Bank of America experimenting with new fees


Editor’s note: This segment originally aired October 15, 2010.

Bank of America is experimenting with new fees to recoup billions of dollars of losses resulting from new consumer protections.

The Financial Times reports that the nation’s largest bank is expecting to make $4.3 billion less this year because of the new credit card reform act and new overdraft protections. And they’re not taking the loss lightly! BOA is now testing all kind of new fees, both in terms of price points, pricing structures and more.

“[BOA] may create a tiered price system that rewards its best customers for maintaining a minimum current account balance, using credit cards a certain number of times per month, or conducting all banking transactions electronically,” according to a Reuters report. “Customers who do not adhere to certain rules will be charged a higher fee.”

As the big dog in the industry, BOA’s moves are being watched closely by other big banks. Still no word on if they too plan to experiment with new fees. But you’ve got to be on your guard.

When your BOA statement comes, look closely at the fees to see if you’re being charged anything out of the ordinary. Ditto if you’re with any other large bank.

But why not just take your business elsewhere? There are roughly 8,000 banking institutions in the United States. If you go to a small bank, an online bank or a credit union, you generally get fee-free banking. Online banks are especially popular with those under 40. They typically have the best deals if you don’t care about going to a physical location.

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