March 23, 2023
Annapolis, US 62 F

Bank Of America: Watch Out For Random Fees

Watch Out For Hidden Bank Of America Fees

bank-america-logoRecently, my Bank of America checking account dipped into the negative.  No, it was not some technical glitch, or even my inability to balance a checkbook. No, this time is was all due to corporate greed on the part of Bank of America.

The down and dirty version is that there was sufficient funds in the account for several debit card transactions.  However, Bank of America reserves the right to switch the dates that these debits are posted. So, a simple transaction for $7 at the local 7-11 on Monday night (at the whim of Bank of America) was not  posted until the following Tuesday. A deposit was made on the following Monday, but again at their whim, it was not credited until Tuesday. Well you can guess the rest. They debited the account for $7 , knowing there was a deposit made the day before, and assesed a $35 fee for insufficient funds. They cleared the $40 check on Tuesday, but only after debiting two more minimal transactions that occured on Tuesday, each with their $35 fee.  ALl of this is unknown to me as I had not received the insufficient funds card in the mail. So, I went on and spent more of the $40 deposit assuming the funds were there–and Bank of America continued to honor these debit transactions. Of course they would, after all for each $3 I debited, they could make $35.  All told, they assesed $210 in fees (6 separate fees) for 4 debit card transactions, none of which should have overdrawn the account.

To try to resolve it, I contacted the friendly Bank of America representative in Banglore and he offered a $60 credit but woudl not budge on the rest.  He suggested I write to the consumer complaint department in Tallahassee, Florida–which I did. The lovely Olga Hurtado sent me a wonderful form letter essentially saying, that I was fortunate to have received the $60 and there would be no further communication regarding this issue.  Until I blog about it!

So if you want to read the legalese that you agreed to when you signed up with Bank of America, you can read it on their Deposit Agreement and Disclosures document. Pay particular attention to Processing and Posting Orders where they state they can do anything they want with your money to maximize the fees they will charge you!

Does anyone else have a banking rant?

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  1. You got a Bangalore torpedo! Send the president of Bank of American a letter. Include with it all the promotional and collateral material from other banks. Refer him or her to your posting about it. Explain that if you do not get a full refund and an apology with two weeks that you will open a new account at another bank, stiff them for the fees, post an article about it and beg them to sue you. Then, if they reinstate your account, close it anyhow and and send him a picture of you in an unusual position, making some sort of gesture with your bank of america card with scissors in hand. And do something else with the other hand.

  2. Bangalore Torpedo! Love it! I read the link and the fine print and it is pretty scary…they can hold up deposits and debits at their whim in order to assess you fees. I do miss the days of the small community bank.

    I recall one in PA that would call me at work if a check (usually written unbeknownst to me by my wife) was going to overdraw the account and would either hold it till I could make a deposit or pay it.

    Now I think the SOP is to pay the debits first from largest to smallest and charging a fee for each.

    I thought BOA stood for Bank of America and not Bend Over A&%#%@#

    JWF’s last blog post..Now We’re Cooking!

  3. PMB did the same thing to me two years ago. So, in retaliation, I discontinued direct deposit of my paychecks and made no further deposits to that bank. I also refused to send them any payment for the fee. They sent me dunning letters for about six months, all of which I threw out, and ignored. They then put a red flag on my credit record, stating that I was a checking account abuser. I can not open a checking account anywhere for another five years. The bottom line is, whoever has the most money makes the rules.

  4. Bank of America has gotten incredibly fee-happy in the past few months. I’ve recently been assessed 3 or 4 random fees and when I call and ask, the rep says “Well, you agreed to these when you signed up for the account.” If that’s true, how come I was never hit with them from 5 years until now? Maybe it’s time to make the switch.

  5. I agree—it was ridiculous and they were non negotiable. Raised the big middle finger from Mumbai. BOA is not my primary bank and you can be sure it will not be.

    Be sure to pass this along to people you know that might be interested….tweet it, facebook it, email it.

  6. This is one bank that deserves to fail and go under, leaving its surly, unprofessional, untrained personnel lining up for the dole at a soup kitchen and living in tar paper shacks by the toxic waste dump beside the railroad tracks. Why do we always feel we have to bail out the banks??? Let 1 or 2 fail and let their employees feel the pain that they themselves have inflicted on thousands for years.

