Bank of America is offering 1.50% APY for balances from $10,000 to $250,000 in its Special Rate Money Market Savings account. The promotion is listed at the top of BofA's Savings and CD Accounts page with a full promo page here. It's only available online.
The rate is guaranteed through 4/01/2010, and at that time, the account will convert into BofA's new Growth Money Market Savings account. Also required for this rate is an existing or new 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 0.90% as of 11/12/09. This is similar to the BofA promotion that I reported on in August.
BofA does describe the new Growth Money Market Savings Account on its website. Countrywide's SavingsLink was converted into this account last September which was a major disappointment. The standard rates are low: 0.75% APY for balances up to $100K and 0.85% for over $100K. A bonus rate bump of 0.25% doesn't help much.
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 iGObanking. Even though there are many things to dislike about BofA, it's nationwide and many people bank there. If you choose to bank at BofA, why not make the most of it.
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 - updated 11/13/09). BofA notified customers earlier this year of account changes which include new fees. Here's their information page on this.
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. In August 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. There is still a $100 checking account bonus available for new checking account customers (see post), and there is still a $35 bill pay bonus for existing customers who have not made a bill payment with Bank of America Online Banking within the last 6 months (see post).
Other Competitive Savings and Money Market Accounts
I just reported on 1.50% 3-month savings promotion at TD Bank. There are still quite a few savings accounts offering over 1.50%, but most of these are online banks. Please refer to the following: