Switching from Bank of America

Updated on May 30, 2011
B.R. asks from Naples, FL
20 answers

My husband has had it with Bank of America and the fees. We have a mortgage, equity line, savings, money market, two checking accounts, three business checking accounts, and two accounts for his Aunt who has Alzheimer's and he is the power of attorney for. Yesterday, we dipped a little low in our account and the bank paid two items ($72 & $11) & charged us $35 each for them. My husband watches the accounts online pretty regularly, so when he noticed, he immediately transferred $300 into the account. We have it set up to receive emails and texts if our balance dips below $125. I had just received an email the night before saying that my balance was $123+-, so it caught us off guard that it was suddenly so low as to cause these charges, but I guess that is a problem with one account and 2 people with debit cards. Anyway, I have tried to take this up with BOA and get them to reverse the charges to no avail. I think that $70 in fees when we have so many other accounts in house, and the overdraft was covered within the hour is very steep! We didn't even get emails or texts until after 10pm last night re: the overdraft situation, and by that time it was ancient history and we had it covered. I must add that we used to have overdraft protection tied to the equity line so as to avoid these kinds of problems. We have never made a payment late as they are auto debited from the account on their respective dates, but we received a letter from the bank about a year and half ago saying that through no fault of ours, but due strictly to the declining market values of property etc we would no longer be able to use the equity line as that protection. So.....my husband wants me to find another bank ASAP before I deposit the $4,000+ tx refund. What banks do you use? Do you like /dislike anything in particular about them? He wants me to check in to Wachovia and Suntrust, and is even talking about refinancing the mortgage to so as to completely divorce ourselves from Bank of America.

What can I do next?

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answers from Tampa on

let me know what you decide because I HATE BOA & they do the same thing to me! I get the drop below email after they have taken the fees! I WILL be switching this month.



answers from Raleigh on

Go to IRonstone Bank!! We have a few in the Naples area. I work for them in the Jacksonville area and its a wonderful bank!!

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answers from Dallas on

We are heavily involved with BOA and have been for 25 yrs. We have 3 business accounts, 2 personal savings and personal checking. Fortunately, we have never had any fees due to some of the "rules" outlining our accounts.

For starters, we have the AAdvantage which requires a minumum balance all month in combined checking and savings. I don't even know what that minumum is now but when we started years ago it was $10,000. We've never had an overdraft but there is auto protection from the savings.

On business accounts, the only fees we incur is when I wire money out or someone wires money in. Again, no fees for the accounts.

We have been completely happy... and still are mostly.......with BOA...

HOWEVER, with our business.... hubby was told by a friend who has a business similar to ours that Chase bank loves small business owners in the 3-8 million range and were recruiting businesses. Well of course we talked to them and they offered us a substantial line of credit for our business because our credit score is "the highest I have ever seen" per the banker. SO. we took this offer to BOA and to match ...but.... they wanted paperwork like crazy for the last 10 yrs even though they have access to all our accounts. I asked the officer... "do you want a blood and urine sample as well??" That didn't go over very well. That said, we told BOA that Chase was actively recruiting us with no fee accounts, etc and we would be forced to begin moving money because of the deal Chase offered.

BOA basically said, without the extra info, no deal. Chase made a deal with limited info from our legal and tax counsel and we offered the exact info we gave Chase to BOA.

That said, we just opened 2 business accounts with Chase. I am moving monies slowly but I can see that Chase is trying to develop a relationship with business owners where BOA does not care. That said.... my local BOA branch calls me by name with I am there, they do all they can for us but their hands are tied with all the red tape.

I suggest talking to Chase if possible. Our relationship has started growing well with them and we will more than likely adjust the majority of assets to Chase. I have always loved BOA and I hate change but BOA is seeing some dramatic amounts of money being moved from our accounts with them. They have already called us to ask why. I just shake my head and say why do you think???

We'll probably keep accounts at both locations, just shift the money around.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

If you transferred the money the same day it should have covered it, I'm pretty sure banks run credits before debits. Did you go talk to someone in person to resolve it? If not, definitely do that, it may be more effective. This way you have more time to look into other banks. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have a checking and savings with chase, and I have never dealt with anything like this. Go speak with them! They are very eager to work with every type of customer whether small/large business, personal or what have you!

Good luck!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

IMO Bank of America is worst bank that I've ever delt with. My BFF has BOA for checking and mortgage and has had numerous problems. I did not have any personal accounts with them, but my employer had about 30 accounts and eventually switched due to bad customer service, and average on-line banking services and rising fees. They are currently with Wachovia/ Wells Fargo and for the most part things have been going quite well. The fees for the business accounts (as with almost any bank in our area) are high, especially since we earn interest which is applied to the fees, and the interest rate is .25%.

For my personal accounts I recently switched to People's. I like the hours, open on Sundays, which is great for me. The on-line bill payment system works very well (I don't like the fact that they hold my money for 2 days - but that's true with most banks). I also like the ease of transferring funds from one account to another. We pay no fees, but do have my payroll checks direct deposited. I think I need to maintain $100 minium balance. They do offer overdraft protection for a small fee.

You may also want to look into a credit union. We have some small savings accounts, they pay higher interest than my bank. We also found it very easy to obtain a car loan at a great rate.

Remember that no matter what bank you choose, you're going to get hit with high fees for overdrafts. (even if you have several million in other accounts). You should know what the balance is in your accounts.

