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New Monthly Fees for Premium Online Savings Accounts at Amboy Direct

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Rate cuts are not the only thing we'll have to watch out for. Make sure you keep an eye out for new fees. Amboy Direct just announced that Premium Savings Accounts older than one year will be charged a $5 monthly fee if the balance falls below $100. This will start on May 1, 2009. I noticed that this is now listed at the bottom of Amboy Direct's FAQ page:
A $5.00 monthly fee will be assessed on accounts older than one year with less than $100 minimum balance.

I called and received a few more details from the CSR. According to the CSR, you'll be hit with the $5 fee if your balance falls below $100 on any day during the month. If you have a balance of less than $5 in your account, the fee will eat all of the balance and the account will be closed without a NSF charge. A zero balance in your account will result in immediate closure. Any accrued interest earned during the month will be lost. According to the CSR, if you zero out the balance after May 1st, the account will be closed without any fee.

The reader who emailed me news of this noted that Amboy Direct had described this change on his March 31st statement. I'm glad he noticed it. I logged into my Amboy Direct account last weekend, and I didn't see any warning. This shows why it's a good idea to view your statements even if you regularly log into your account.

Adding a monthly fee for a savings account that has been advertised as having no monthly balance requirements is sneaky in my opinion. This fee may hit many customers since Amboy Direct recently cut their rate from 2.02% to 1.51% APY. I'm sure many had transferred most of their balances out of here to better paying accounts. Minimum balance requirements like this make it more difficult for those who move their money to the savings accounts with the best interest. However, keeping $100 in this account versus in a 3% account will only cost you about $1.50 a year in interest (assuming no changes in rates).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this.

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Comments
5 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They encouraged me to keep me account open (with zero balance) when I called to ask about it. This was way back when they used to have good rates and then dropped them like a rock.

If they haven't closed it yet I guess I'll close it this weekend. Their rates never did recover.

Thanks for the heads up, Ken!

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Everyone should close there accounts with these losers!

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
UFB direct's Absolute Savings Acct now has a $10k min, or you have to pay a $5/mo fee. Of note they also charge a $1.50/day fee for being below the min balance of $10k. I noticed the fee in my March statement for the first time. I call and switched it to a free checking, and they even refunded the fee. The CSR said that they informed us last year when Waterfield? took over the bank. I don;t remember seeing anything.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The people running UFB Direct now are a bunch of thieves. Without ever notifying me about the fee, they deducted a $5 fee from my account, closed it (being negative balance because my balance has been fortunately reduced to below $5), and then claimed that the account was closed "per your request"! I sent them a secure mail asking them when and where I requested account closure and accused them of stealing my money (the amount stolen being immaterial). They never responded to my mail. It's okay for me to sustain a loss of a few bucks, but it's their thievery that is intolerable.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Shoot, wish I'd seen this sooner as I'd been hit with three $5 fees already. This is extra sneaky not only because I thought this was a fee-free account, but also because information on the premium savings account does not seem to be directly accessible from the home page of their website. I only found the FAQs for the account via google.

1