HomeblogIf you're with Bank Of America, you're dumb or lazy.

If you’re with Bank Of America, you’re dumb or lazy.

As much as I’d like to think only good things about customers of Bank of America (since some of you may fall in to that category), I’m seriously beginning to doubt their intelligence. I’m sure you’ve already heard the latest on why Bank of America sucks, but I couldn’t help but share my two cents on the matter with you all today. If you aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about, let me enlighten you…

Starting in early 2012, Bank of America will begin charging some of their customers $5/month for all non-atm debit card usage. You either have to go to an ATM and get cash for all your purchases, or succumb to the $5/monthly fee for using your debit card. Let’s be honest here, BoA knows that you will likely find yourself in a situation where you need to use your debit card at least once each month. Swipe it once, BAM, you just became five dollars poorer. Say it with me ya’ll:


If you are a BoA customer this is the perfect excuse to leave that pitiful hell hole! Get out before they start to nickel and dime you to death.

Deductive reasoning forces me to assume that any/all Bank of America customers must either be stupid or lazy. What other possible explanation could be offered? I know there are ways around the fees, and that you personally may not have to deal with these new policies, but that doesn’t make BoA’s business model any less sketchy. Think about it like this:

You like Jack in the Box. You especially love their two tacos for $0.99 deal. You eat Jack in the Box once a week. One day you are watching the news and catch a report that there is an E. coli outbreak amongst Jack in the Crack products. In fact, four people have died from the E. coli poisoning and hundreds of people are hospitalized. How do you react?  You don’t just say to yourself, “Well even though everyone else is getting E.Coli, I haven’t, so I I’m gonna keep eating Jack in the Box.” Instead, not only do you stop eating J in the B, but you tell all your friends and family to avoid the restaurant as well. If you continue to eat Jack in the Box tacos, even when their tacos are literally killing customers, you MUST be either dumb or lazy. (in case you weren’t aware there really was a Jack in the Box E. coli issue, this crap really happened!)

Just like you don’t have to get E. Coli to realize you should stop eating Jack in the Box, you shouldn’t have to be fee’d to death before realizing Bank of America sucks. Contrary to popular belief, Free checking and free savings accounts do still exist. And not only that, but they exist with banks and credit unions that actually put their customers first! Vote with your dollar people and stay the heck away from BoA.

Who do you bank with? How do you feel about them? If you say anything but “They freakin’ rock my face off” you need to start shopping for a new bank (ING, Ally, USAA are all awesome). Do you think Bank of America sucks as much as I do? Anyone brave enough to defend BoA?

p.s. If you hate your bank and want to switch, but don’t know how or who to go with, you can always email me and I’ll throw out a few recommendations.

p.p.s. If you are reading this via email or a feed reader and don’t see my stick figure drawing, you have to click over to my website to see it. I accidentally hit publish before I uploaded the image which means it might not be showing up in your feed.



  1. I’m with citizen’s bank, which charges me for using my debit and $6 month maintenance fees. Recommendations?

  2. I have been with BOA for about 4 years and I’m finally over them. From random fees and charges and now they want to charge me $5 just to access my own money? I’m switching to PNC, which has a great money management system online AND no fees. Why should I be charged to access my own money?

  3. I say let them get fee’d to death. It’s only on the backs of the lazy and mindless that we can continue to take advantage of all the great offers available.

  4. I have a BOA credit card and a checking account I never use. I only keep the credit card open because it is my oldest account and helps my credit score. If they start charging me fees, and I can’t talk them out of it, I’ll close it, because helping my credit score isn’t enough to justify paying for something I don’t need.

    I too just switch to PNC. So far it has been awesome, with my sole complaint being that their website is often down for maintenance in the middle of the day, when I want to use the calendar and bill pay features. I love that PNC gives you a calendar with upcoming payments – I had been making my own in Google Calendar but it’s so much easier for it to be integrated with bill pay!

