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$75 Checking Account Bonus at Bank of America, Plus a Note on the New Fees

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Bank of America
Update 9/13/09: The bonus has gone up to $100, and it has been extended to 11/30/09. Please see this post for the latest details.

Bank of America has long offered a USPS movers checking account bonus. They've recently made some changes with this promotion. On the plus side the bonus has gone up to $75, but on the downside they've increased the required minimum deposit and also added a check card requirement.

Here's the link to the promotional page. The promo code is AOU260609. The new expiration date is 8/30/09. It's available through the online application or in any BofA branch. According to the promo page, the MyAccess Checking has no monthly maintenance fees when opened online. Here are the basic requirements as listed in the promo page:
  • This offer is available only to new customers who open a qualifying personal checking account with a minimum balance of $500
  • The new checking account must be open for at least 30 days
  • You must make a minimum of one transaction with the newly assigned check card
Some of the important small print includes:
  • They'll deposit the $75 incentive directly into your new checking account within 90 days of its opening
  • The new customer is not eligible for this offer if they were a signer on a Bank of America checking account that was closed within the last three months.
  • Offer does not apply to current checking customers or student checking accounts
  • Bank of America will report the value of the offer to the IRS
Credit for this find goes to FW member gizmosun who posted it at this FW thread.

Hard Credit Pull

There are some things to note regarding BofA. First, many have reported that BofA does a hard credit inquiry on your first checking account. A reader noted in a previous BofA post that he received two pulls when he did this promo in early 2008. A hard credit inquiry can ding your credit score a little for a few months.

Receiving the Bonus

It can take patience and persistence to receive the bonuses. The bonuses that I've received only came after reminding them using their online message system. Others have had to make many calls to a banking rep. Not everyone has been successful; however, several readers have reported success with this promo in my 2007 post. A reader noted that the account must remain open 180 days.

Old and New Fees

According to the promo page, MyAccess Checking has no monthly maintenance fee when opened online. Also, this is stated in the online application next to where you select MyAccess Checking: "free with no direct deposit requirement. No minimum balance required." Make sure you keep an eye on your statements to make sure no fees start popping up. You might want to make a copy of the application where it states that the MyAccess Checking will be free.

BofA charges for things that you might expect are free. For example, if you make an outgoing ACH transfer, there's a $3 charge (see BofA page).

BofA recently notified customers of account changes which include new fees. Here's their information page on this. MyAccess Checking monthly fee is going up to $8.95 per month starting June 5th if you don't maintain a $1,500 balance or if you don't have direct deposit. However, here are the exclusions listed:
Fee changes do not apply to customers who opened a free MyAccess Checking account during specific time periods at Bankofamerica.com: Customers in GA and TX after 11/1/2006; and customers in any state after 4/20/2007.


Customer Service

There have been many reports of bad customer service at BofA. Here's an interesting one that was was posted at the Consumerist last year.

Other Bank Bonuses

Other Bank of America bonuses can be viewed in my Bank of America deals page, but this $75 one seems to be the best currently available.

To find other bonus deals, please refer to my bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus posts.

  Tags: checking account, Bank of America

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Comments
4 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I had a similar problem with BofA. I had to close MY small business checking account. I did it in a branch and had the funds transferred over. The deposit said Pending for about two days then I thought it posted since it no longer says pending. And wouldn't you know it I started to see multiple overdraft charges with a POSITIVE balance.

I took a screenshot of it. I should post it somewhere.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bank of America is a good example of a bank that has become too big for its own good. Here's an example of my experience with them as a 20+ year customer.

Last year, after I retired, I was no longer having a direct deposit of my paycheck made into my BofA checking account, which had had no monthly fee because of the direct deposit.

After about a year, they notified me they would begin charging me a monthly fee for the account, since I no longer had direct deposit. Yet, at the same time, they were offering the same checking account FREE of monthly charges, no matter what, when opened online.

I called and spoke with a CSR about this, and asked, can't they just code my existing checking account as free, given the other promotion they were running. The CSR and a subsequent supervisor indicated they could not.

I told them their approach made no sense because 1) they already were offering the same account free of charges when opened online and 2) they were ticking off a 20+ year customer. But they remained firm.

So, as I had told them I would do, I ended up closing my longtime checking account with them, and the same day, went online and opened a new and permanently FREE checking account with them that has no direct deposit requirement.

Since then, I keep no money in my BofA account and basically don't use it. And if anyone ever asks, I tell them, BofA SUCKS....

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
YOu made the right move, anonymous at 6:37. Most banks cant do what you suggest; re-coding the account so that it reflects the FRee, no monthly charge account. It's just the way the account is in their systems; and cannot adjust existing accounts. There are several banks that behave this way; or, they offer a newer savings account that pays higher interest rate than your existing one. They wont allow you transfer funds to open the account; instead, they force us to open a new account with new money, and then of course allow internal transfers. Silly, yes. But, there systems dont allow the obvious that we want. I guess you're still happy with the new BoA account.

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Comment #4 by j (anonymous) posted on
j
any fees for ACH out (or in) of BOA initiated from an external bank?

1