The truth about Bank of America

Posted: January 24, 2007 in Banking, Blogs I'm reading!, Consumer Issues, Credit, Finance For Youth, Financial Institutions, Investing, Life, Saving, Spending

***UPDATE***
As of February of this year, my opinion, and the grade for Bank of America has dramatically changed. Read THIS POST for more information.

As an aside, BofA is not the only bad bank here, there are others who subscribe to this backwards thinking. They were just the most slimey about it.

Let me start out by saying I really, really wanted to hate Bank of America.  I have worked in finance (banking) for a very long time, and everybody knows they just suck!  I knew I was going to be giving BofA a bad grade when it came to youth accounts.  Here’s what I came up with.

When rating financial institutions for their benefit for youth, I looked specifically at the products they offer on their websites dedicated to students and youth.  I looked at seven criteria, and compared with other institutions.  Since I don’t bank with them, I did not rate them on customer service or satisfaction, two areas that are very important to me.

Criteria

Results
Bank Name Bank of
America
Program Name Campus Edge
Monthly Fees Free (5 years as student) then $5.95 monthly.
Ways to avoid Fees Direct Deposit or Online Bill Pay
Other Fees See website for details, none for program
Online Access Free
Online Bill Pay Free
Additional Website comments N/A
Overall Grade B+

Comments:  I like especially that the account is free while you are a student.  This is of paramount importance to my readers.  Offering to waive monthly fees for Direct Deposit or Online Bill Pay, as well as offering a free online Bill Pay program really helped.  They seem to offer programs with features that make sense for today’s youth.  As much as I wanted to hate them, they Came out pretty good here.

Great job, Bof A!

Coming up, Wells Fargo.  Did they do as well?

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Comments
  1. B of A also offers a one-time “stuff happens” fee refund with the CampusEdge account (I’ve graduated, but my five years haven’t expired yet). It’s a good feature. I’ve also had good service in general from them, and their online banking capabilities, which I think are particularly important for students (who are generally more likely to be computer-literate and interested in banking online and less likely to have time to take a trip to the bank during business hours), are absolutely top-notch.

  2. Wil says:

    Actually, I didn’t really like the “stuff happens” card. I find that almost every other instituion will reverse fees as warranted, and it usually just takes a phone call to a branch. I suppose it just wasn’t a big enough deal for me to mark it down.

    I’m glad to hear they give good service. That’s one of the most important things about any financial institution, and their reputation isn’t so good there.

  3. walt says:

    News for you, bofa does sucks. their employess, at least most of them, have tons of salary doing s###, and have no clue of customer service. if i were you, i would withdraw my fund before something do happen.
    again, MOST employees, NOT ALL. also, avoid any investment products from bofa. their analysts are bunch of i-fund expert wannabes, who got rejected from other IB firms, like citibank, goldman and other real IB companies.
    do you know why they tag you with hefty charges with small chump return??? ask their salaries, that’s why….

  4. ADM says:

    My experience is all negative. I opened the student account in September 2006. The $50 incentive was supposed to be delivered within 50 days (as their reps promised). After 60 days I sent them emails and after a while they re-affirmed my eligibility and on 11-13-06 they said “Please allow up to 90 days for processing and delivery of this incentive.” Almost 150 days later (5 months after the original promised delivery day, 7 months after opening the account) I am still waiting. So judge for yourself.

  5. Wil says:

    ADM-

    Sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience. As you read more recent posts, B of A certainly is not as good as I initially thought. It is a shame that they can pretty much piss off on their commitment to those who are willing to do business with them.

  6. non nomen says:

    You all might enjoy my chat conversation with a BofA customer service person which can be found at http://www.bofasucks.wordpress.com. I call it “Contra Preferentem and other four letter words.”

  7. […] of America specifically sucks a very large bag of…, well, let’s just say that I’m no FAN! That being said, I’m not sure of the wisdom of jumping on a bandwagon to prove a point. I […]

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