    I had been using Chase for checking (because I was moving around a lot and needed access to money in multiple states on either side of the country). But when I moved most recently, the nearest Chase branch was 80 miles away!!! So I looked at that as a sign I needed to kick them to the curb. Once again, keeping my credit card with Chase (yay Southwest Airlines points), but not using their checking/savings accounts. It took forever (2-3 months?) to move over all of my direct deposits and direct debits/auto payments without bouncing any payments, but it’s all done now. Yay! Good riddance to BOA and Chase checking/savings!

    • I have an old BOA CC that I keep open for the same reasons. I’m really hoping they don’t start charging me for it. 🙁

  5. Hubby came with three BoA accounts as part of his dowry 😉 They went from three $12 monthly fees — one for each account — to $14 monthly fees EACH, for a total of $42. Needless to say, we aren’t with them any more. Plus their customer service was terrible. We’re with Chase now because they have good locations and no monthly fees. They’re always trying to sell us stuff though…but we can say no.

  6. We use USAA and I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. Best bank (credit union, rather) EVAR.

  7. I use a local bank. I don’t love it, but I do love the bank manager (she’s awesome) and I love that the bank is three blocks from my house. If there were a credit union that close to me, I very well might make a switch. I’m considering transferring one of our savings accounts to a credit union if I can get a better interest rate…

  8. Well this is interesting seeing as how my wife and I are neither lazy nor dumb, yet we still bank with BOA… Maybe you should rethink your diametrically offensive statements – you’re starting to sound like the Thousandaire! **wink wink**

    Why do we think we’re still entitled to a free service such as banking? I know the cost that BOA has servicing an account (especially as piddling as ours) has to be really low, but they are still providing a service to us: a central place to store our money securely, and for us to access that money in a variety of different ways in a host of locations. If anyone thinks “who do they think they are to charge me a fee for accessing my own money,” then withdraw it all and put it under your frickin’ mattress.

    Your Jack in the Box illustration is a little extreme, man. We’re not going to die from the fees. Jeez Louise.

    I’ve been at BOA for almost 10 years now, and I’ve always had a great experience. But I guess we’re the lucky ones since we can meet all of requirements to not encounter monthly fees, and by using our Citi card literally everywhere, we won’t have to worry about this new $5 fee either.

    Jesus is about the only person I’d defend to the death. Maybe banking isn’t something I’m that passionate about. Plus it’s only 5 bucks!!!

    • You seem to forget they already make money off your money by investing The money in your savings/checking accounts (see stick figure drawing above). The fees they are adding are just a way to continually milk their customers for all they can. Plus when there are a bunch of other banks that offer the same service as BoA, but aren’t anywhere near as sketchy, why not jump ship. Vote with your dollar.

    • “Why do we think we’re still entitled to a free service such as banking?”

      Because it’s out there, available to everyone. You’re going to pass on better service because you think you don’t deserve it?

      The real question is, why would you pay for something that you can get for free many other places? Other banks and credit unions are able to service accounts, provide a central place to store money securely, and allow clients to access that money in a variety of different ways in a host of locations, and they do it all without charging an extra 60 bucks a year on top of other poor service.

      • It was simply my opinion. I guess I’m one of the few that hasn’t gotten up-in-arms about BOA’s new fees. I haven’t had any problems with BOA to date, and it’s not worth the time and energy to change banks as simply an austerity measure.

  9. B of A knows that most people are not going to switch. Most people are passive or lazy with their money and that’s how many of these banks don’t think twice about raising fees. When you are passive and lazy financially you will lose EVERY TIME.

    I teach participants in my Celebrating Financial Freedom course that you have to actively manage the inflow and outflow of money so you know exactly where its going and how its being used. Passivity never works and ends up in your money leaking out to many unintended places. You have to plug the leaks.

    “When you help me with money, you help the world prosper”- J.M. Dumont

  10. My bank is charging $3 a month or something if I use my debit card to make purchases. I don’t care because I haven’t used my card to make a purchase in years.

    That fee is the same as APR on a credit card to me. I know there’s a 99.78% chance I’ll never be affected by it, so I really don’t care.

  11. If chase bank decides to follow BOA with this ridiculous fee.. I will definitely be headed to a local credit union.

  12. Here’s a bright and original idea:

    Don’t use debit cards!!!