  7. You don’t describe how you made your deposit that wasn’t credited until the next day. Nightdrop? ATM?

    So there is no mistake – people do not handle these transactions. Their ACH (automatic clearing house) department handles them. The transactions that came through depend on when the merchant sent them in to be collected. If a merchant is small enough they may not send an update for 24 hours for payment. Even once this happens it can go through several different banks for processing before it gets to BOA to have them debit your account. WalMart does their transactions, basically, in real time due to their massive transaction counts.

    What did you spend the 4 $3 charges for? Coffee? Sandwich? How do you balance your checkbook? Why did you write a check prior to money being in your account? I won’t get into the legal part of that but I think you know where I’m going with it.

    Transactions under $10 – use cash. For everything else round up ($17 transaction becomes $20 in this accounting method). If you are counting more against your account you can’t overdraft it unless you’re not good with math. This method would keep money in your account at all time as you are thinking you are taking more from the account leaving you with some buffer.

    Why not keep a buffer of $100 in the account at all times?

    Why not use a credit card for all of your everyday transactions then pay it off in full with the $ in your checking account?

    Stop with the nickel and dine transactions and you’ll be suprise how much more you have at the end of the month.

    You may not agree with some of this as you posted this to get sympathy and solidarity. No one likes to hear save more/spend less.

  8. I am not denying that there wasn’t an overdraft fee to be assesed. I am claiming that they played with the processing dates of the transactions to implement more fees. When someone buys coffee, it is reflected in their account (online) virtually immediately. So why is one to believe that this amount may then be taken out of the account and then put back in at a later date?

    I am at fault for overdrawing the acct. I am perfectly willing to take the penalty. But why does a bank continue to honor a debit when it knows that there is not enough money in the account? Have they ever heard of “decline”? The answer is simple,to assess a fee for the additional overdraft because they know that the money is there in their possession–they just have not given credit for it yet.

  9. Everyone knows Bank of America caters exclusively to the illegal immigrant population, right? How on earth do they think they’ll recoup those bloated fees from them? Should be interesting–I’m getting ready to switch banks, BoA is highway robbery at it’s worst!

  10. You didn’t answer any of my questions but I think I may have another solution to this as well.

    Debits are done prior to credits during a days work as the money was supposed to be at the bank and certified prior to you spending that money. Too many people try and play beat the bank – they used to do it with checks until Check21 came out (google it).

    Ask BOA to disable your automatic overdraft capabilities. Some things may still come through becuase when you buy your $3 cup of coffee the shop doesn’t always instantly-connect to the bank to make sure you have money – the card network just makes sure that it’s a known and active card.

    I think having overdraft hooked up to a savings account may work along with the other solutions I presented in my previous post above.

  11. Similar things have happened to me before, and I have gone around and around with BofA’s customer service. These policies and fees are nothing new, they’ve been around forever. Not too many banks are different, and it’s actually a little easier to pick up on what’s happening with BofA because of their online banking system as well as having a good long talk with their customer service.

    If you deposit at a teller, they will give you the first $100 immediately unlss you ask them to cash the check and deposit the cash. Cash deposits are available as soon as you leave the bank. If you use an ATM, check to see what kind it is, the new ones have the deposit cut off time clearly posted, the old ones not so much, but it’s still there. If you deposit on a Friday before the cutoff time you’ll get the full amount on Saturday; if not. It will act as if it was deposited the next business day and post Tuesday fully (you will still have the first $100 available).

    They also put in credits first if they were put in by the cutoff time, then debits. If you pay and use your pin, it takes one business day to clear (pay monday, post Tuesday). If you run it as a credit transaction, 2 business days (pay Monday, post Wednesday, or when the merchant decides to turn in their reciepts). If you write a check, it will take the same time from when the recieving party deposits as a debit, 1 business day. You have to make sure you remember those, because BOfA will not warn you that you have a check that’s about to be paid.

    They also post their transactions for the day between 12-9 AM, so your ballance may look to be okay, then that check you weren’t expectin and forgot about could go through at 7:55 AM and mess you up. There is also no customer service available at this time, so if you see something wrong, you have to wait till 8 AM to call them and handle it.

