BoA Regular Checking Change of TermsSo while reconciling my numbers last night I noticed that my BoA checking account balance was off by $14.00.

Hardly a troubling sum but I’m seldom off by a penny.

And $14 even? What could that be?

A “fee” was the first thing that came to mind…

Had I used another bank’s ATM? Had I needed a money order or a cashier’s check? Had I done something out of the ordinary in the past 30 days?

Three strikes — I hadn’t done anything unusual.

8 seconds of research revealed the culprit.

Yep, as expected, on December 23rd I was hit with a $14.00 charge labeled as a “Monthly Maintenance Fee“.

Not impressed.

The last time I was hit with one of these, they’d changed the “flavor” of my checking account under the guise of night following one of their many bank mergers.

Apparently, then, BoA was not offering the account that my former bank (which was swallowed up by BoA) was so they just changed it and hit me with a fee.

Crazy, my account number never changed. My PIN hasn’t changed either. My checking account certainly did, though…

I had that all taken care of with a nasty phone call — and took note of the “new” minimum requirements to operate fee free.

The only parameter that applied to my situation was a minimum $1000 balance.

No problem, I thought, I can do that.

I’d been maintaining a 4-figure balance for as long as I could remember so I was under the impression that I essentially had that “free checking” you hear advertised so often.

Then, back in 2008, you know, when the sky was falling, I remember getting a big old mailing from BoA regarding a change of terms for their Checking accounts.

For compassionate reasons or whatever, they’d lowered their minimum balance to $750. They were pretty darn proud of it — like they were heros or something.

Cool — I thought. Though I still maintained a $1000 balance, at least now I had a bit more wiggle room should I need it. You may have noticed in my net worth updates that (very) occasionally my checking account would dip into the $900’s.

No biggie, right?

Wrong.

Apparently BoA changed their terms again back in November. No glossy spread to announce the change this time – Minimum daily balance in checking– $1500 or more.

Nice, huh? They doubled the minimum balance. Un-announced too, as far as I’m concerned.

But, hey, the recession is over, right? It’s all good.

I’m just glad it’s only cost me $14.

Make that $28 — I’ve got less than $1500 in my checking account right now…

Might be a good time to make the switch to my hometown Toronto Dominion, peculiarly dubbed “America’s Most Convenient Bank”…

(For the geographically-challenged — Toronto is in Canada…)

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