    Debit cards = credit cards – rewards! I see absolutely no benefit in using debit cards. Some people might say that debit cards force better spending habits and those who use credit cards spend more. I call BS, anyone can track spending and be intelligent about credit card use. This isn’t rocket science, it’s simple addition and subtraction.

    If you’re still unsure, ask a 3rd grader, they can help you.

    • There are plenty of reasons for using debit cards. For me personally, I’m still working on getting our credit card debt under control, the last thing I want to do is throw a couple thousand onto a credit card that still doesn’t have a completely open credit limit. I risk screwing up and going over the limit, plus I’m going to pay interest on all of those purchases, no thanks. And I’m not going to open a new card just for everyday purchases, I have enough balls to juggle with paying off my debt as it is, I don’t need another one. Besides, those rewards I’m getting are just going to be cancelled out by the interest I’m paying. Why bother? I’d rather focus on paying off my debt before I start worrying about which rewards card I’m going to use.

      Using a credit card for everyday purchases to get rewards is a great idea, but I would prefer to have a positive net worth before bothering with that. But like I said, that’s just me.

      • My point is that a debit card is the same thing as a credit card. You hold the same power over your spending. Also, if you’re already using a debit card and switch to a credit card, all of your normal purchases give you rewards. Interest doesn’t come into play because you will never go over what you would normally buy with a debit card. You just pay it off everyday, or every week. Simple!

  13. First Tech! Every time we hear things about the banks I always ask my husband why people don’t just join a credit union. When you are the share holders of the company they don’t pull this kind of crap on you!

  14. I have been banking with BoA for six years now. They were the bank affiliated with my college and there were a number of ATMs within the various college buildings. When I started working, they were the only ATM that wasn’t part of the company credit union in the company buildings. They had the most ATMs around in my area of the country, so I only very rarely had to pay fees and a branch was often nearby. When I lived with 3 other roommates, we all had BoA, so instead of writing checks that took days to cash for things like rent and utilities, we did immediate transfers online. The interest on the accounts is nadda or piddly, but it was very convenient, and because I direct deposited my paycheck, the accounts are free.

    Before I had a credit card (so the first two years of college), I either used our campus debit card system or my BoA debit card. Now that I have a credit card, I just use that to rack up rewards points. If I plan a big purchase, I’ll just schedule a payment for the card before the purchase so that my credit utilization stays low. I don’t think I’m going to get hit with the $5/month charge, but I’m considering closing the account because the bank really seems have gotten too large to do much well.

  15. I have a confession… I’ve been a loyal BofA customer for 30+ years. My parents opened my first account there when I was 3 years old. I left them when I was a 22 year old newlywed because my hubby was so anti BofA, but the bank he chose kept holding his paychecks for over a week and we ended up writing rubber checks and incurring massive overdraft charges. We went back to BofA and haven’t had any problems since. Usually, if I screw up and I call and ask them nicely, they will even waive legitimate charges that are all my fault.

    That said, I am currently investigating our local credit unions. I will not pay a fee for a basic checking or savings account, let alone the ability to use a debit card. I like our ING account for savings, but I also like being able to write a paper check which I can’t do with ING. I’ll miss the convenience of having a bank with branches everywhere I travel.

    • ING offers checks for their Electric Orange checking account now! Check the site out. It is $5 for a box of 50 checks.

      • Thanks for the info – I haven’t looked at their new account info for a long time. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

  16. Sadly, I am a BOA customer, but I’m so irritated with this fee, I just got off the phone with USAA. Now I just have to convince my dad into getting an insurance policy with them so that I can qualify for all of their really neat benefits, like deposit from home.

    We have banked with BOA for over 4 years simply because with my husband being a pilot, we needed a bank that he could access ATMs all over the place, but also had locations where I could deposit my paycheck quickly. And no, direct deposit is not available for me.

  17. I fail to understand why anyone should be disturbed about these fees. Remember, businesses exist solely to maximize their profits, and to keep the top .1% earning exponentially higher salaries while the rest of the population stagnates or is unemployed. To expect these banks to lower their profit margins is to engage in class warfare by punishing the wealthiest members of our society for their hard work and success.

