredible for BOA! I have been a BOA client for years and while I love thier bill pay and other net offerings they have never been known for great MM rates...I just spent a decent amount of time on the phone..the first couple of guys had no idea what I was talking about...and lost connecton...finally got to thier affinity department 800-653-7930 and they were very helpful...these charitable accounts are holdovers from the MBNA buyout and BOA kinda keeps them quiet as they don't want a lot of BOA clients moving from 3% to 5% interest rates..I asked if this was a teaser and the fellow said no and that it has been over 5% for a while...he switched me over and was very pleasent.

1
Comment #11 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
hoping all this talk about these accounts don't get so many people opening or changing to them that they lower them. We have been discussing these accounts for about a year now on this Fat Wallet thread

http://www.fatwallet.com/t/52/655717/

BoA is starting to know about these accounts now, I remember when I first opened mine last year my local branch manager told me I should look at a CD as it would pay more than a savings account. I told him the rate on my account and he said, "That can't be a BoA product". Even a couple months ago I got a call from a new Premier rep telling me he could help me get better rates, Told him the same thing I told branch manager. He knew nothing about these affinity accounts and asked me to email him the links to them. Thought that was pretty funny

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Two questions:

Do you have to open this online or can you go to your local branch?

How do you fund it? If you open it online, can you bring a check in to your local branch?

Thanks.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You have to open it online. The interest rate for accounts opened in the banking center are lower. And yes you can make a deposit at the banking center.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
$2,500 - $9,999 5.22% 5.35%
$10,000 - $24,999 5.32% 5.45%
$25,000 - $49,999 5.32% 5.45%
$50,000 - $99,999 5.57% 5.71%

Does this mean if you have, say, $70K, then you have 20K that's making 5.57%, 40K that's making 5.32%, .75K making 5.22%, etc.?

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
From Anonymous:
$2,500 - $9,999 5.22% 5.35%
$10,000 - $24,999 5.32% 5.45%
$25,000 - $49,999 5.32% 5.45%
$50,000 - $99,999 5.57% 5.71%

Does this mean if you have, say, $70K, then you have 20K that's making 5.57%, 40K that's making 5.32%, .75K making 5.22%, etc.?
--------------------------------
All your money gets the same rate. The rate depends on the total balance in your account.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
What's the ACH like on these accounts? Do they restrict externally-initiated transfer? More importantly, do they have an ACH system of their own, and is it free?

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Is the three checks an allowance or a requirement, i.e., you CAN write up to three checks or you MUST write three checks? Put another way, any penalty if account holder writes no checks?

1
Comment #18 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
You can write 3 checks. Checks don't even come with the account, If you want them you must request them

1
Comment #19 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
No, you don't have to write 3 checks a month...you don't need to write any checks at all from the MM Savings Account....

They don't limit ACH Pulls from their Checking of course, but this being a MM Account, you are subject to the federal "6" rule for Money Market and Savings Accounts...

This says no more then 6 transfers between accounts online or telephone, ach pulls, and not more then 3 checks can be written (and counts to the total 6)...

But atm withdrawals or teller withdrawals at a branch would be unlimited, or transfers from the MM Account to their Checking, at the ATM machine, would also be unlimited....

The Defenders and Humane accounts have had very high rates for a very long time...but up until now they were a bit lower then the NEA/AAA accounts (but great for BOA...lol)....right now, they are actually higher then those...

1
Comment #20 by Craig (anonymous) posted on
Craig
Oh..regarding ACH transfers...using BOA's own external transfer system...

Free on INBOUND ACH Transfers
$3 per OUTBOUND ACH TRANSFER

If you want to transfer out from them for free, you will have to ACH pull from another bank....

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks Craig, Thanks Scott, for clarification on 3 checks.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm going to open with the $2500. and give it a go. Banking Guy, thanks for the detailed instructions for finding the site, so easy to follow. This is a great MM rate for BofA. I expect some money 9/26 and had planned to put it in Vanguard Prime MM, but this is better and hope they don't end it soon. Think the high CD rates are likely to end very soon.

1
Comment #23 by Marean (anonymous) posted on
Marean
hi"} first of all thanks so very much for the great info shared on this blog - regardless of how i get to the money market rate - is shows .20 apy only, for all balances - i live in WA, has anyone recently since 9/9/07 been able to open an act with 5.71 ? and if so which state - thanks very much" - if there is anyone from WA can u please check to see what rate is offered when you follow the links - thanks very much "}}

1
Comment #24 by Marean (anonymous) posted on
Marean
sorry, please disregard the above post, i missed a step and have since located the rates mentioned" thanks again .....

1
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does BoA give customers' information to the charitable causes?

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Called BOA at 800# didn't know anything about this product. Called branch in NY and they didn't know either. They gave me the phone # for their online products. Was told that you needed to be a customer of the bank to get the MY Expression Banking product. Didn't see anything about that online. Seems they are a bit disorganized.