    Also, when you use your card as a credit card and there’s an authorization, it will drop the next business day unless it’s a weekend, then the funds will be released on Tuesday.

    And yes unfortunately, when you go overdrawn, they will put through your biggest transactin first, then all the little small ones. They say it’s because they figure the big ones are the important ones, but you may notice it gets them more fees in the end.

    So while their rules suck, they have been there forever, and it’s better to learn to exist within them instead of switching to a new bank with brand new rules that might be even worse, or offer you less/crappier service.

  12. I am not defending BOA but rather trying to get you to understand that you can’t keep letting people take advantage of you because you refuse to understand the system that predated your account opening. Keep more than enough money in the account, stop using your check card like you have to and carry some cash around. If their policy is to clear the largest items first and then decend down, tough. Go open your own bank and let people do whatever. The nice thing about America is that there is choice. Choose to switch to a credit union and choose to cut back on nonessential daily items. You’ll be glad you did.

  13. I agree with I Whine, and meant in no way to defend Bank of America, but anywhere you go, there is going to be fees, and banks are going to use these to make profits so they can stay open, and they are going to use them to THEIR advantage, not YOURS. So it’s your responsibility to realize that people out there will take advantage of you, and your responsibility to protect yourself by learning the rules. Its that simple.

    Sometimes you learn the rules the hard way. I’ve paid fees to several banks. Now I don’t because I learned the rules. It sucks, but hang in there and pay attention, and you’ll be fine.

  14. While nobody likes being assessed fees, and I sympathize with your frustration, this does not sound like anything random, hidden, or specific to BofA. If you make a deposit after 2pm, it doesn’t get credited till the next day. It’s been that way as long as banks have been around.

    When you purchase something with your check card, a hold for the amount is temporarily placed on your account until the transaction processes, but that processing date is dependent on the network (debit/credit). Debit (where you enter your pin) transactions go through same or next business day (depending what time it is…same as an ATM withdrawal). Credit transactions are dependent on the retailer sending in the transaction receipt. They run your card through for an approval first, but they don’t send the actual charge through until later. Some are quicker than others. Buy something on and they post it through when your order is shipped, so an overnight order basically posts same or next day. Purchase gas at a gas station, and it takes 3-4 days to hit your account (meanwhile gas stations also only put an amount of $1 through for the approval, so that’s all your bank holds until the charge comes through…keep that in mind).

    The bank is not choosing which date to post any of these things, and it is not singling you out and processing your transactions any differently than anyone else’s. When the items that hit on a certain day do post, most banks do choose to post them in descending order of amount. While you can certainly argue that this leads to more overdraft opportunities (if they clear one big transaction instead of several little transactions), they have an argument that the larger transactions are often more important. For example, you wouldn’t want your mortgage or rent check to bounce due to a $40 phone bill being paid first.

    Regardless, the order doesn’t matter unless you are spending more than what you have in the bank at the time. Keep track of your balance and what you’re spending. Go online every morning and look at your account transactions and balance. Don’t write a check and try to play the “float” by thinking you’ll have a deposit in before it clears. Make sure you have direct deposit…your paycheck will usually go in around midnight on payday (so you get your money earlier) and you won’t be subject to any holds placed on a deposited paper check.

    Also, if you do find yourself in a “snowballing” fee situation, go into the bank (don’t just call the call center) and talk to a banker there. Most times they’ll be able to offer more leeway. If it’s the first time you’ve overdrafted your account, they’ll most likely reimburse you for at least 1/2 the fees, even if it’s obviously carelessness on your part. If it’s something more out of your control (someone wrote you a check that bounced, your direct deposit didn’t go through, etc.) they’ll probably reimburse all of it the first time. But if you constantly repeat the same behavior, nobody’s going to have any reason to believe it was anything but carelessness on your part.

  15. Until late last year, my bank always bent over backwards for me.

    That isn’t the case anymore.

    When I complain that they received TARP funds, funded by taxpayers AND charging fees left and right to customers, I cannot help but to feel I am being slapped in the face twice.

    They, of course, say that TARP funds are irrelevant to the situation.