  18. […] If you’re with Bank Of America, you’re dumb or lazy – and I’d have to agree! $5 for debit card purchases… forget that. October 3, […]

  19. We are curent BOA customers and have four accounts; one checking, one savings, and a personal account each for my husband and myself (for our allowances). They do not have any monthly maintenance fees. We haven’t used our debit card in years; we are credit card users and pay them off every month. We won’t incur the $5 fee so we aren’t changing our accounts. When their fees start to impact us, we’ll change banks.

    • Would you wait until you got E. Coli before you stopped eating Jack in the Box? Even if BoA hasn’t effected you personally, its still pretty hard to argue that the bank has their customers interest in mind. I try not to support business models that suck.

  20. Been with BoA since they took over fleet (10+yrs?) and never paid a single fee, except if you count paying for a box of checks ever 2 yrs. Also, since they bought Merrill Lynch, i have my investment accounts with them as well. I don’t use a debit card, so the new fee doesn’t bother me. There is no reason for me to go through the effort of switching banks for a perceived improvement in customer service. If they are going to start charging me fees, they’ll have to notify me and I’ll think about leaving. Until then, why chance messing up any of the automation that makes my life easy.

  21. I LOVE BofA!
    In 2009, my Countrywide mortgage had been scooped up by BofA and I was looking to consolidate and reduce my interest rate. Being my mortgage holder (and advertising a ton to “refinance”) I tried to refinance through them. Wouldn’t give me the time of day. So I refinanced through a broker at a rate that was a little bit lower (negated by the loan costs I wouldn’t have had if I refinanced through BofA) and subsequently had my refinance loan immediately snatched up by BofA. How awesome is that?
    So, still being a BofA mortgage holder and can pay my mortgage in person, they offer me this awesome no-fees-attached “gold checking” that exempts me from all the other fees they charge other account holders.
    Do I put all of my household money there? No way. Do I depend on them to give me any kind of income? No way. When I’m out of town, do I manipulate the account to get cash out of my primary checking account? Absolutely.

  22. I quite like BoA actually. I use them for business checking, personal checking, business credit card, and payroll. (Don’t use a debit card, so could care less about the $5/month fee.)

    As far as payroll, I couldn’t be more thrilled. In addition to handling the direct deposits, it handles all the state and federal tax reporting. And there’s always somebody on the phone or chat who can answer questions when I have them (with basically no wait time). For $36/month that’s a bargain, IMO.

  23. I’m staying with BofA and I’m not dumb or lazy. In fact, this new fee will actually help me. I have yet to get my impulse spending under control because using my debit card is so easy. Now, I won’t be using my debit card due to the fee and I’ll just use cash. And since I hate carrying cash and parting with it, no more impulse buys for me! Though, that does mean I’ll have to give up my Jack’s Spicy Chicken Sandwiches.

  24. Those of you who use BoA (or any other huge national bank)…

    Is there any service or perk that you get from your bank that is something you couldn’t get from another bank that doesn’t have the various downsides that BoA has?

    I use a mid-sized local bank that has 15 branches, including one right down the street from me. They treat me like a human being. (They also give me 2% interest on my CHECKING account.)

    I just don’t understand what value these big banks add for people. And this is on top of the fact that these are the same banks that have pretty much hosed our economy and whose lobbyists in Washington are actively trying to subvert our interests.

  25. Couple things:
    1. I’ve had PNC checking since college and I love them. Love.
    2. The BofA thing is really – as I say to my students – a matter of principle. There’s absolutely no reason that a bank should be charging you for a checking account when they essentially aren’t paying interest. The other principle at hand is showing some respect for your money. It’s absolutely disrespectful to your own work to be paying for something you don’t have to. I know, I know we all value different things, but this to me is an egregious case of money wasting
    3. I don’t even use my debit card for purchases. I’m a reformed credit card user. Not enough protections on debit cards. Sorry Dave Ramsey.

    • Re: #2

      Historically this hasn’t been the case. Savings accounts have been free of charge. They were where people held most of their money that the bank got to use and paid a “fee” (the interest) to the account holder.