1
Comment #27 by Killer Spinach (anonymous) posted on
Killer Spinach
can someone explain why they have a couple of high interest accounts buried in a sea of 0.20% accounts?

1
Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I understand you must open the account online not in a local bank. I spoke to a rep this morning to find out details of withdrawing funds if the rate "falls in the toilet". He said, just go to a local bank and withdraw your funds and close account. Sounds good to me!

1
Comment #29 by Niraj (anonymous) posted on
Niraj
Are these charitable money market savings accounts FDIC insured? Where do they invest your money meaning what financial instrument they use to invest your money?

1
Comment #30 by Cole (anonymous) posted on
Cole
yes they are FDIC insured so who cares where they invest.

1
Comment #31 by Marc Schoenfeld (anonymous) posted on
Marc Schoenfeld
be prepared to get on the phone with customer service. my account appeared only and said "checking-xxxx" so i called to make sure they opened the right one and they said it was a cash maximizer account but had no notation that it was an affinity account and then they couldn't figure out how to make it right. Waiting for call back from supervisor. I'm sure they will make it right, but prepare for being on the phone. i had another occasion where the wrong account was opened and after a month I got my statement with the wrong interest and they credited me the difference. But I think this deal is so good, their systems are not setting it up correctly.

1
Comment #32 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened account on Sunday. Received the account number today and funded it! All done, no problems what so ever. Also got the free checking account and will use it for bill Pay.

1
Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
After reading this, I thought I'd finally move my 100k savings from Wachovia to BofA. I figured BoA would be very interested, so I printed this webpage out (great article, by the way) and brought it to my local branch here in NC. At first the associate said "that's a special Texas-only rate; the North Carolina rate is 3.8%". Then I pointed out where she could find it on the website, and then she refused to complete the online form at her desk, saying that I had to fill out the form using my own computer and come back to the bank. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as it is a good rate, but the lack of service was really shocking. It's such a good rate though, that I'm going for it anyway, rude bank associates be ****ed.

1
Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Regarding the anonymous person who opened the account on Sunday. Received the account # today and funded the account.
Question: How did you receive the account # and fund the account? Did you hear from BofA by telephone? I applied for the account Saturday on the internet and spoke to a rep today who told me I would receive the package in the mail with the directions for funding, etc., which may take 2-4 business days.

1
Comment #35 by Bill (anonymous) posted on
Bill
Watch what rate they apply on your first statement. When I opened the AAA MM account I had to call because the account was only earning 1%. They fixed the rate and made an adjustment for the lost interest.

1
Comment #36 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This deal appears to have vanished. There is no MMA Savings product, just regular savings.

1
Comment #37 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Local CA branch in Chatsworth is awful. After my call didn't get me anywhere I visited the branch. I was told the rate is 5% and the Manager doubted that there would be a significant hike in rate since last week. When I asked about this specific 0n-line account and referenced where I had obtained the imformation for it they told me this site is worthless and if it aint on B of A site, it is only a waste of time.
I explained I was looking at a $200K deposit and the answer I received was "SO?" I guess they don't need the money and believe in putting the "CUS" in Customer Service.

1
Comment #38 by Puey Wei (anonymous) posted on
Puey Wei
The in branch rate was about 150 points lower. However, they were nice about it and helped me complete the online application.

Interestingly, I could make a $1000 initial deposit via credit card, even though I had existing accounts and I was logged in.

1
Comment #39 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anonymous, you said, the Cash Maximizer account had vanished. No, it is still there, just be sure you check in properly, just as Good Guy recommended.

1
Comment #40 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To Anon--

I went to my local banking center and gave them my SSN and they looked up the account number for me. Of course they asked for my ID as well.

1
Comment #41 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
DON'T CLOSE THIS ACCOUNT UNTIL INTEREST IS POSTED. THE INTEREST IS PAID MONTHLY SO LEAVE MINIMUM BALANCE TO NOT OBTAIN MONTHLY CHARGES AND LOOSE INTEREST.

Along with everyone else I had the WORST experience with this account.

Saturday: Copied entire post and brought it to local branch. Spent 2 hours being told they don't know the code to open the account. Told me to come back Monday.

Monday: Same branch same problems.

Monday: New branch, manager opened the account after 1 hour of problems he experienced himself. Told me on-line account only but he did his job.

I told him why not open these accounts at the branch for those without experience opening on-line accounts. He is looking into it of course it takes time and personnel. Seniors who have funds would appreciate this.

I believe all the negative stories about BOA but will go back to the outstanding branch manager who cared about CS.

1
Comment #42 by Cole (anonymous) posted on
Cole
to the previous anoymouse: Why in the world would you go through the branch considering all the problem posts with branch opening? This is geared for on-line opening which is quick and efficient. NO HUMAN INTERVENTION required! I opened at 5pm Friday, received the email on Saturday with account open and funded on Monday.

1
Comment #43 by Cole (anonymous) posted on
Cole
P.S. did it occur to you that this is not an account that BOA is publicizing or pushing as it canibalizes their existing customer base. Consider it a bonus that we found out about it here.