Good luck in your search.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We have USAA and I have NEVER had to actually pay a fee. When I have had them hit, I call and explain why the account went low and they have always removed it for me. I have been banking with them for 8 years. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! If you can join, I highly recommend them. I have also only one time in 28 years (insurance and my savings account since baby) ever had a rude representative. And it was 2 years ago. I really highly recommend them though. I have a local credit union that I use for check cashing and transferring funds.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I go to Community America Credit Union and the overdraft fee is very reasonable...like $5 per item. (If you have one nearby and decide to switch, please message me first because they have a referral program where we can BOTH get $50 if you change banks!)



answers from Tampa on

Not sure if you are aware or not, but Wachovia in florida is being switched to Wells Fargo. I'm not quite sure how they are going to be - but I've had Wachovia since it was First Union. I had no problems with them and it's been 14+ years. Their overdraft fees are the same, $35 per overdraft. I, myself, have been considering looking into other facilities due to the change with Wachovia. Maybe I'll get some suggestions from your post as well..



answers from Tallahassee on

I personally wouldn't go to Wachovia. I have had bad experinces with them. To the point that i had to call the police. I reported an employee and it was deal with poor mangment as well. I havent heard of Suntrust. I personally go to Anchor Bank. I am happy with them. They have the same policy as your bank. Good luck on your search. -J.



answers from Orlando on

I would recommend a smaller bank. I use Seaside in the Central Florida area (not sure if they have a branch in South Florida). They advocate what they call "relationship banking." They greet me by name and actually work to get to know my needs. If you don't have a Seaside, I'd look for a small local bank that's very much like that. Good luck!



answers from Tampa on

I am a huge fan of Fifth Third Bank. I only have checking accounts, but they are reliable and helpful. Their online system is completely up to the minute. For example, I go to the store and use my debt card, or use the ATM or deposit money and it is on my account by the time I get home. I had a lot of problems with Wachovia and this and more. I could deposit cash (in my Wachovia account), on a Friday and I wouldn't see it on my online account until Tuesday!! It was also a problem to deposit a check from my employers Wachovia account and they money was held over for 2-3 days!! I have never used Suntrust, So I can't help you with them. Good Luck.



answers from Orlando on

Don't go with Suntrust, they are even worse. I wont go into my bitter story with them, but I advise a big no to them. I am not too familiar with other banks. We have Bank of America b/c they are currently the lesser of the evils while still having lots of convenient locations (to reduce ATM fees). Fairwinds Credit Union was pretty good to me years ago before I got married consolidated accounts with my husband. The down side is there are not as many locations. Good luck!



answers from Boca Raton on

I definitely would not go with Chase. The realistic fact is all banks are legal thieves and there is nothing we can do about it. I would look into TD bank, they are new and have great hours.


answers from Sacramento on

OMG - I hate B of A! I actually got into a big dispute with them just like you. Only, I have to say, I think my experience was much worse. We had charges on our card that showed when I looked on line - and a check went through that would've overdrawn the account by like $3 or something - it was some ridiculously small amount - they put the check through first and then bounced all of the debit card charges even though they were dated before the check because they said it wasn't a "hard" post because they hadn't actually received the signed receipt from the vendor or something like that - so instead of 1 overdraft fee - I had over $200 in overdraft fees on a bunch of small items!! I was LIVID - and they would not reverse any of them. Needless to say, I no longer bank with them!



answers from Tampa on

I dislike BOA on so many levels and main being our mortgage! We had Countrywide and life was easier then. Get out from BOA as fast as you can. If you can get in a credit union your better off.


answers from San Diego on

I would look into local Credit Unions. We use a local one here in So California and have never had issues with them. It's "member owned" not "corporate owned" so they're there to help you not screw you over. I would recommend the one we use but I'm pretty sure they're not in FL. We just canceled our credit card with BOA, we kept the account in perfect standing and acutally have not used it in a couple years. Despite a perfect record they cut our credit limit to less than half, they didn't raise our interest rate but they changed all the terms so that if we were so much as a day late they could raise our rate to upwards of 30%! They started changing terms of payments making it much easier to suddenly be late with a payment. The entire gambit of predatory activities that laws were passed to stop.
I wouldn't recommend Chase as they are screwing over a friend of mine in a similar way BOA is to you.


answers from San Francisco on

I hate to say it but the fees are going to be similar where ever you go. That being said, I do think it is a good idea to have accounts with different banks, establishes a relationship. I bank at no less than 6 banks. They are all about the same but there are two that stand out as faves, mostly b/c of customer service (which means, mostly b/c of the people in the bank).

That being said, I would go into your local branch, sit with the manager and tell them you are closing all your accounts and switching to ABC bank. When they ask why, calmly tell them of your frustration with an overdraft fee. A good manager would offer to waive the fee if you stay. You can decide whether to stay, move some or just go.

Re: the refi - I'd consider it closely before switching. About 80% of lenders sell their loan so if you refi, you will most likely be sold immediately. You have no idea who you'll end up with (though it wont be BofA, they don't purchase in the secondary market, I believe). So, you may end up with worse and it is a costly process.

Good luck :)



answers from Fort Myers on

I switched from bank of america years ago to Fifth Third. My husband i were separating and i wanted to open a checking account for me. They said its not free since i dont have direct deposit. WEll dugh, im a stay at home mom! I closed the acct and Never looked back when i walked out.



answers from Gainesville on

I have bank of america and If i have pending charges that will make me negative and i deposit a check thru atm, my check goes thru first and i am back in the black, checks don't show pending tho and I will get fees.. You said you called bank of america have you told them you are planning on switching banks?

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