      Checking accounts are a service and usually had fees associated with them unless you kept a significant amount of money in them that the bank could use like for the savings accounts. The bank handled the security for your money and your IOUs (your checks written to other people).

  26. I am neither dumb or lazy! This change does not affect me because I have a premium account. I do not use my debit card anyway. Not every B of A customer is affected the same way.

    • from the post….

      “Just like you don’t have to get E. Coli to realize you should stop eating Jack in the Box, you shouldn’t have to be fee’d to death before realizing Bank of America sucks. Contrary to popular belief, Free checking and free savings accounts do still exist. And not only that, but they exist with banks and credit unions that actually put their customers first!””

  27. I’m leaving BofA and going with Ally! Their presence at FINCON really impressed me. BTW, great meeting you!

  28. I just opened a checking account with BoA and intend to get a debt card, mainly for use outside the US. I’ll be doing a significant amount of overseas traveling for extended periods of time. They could literally send me to any country for a month or two at a time. Does any other bank have the same global reach as BoA? I currently use a credit union for most of my banking, but good luck trying to cash a credit union check at a US embassy…

  29. I guess I don’t see the big deal. I haven’t used my debit card for anything but pulling cash out of an ATM for years. I use a credit card and pay it off every month and get some rewards out of it.

  30. BofA has always been a high fee (and low interest for savings) bank. This charge is one of their lowest. ($39/overdraft anyone?) I would guess most of their customers are aware of this already and feel that the tradeoff (large ATM and branch network, great online banking/billpay, 24 hour service) is worth it.

    All banks try to influence your behavior towards the manner that will make them the most money. For instance, the nearest credit union to me offers a “high” interest checking account, but you have to meet some strict rules – a direct deposit each month (so they don’t need to pay as many tellers), 10 debit transactions a month (so they can collect fees) and paperless statements (less office supplies and postage).

  31. This is just the kick in the ass I needed to close my SunTrust account! (They announced a $5 debit card fee a few months ago. It takes effect in November.) I’ve got my ING referral lined up. Just need to open my account and get that free $50! 😉 Thanks, Ninja!

  32. Ultimately, I agree with Slug and a few commentators after him echoing the same idea. Fees on the lazy and mindless are what pay for some of the other great offers available.

    I’m not picking on smart customers who stay with BoA. Those fees the ‘other people’ are paying allow BoA to provide many other services like having banks and ATMs all over the world.

    Even on a small scale like your checking / debit account, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It’s frustrating, but you cannot force many of these people to make better banking and retail payment decisions.

  33. I just found your blog from You have some pretty funny stuff! I am a BOA customer and have been for years. I think I fall under the lazy category more than the stupid, but maybe a little of both. I have never been charged fees from BOA and I never use my debit card except to get cash out. I always use my rewards credit card and then pay it off each month through BOA online banking. I love their online banking and their portfolio where I can see all my accounts, including my 401k and airline rewards. I guess I would be willing to change, but only if that new bank had an awesome online banking system….and I am too lazy to go and look to see what other banks have.

  34. Unfortunately, due to child support issues, I have to stay with B of A. It sucks big time, but my ex lives in Missouri and my daughter lives there, so I am stuck with using them. Fun times!!!

  35. So does anyone know if the fee is charged if your debit card is swiped as credit? Or is it only on transactions where you have to input your pin?

  36. I hate bank of america. Apparently, I paid only $200 on my credit card account, but according to bank of america I was short by $3. The damn bank charged me a $15 late fee. I wish I never got involved with bank of america. I will be closing this account in January and will never ever have anything to do with bank of america.

  37. They *ALL* do that crap! Are you kidding. Good luck finding a credit card that doesn’t pull that. Also, they hold your mailed in payment until it is oooops! LATE! You gotta know all this right?

    The only answer is do not use credit cards, cash only. Or have it on autopayment, or be able to pay it off in full each month.

    Good luck.

  38. Ummm. Ninja Man, why did you (or your blogsite) assign me that ugly green monster thingy as my avatar? That’s not representative of how I look, nor of my personality. I need something pink, pretty…..

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