Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Bank of America's Introductory Rate Money Market Savings Account

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Bank of America
Bank of America is offering 1.50% APY on balances from $10,000 to $250,000 on its Introductory Rate Money Market Savings. The rate is guaranteed through 1/04/2010, and at that time, the account will convert into BofA's new Growth Money Market Savings account. Also required for this rate is opening of a BofA personal checking account. Minimum balance to open this money market savings account is $10,000. The rate for balances that fall below $10,000 is 1.00% as of 8/21/09.

This special doesn't seem to be listed at Bank of America's website. A reader commented that it's being advertised in New Jersey. I was able to find it advertised in today's Dallas Morning News. The ad is available online here. I don't know if this promo is available in all states. If you confirm it's available in your state, please leave a comment.

BofA does describe the new Growth Money Market Savings Account on its website. The standard rates are low: 0.75% APY for balances up to $100K and 0.85% for over $100K. There's a bonus rate that's 25 basis points higher (rates for TX as of 8/21/09 and may vary by state). This requires one of the following transactions during the month: 1) automatic transfer of $250 or more from your BofA checking account, 2) an automatic transfer of monthly interest payment from your Bank of America CD, or 3) a direct deposit of $250 ore more.

As you might expect with BofA, there are monthly fees. These can be avoided with a minimum balance of $5,000, or if you link the account to an Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking.

The account allows up to a total of 3 checks or purchases made with your debit card each monthly cycle. You can also use this account with the Keep the Change program.

Why Report on 1.50%?

An APY of 1.50% is nothing to get excited about, but unfortunately, in today's environment, it's fairly competitive. It's higher than the savings account rates offered by ING Direct, HSBC Direct and ETrade Bank. And in the next couple of months, it may be higher than rates offered by several other online savings accounts.

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.

Old and New Fees

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.

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 of America Deals

There's also a Bank of America money market account that has a long history of competitive rates. It's intended for NEA members. Earlier this month, BofA was offering a 2% rate until 2010 on this account, but that's now over. There's still a 60-day intro bonus rate, and the standard rates are still competitive (see post).

Bank of America bonuses can be viewed in my Bank of America deals page. In July BofA had been offering up to $100 for opening a checking account, but this seems to have expired. However, there is still a $75 checking account bonus available (see post).

Countrywide SavingsLink Changes to Growth Money Market Savings

Update: Countrywide SavingsLink accounts will be changed to this Growth MMS accounts on September 18, 2009. At the time of this change, the accounts will have monthly fees of $10 unless you maintain a $5,000 minimum balance or if the account is linked to an Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking. I just confirmed this with a BofA CSR. I remembered readers mentioning this in previous comments, but I forgot about it. Thanks to the reader who noted this change in today's comments.

Other Competitive Money Market Accounts
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this promotion in the Daily Deals & News Post.

Edit 8/23/09: Added clarification on the Growth Money Market regular rates.

  Tags: money market accounts, Bank of America

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Comments
14 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'll put my funds under a mattress before putting them into BofA. The name of their game is 'subterfuge and fees'.

1
Comment #2 by ichaelm (anonymous) posted on
ichaelm
An ad for the 1.50% savings account is in today's Washington Post, so apparently the account is available in DC/MD/VA

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
also saw ad in NY Times

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I think your old Countrywide Savingslink account will turn into the "Growth Money Market Savings Account," so if you want to avoid minimum balance fees, one would want to do something about that.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yesterday I pushed all my remaining money out of my SavingsLink account, except for a buck. I plan on calling and closing the account before the end of the month. No way I'm keeping $5000 in there and paying $3 for a push.

Now I need to find another hub for ach pushes that is both free and allows atleast 6 linked accounts.

1
Comment #6 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
Ally

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Its confirmed, BofA has officially ruined the Savingslink product from Countrywide. It was the best hub for transfers free of charge. Now BofA will charge you for everything.

BofA just plain sucks!

1
Comment #8 by Gary_C (anonymous) posted on
Gary_C
Former Countrywide customers with IRA CDs were notified this past week that BOA will introduce fees on 18 September that includes a $50 charge for a transfer of IRA custodian. I find this policy very problematic when applied to an existing Countrywide IRA CD, since I find nothing in the agreement I signed with Countrywide that allowed for such a fee.

Gary_C
Ponce Inlet, FL

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Houston Chronicle also had the ad.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just remember that if you already have a checking account with Bank of America, then you are not eligible to receive the bonus for new account opening!!

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anonymous said...
I'll put my funds under a mattress before putting them into BofA. The name of their game is 'subterfuge and fees'.

8:03 AM, August 21, 2009

I Agree !!!!
They seem to get you in so many ways and you always find hidden fees.
Too bad what they have done to Countrywide Savings Link Account !!

You even have to hound them to get the bonuses they promise !!!

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Confirmed Rate 1.50 in Los Angeles county. No fees associated with any involvement (ie: checking or atm)

no restrictions. Basically think of it as a six month confirmed checking/savings acct at 1.5%
interest.

its the best B of A has really pushed along without nailing you somewhere along the line.

this one is a truly no harm.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
ive had boa for over a year and i have never been charged a cent for any service they have offered... i used to get 1.15, and today when i was in the bank they told me i was getting the 1.5 this article is talking about - south florida

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Beware of the limit for electronic transfers, I believe it's $20,000 per week.
Countrywide SavingsLink didn't have any limits and the transfers were free.

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