1
Comment #44 by killer Spinach (anonymous) posted on
killer Spinach
asking someone at your local BOA branch to open a "MyExpression" account, is like asking them to open an account for you at a different bank.

they are a separate entity.

think of the MyExpression accounts as "bank of america DIRECT."
it's an online service. not a branch service.

1
Comment #45 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yesterday morning I went to the link posted here, and filled out online application. Then later I received an email saying they need more time verifying my info. So I guess they haven;t opened my account yet.

1
Comment #46 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened this account online on Sunday and the account showed up online and at a branch today (Tuesday). I am an existing BofA customer. It just says regular Money Market when viewed online. Is there any way to determine if the account is set up correctly? Do the Defenders affinity accounts say Affinity or something different when viewed online? I'm about to put $99k into this thing and want to be sure it is the high interest account and not a regular one.

1
Comment #47 by SingleGuyMoney (anonymous) posted on
SingleGuyMoney
Anonymous - I completed the app Friday and accounts showed up yesterday. They were listed as interst checking and balance rewards mm. i called them and had them corrected to the correct accounts with the correct rates. Don't even try to get the regular customer service to help you because as others have said, the csr's have no clue what you are talking about.

1
Comment #48 by djc314 (anonymous) posted on
djc314
the number to call to get to affinity banking for BOA is 800-653-7930. They are familiar with the account and can take you through the process.

1
Comment #49 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It took a little perserverance but I now have the account open and functioning. Opened online Monday, made the deposit Tuesday, at a local bank, and today, Wednesday, I can see my transaction on the online banking system. I did call a supervisor today because my account is listed as a checking account on the internet. The Supervisor ashured me that it is listed as Cash Maximizer Savings and i will receive the advertised interest rate at the end of the month. I opened with the $2500. and plan to add more with my FNBO funds at the end of the month. Sounds like a great MM fund (hope they don't lower the rate). Banking Guy, you are godsend for those of us who are always looking for a safe investment.

1
Comment #50 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thank you for your input on this account. I have never had an account with BOA and was unaware that My expressions was an on line only account.

Lucky me it was opened in the branch by #1 outstanding vice-president in CA.

He did inform me there are 2 My expressions, Defenders of Wildlife, MM accounts. Level I and Level II. Different interest rates so verify that you are getting Level II apy of 5.71%.

Great feedback from all. Thanks!

1
Comment #51 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
rate has dropped a bit

Less than $2,500 2.97% 3.01%
$2,500 - $9,999 5.20% 5.33%
$10,000 - $24,999 5.30% 5.43%
$25,000 - $49,999 5.30% 5.43%
$50,000 - $99,999 5.55% 5.69%
$100,000 - $499,999 5.55% 5.69%
$500,000 - $2,499,999 5.55% 5.69%
$2,500,000 and over 5.55% 5.69%

1
Comment #52 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I applied on Tue, it showed a Money Market Savings yesterday, and is funded today. Do anyone know how to confirm it having a high interest rate from the online bank information? It doesn't show the rate for my saving and checking accounts either.

1
Comment #53 by Roman (anonymous) posted on
Roman
1. Is it possible to open this BOA 5.69% money market savings account without checking account and

2. Then make check deposits directly to savings account in a branch through ATM an/or over a counter?

(For example, in Citi bank both ways of check deposit are possible, whereas HSBC accepts only ATM deposits to online savings.)

1
Comment #54 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
You don't need any other accounts to open this one. Just do the online application and take advantage of funding $1k with a card. At least that way you can rack up some points, miles or cash. Then when account shows up online just get your full account number and go to bank and deposit anyway you want

1
Comment #55 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hello all. I'm interested in moving $50K from my BOFA savings account and opening an on-line MM account. HELP! Any advice is welcome.

1
Comment #56 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
Big drop in DoW account

Less than $2,500 2.96% 3.00%
$2,500 - $9,999 4.55% 4.65%
$10,000 - $24,999 4.65% 4.75%
$25,000 - $49,999 4.65% 4.75%
$50,000 - $99,999 4.90% 5.01%
$100,000 - $499,999 4.90% 5.01%
$500,000 - $2,499,999 4.90% 5.01%
$2,500,000 and over 4.90% 5.01%

1
Comment #57 by Kristofer (anonymous) posted on
Kristofer
I just stick with my HSBC, they're very constant in their rates plus free ACH. It does take 3-4 business days for ACH, but free is nice.

1
Comment #58 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It does not work i open a account and they said you have to qualify and be apart of the organization to get the rates that they show on the page. Has anyone opened a account???? using my expression banking

1
Comment #59 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The rates have plummeted to 2.05% for this affinity Money Market account in November 2008. It was at 3.92% back in October 2008. The great deal is over after the financial bailout of the US banking system.

1
Comment #60 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
can someone please email me a like to it im lost. j.rover@rocketmail.com  Thanks

1