    Jesse Barron’s last blog post..No Resolution to BGE Shutoffs

  16. Just posted another story about BOA’s expanded foreign transaction fees and the new increased ATM withdrawal fees. You’ll find it at
    Just passed by a BOA cash machine in NH that said everything deposited by 8 pm would be credited the next day to accounts. I know my other bank Sovereign Bank has a 2 pm deposit rule, but BOA seems to enforce their sporadically.

  17. Here’s one you probably didn’t know, I didn’t and neither did the junior BOA customer service representitive. When a chack is deposited in the ATM machine after the cutoff time, we all know it doesn’t credit until the next business day, I’ve been clear on that for my 15+ years with BOA. Well, did you know that the “provisional” $100.00 that they post to your account immediately does not apply to anything that will be posting to you account that evening??? So you may feel free to use your debit card and even withdrawl the $100.00 but if you go into the red that evening they will post overdraft fees and not count the $100.00 towards your balance. Does that seem about as consumer unfriendly as it gets? I can actually take $100.00 cash from the machine but they will not credit the amount to the account until the next day, crazy!!! I’m very clear that deposits don’t credit until the next day, it’s posted on the machine, I get it. Is it just me or is the $100.00 “provisional” credit misleading in this case???

  18. Yep…I completely support this site. It is important for people to know that these corporations do not support the public’s better interests and will take your money in very dishonest/non-trustworthy/non-transparent/sketchy ways. They charged me fees when I had a “free” checking account. Weird right? they also did the weird posting dates to make sure I went into the negative. I would call customer support on this and they would usually play stupid or make up some excuse to which I would inform them that they were actually robotic slaves working to make culture a concious/brainwashing platform for bigger business to keep making money.

  19. I recently got charged $70. for writing a check ( which they sent me every month ) on my BOA visa credit card.

    $70. to write a stinking check that I already am being charged finance charges on my credit card.

    I am writing to their credit department since two managers refused to reduce the charges and told me I should have read the fine print. Sorry pal, I am working two jobs and just didn’t have the time to see if my bank would rip me off.

    As soon as my credit cards are paid off, I am finding a new bank.

  20. Cathy — you can cancel the cards now and still have a balance (which you will still have to pay). Doing this lets them know what you think of them and it lets them know that you will not be using their cards anymore.

    BoA is absolute crap. A website that is mis-leading at best, most likely dishonest, when it comes to fees and charges. What I am curious about; How do they get those customer service agents to tow the company line so faithfully?

  21. I recently switched to BOA and heard the horror stories about fees but all the research i have done is mainly people who let their balance get too close to zero. It is the same at any bank. If you dip below zero you get charged. You shouldn’t let $7 sit between you and a zero amount in your checking account. Once you get to $20 it is better to use your credit card and pay off the transaction once the check is cashed than hope your math left $7 in the bank.

  22. BOA has gotten me for $490 in the past few months with this. 7 debits from my acct. on the 14th (with my auto deposited paycheck of over $1700 sitting there being held “pending”). 6 clear, and the last one brought it to negative 85 cents. I get charged with 7 overdraft fees at a tune of $175? The hitch? If you can figure the system out you can go “behind” and by clicking on the overdraft fee to get to “how did this happen” [my guess they have had this questioned before at the tune of a class action thus far] it shows that some weird invisible “hold” was on there for $59 because I used my debit card at a restaraunt, and they ran it as a credit. Didn’t even clear until the next day, and wasn’t even the right amount. None of this shows on my statement online. Statement shows six cleared debits with positive balance and the last one leaving a whopping negative 85 cents balance. I thought my paycheck was credited the night of the 14th so available to me on the 15th. NOT! BOA has it figured down to maximum way to steal your money.

  23. Obviously some of the people who have responded have not been hit by the $4 a loaf bread economy we are living in and have money to spare. Most of us don’t have a money tree in the back yard, go long periods without food and medicine, and no one told us the rules had changed. You can’t even get them to explain what they are because they have no logic other than profit.

