It’s been announced that Bank of America is eliminating a free checking eBanking account used by lower-income customers, who now have to keep more money at the bank to avoid being charged $12 each month. For a no-fee checking account, you have to direct-deposit $250 each month or keep your balance at no less than $1,500. Many customers who can’t do this are being punished for it.
Bank of America introduced the eBanking accounts in 2010 in a push for customers to do more of their banking online through computers and phones. In exchange for the no-fee account, customers couldn’t use a bank teller for routine transactions and had to agree to receive statements online.
For people being switched from their eBanking accounts, Bank of America offers another checking account geared toward lower-income customers. Its monthly fee is $4.95, and customers who opt for that account can’t write paper checks or overdraw their account. Those are pretty limited services to merit the bank’s monthly fee.
Bank of America is not alone in charging customers fees for basic things like checking accounts. Many other commercial banks do the same thing. In fact, it’s almost unheard of for one of these large banks to offer free checking. Why? They say it’s not profitable enough.
So how can you avoid paying for your checking account? Move to a credit union.
Credit unions are owned by their members, so they make decisions that benefit the customers and not the bottom line. So if you’re looking for a free checking account, or a savings account with a higher interest rate, look into joining your local credit union. Other credit union services also are more beneficial to members, such as loans with lower interest rates.
Add it all up, and credit unions care more about their members than big banks do for their customers. How’s that for a bottom line?