  24. i was writing a check ad they charge me 70 so i called and they told me they couldnt do nothing so i told fuck u guys bunch of fuckin theifs

  25. BoA charges me 2000% interest, man am I a sucker. I have a 59 cent charge at a special promotion rate on my card in addition to the normal charges. For some reason BoA calculates interest for it seperate than the others. Every month there is a $1.00 finance charge on that 59 cent balance which is their “official” minimum charge. They won’t leave me pay off that 59 cents until the entire card is paid off. So $12 a year on 59 cents is over 2000%.

  26. /So the full amount of
    bank deposits are not credited to your account until the next day?  Who
    says?  Let me guess…..that is the ‘home-cooking’ rules made our banks
    that is mandated against you, their customer, and currently legal by the leaders
    of our government that we have elected and pay for dearly, in hopes that
    subsequent debit transactions, even those as little as a charge card
    verification amount of $1 result in $35 draft overcharges for each, even if
    only a $1 debit transaction?  Additionally, most banks debit the largest
    transactions first for any given day to increase these odds in their favor.
     What a poor state of affairs in our country with these banks and big
    business who work so hard every day scheme up new scam schemes at the expense
    of their own customers to make more than a reasonable profit to please their
    investors, their lobbyists and to subsequently boast to all about their
    financial progress to make ever increasingly profits.  Reminds me of my younger days when we’d hear of
    third world governments and businesses scamming their consumers in the same way
    entirely without any legal or moral logic, then thanking God I didn’t live in a
    country like that.  Well, guess what, we live in that kind of country now,
    with no protection from the very Federal government that we elect and pay good
    money in taxes and salaries to protect us from such ‘legalized’ robbery and
    pillage of their customer’s accounts.  It’s no secret but yet acceptable
    that these political representatives of ours receive political support to work
    in the bank’s favor.  Have you ever heard of any bank that is content with
    their latest financial reports and profit margins attained by new ways of
    scamming more money from new fees from their customers?….hell no!  The
    sky is the limit as billions of dollars of more profit is never enough…forever
    going forward.  Our government adds a double-whammy as they propose new
    taxes everyday to take more of our money away also.  So where does it all
    end?  How in the hell did our government grant a stimulus package to banks
    to bail them out without any caveat that requires them to make sure that money is
    made available in the form of loans to revive our economy?  Is that poor-ass leadership, poor forethought
    or what?


    Why is it that debit
    transactions are processed against your account immediately at the speed of
    light, but deposits take at least 24 hours to clear and be credited? Where is
    that logic?  What if instead of depositing my check into my account….that
    I request to have it cashed immediately…..receiving immediate cash for the
    full value of the same check…..all cash in hand of the total immediately
    without waiting for the same check to clear the next day vs. if was deposited?
     Yes, banks will do that always immediately without waiting for that same
    check to clear the next day.  That don’t even make good business sense….cashing
    checks in total vs. requiring 24 hours if that check is deposited instead.  Why is that logical, legally sensible with
    the technology that banks use today and thus acceptable?  


    I’ve witnessed the Arab
    Spring in the middle east against like-minded dictators (for which will
    eventually benefit the same radical groups that we’re fighting against with
    American lives and billions of American taxpayer’s money….just pure stupidity) and
    now recently the inevitable Mexican Spring forthcoming due to their governments
    inability to prevent mass murder of its citizens within its own borders, while
    formations of such groups are becoming more evident here in the USA in the form
    of the 99%.  Why should we be surprised?  Greedy business and greedy
    government will only serve to cause similar behavior of its citizens eventually….reacting
    with ‘thick-skinned’, insensitive and immorally correct behavior and primed for
    screwing anybody that they can….but only to survive the current odds for
    survival in such an environment against what we are subjected to by big business
    and big government.  Being an election year and looking forward, do you
    think Obama would reduce government spending and reduce your tax bill if
    re-elected?  Or do you think Romney would
    serve in the best interest of taxpayers or big business?  We’re screwed
    either way!!!!  The best political minds of today know better than to run
    for political office these days… avoid setting themselves up for such
    political failure!

  27. I understand that B.of A. now charges a $25 fee per month if you use a teller. Many older folks don’t use ATM cards and like to go in the bank to do business. That makes for a $300 teller fee for a year’s worth of being a customer who wants to deal with a real person as opposed to an ATM machine. What’s next? A fee for not using self-checkout at the grocery stores?

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