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Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #1
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Bank of America

Bank of America (BoA) is offering 30 free equity trades/month to account holders with $25,000 or more on deposit. (I'm thinking emergency funds.)

Does anybody have recent experience with BoA's banking and investing service? This sounds like it could be a good deal for my situation; but, I'm wondering if I'm missing something.

Bonus question: Does anybody have experience using BoA's ATM cards internationally? (Currently, I am mostly concerned with Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America; but, I hope to broaden my horizon's over the next few years.)

Apologies in advance if this has already been covered; but, I couldn't find much discussion on BoA's free trading offer which I am currently weighing against the one from Well's Fargo.

Thank you.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 01:05 PM   #2
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Re: Bank of America

While I can't help too much on your request, you might want to know that Bank of America ranks 2nd to last in the Customer Service Hall of Shame survey: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com....aspx?GT1=9313

They are a total PIA to deal with as a regular bank--we have our banking and mortgage through them. In fact, I'm on hold with them right now--getting to talk to a "Live Person" is an ordeal I wouldn't wish on anyone. :P
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: Bank of America

Forget about Bank of America. I tried them before the "free trades" deal and found their software to be flawed. They took a six-figure deposit of mine and subtracted it from my bank account. Every time they tried to correct their mistake, the software reset it, so my balance was a big negative number. I closed the account after 3 weeks of bounced checks, bounced online bill pays, etc. In the end, they refunded all the fees, etc, but it was the worst banking experience in my life.

I switched to WellsFargo before they were "free". Now they have 100 free trades a year. Everything works as advertised. You even get free mutual fund transactions of the out-of-network funds. Superb service and you do not need $25K sitting in a low interest account, but your brokerage assets count towards the $25K minimum. Superb checking account, etc. To get free out-of-network ATM's at WF you need $250K in assets with them. Some overseas banks are in the WF network, so you avoid the $5 charge (even BoA charges $5). Search this forum for more info on WellsFargo.

Bottom line: WF is at least 10 times better than BoA in my opinion.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Bank of America

Horrible customer service.

Too big to care.

Run, don't walk to someone else, IMHO.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: Bank of America

My experience with BofA was not pleasant.

I had a BofA checking account years ago when I was a student, and they decided to start charging me monthly fees out of the blue.

At the time I didn't have any income because I was between jobs, and considering I only had $100-$200 in the bank the $5/month charge was roughly equivalent to giving me a papercut and pouring salt in the wound.

So I asked them if they could temporarily suspend this charge for a couple of months and they said no, but that I could close my account and reopen it later.

I took my money to Washington Mutual and have never looked back.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 05:11 PM   #6
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Re: Bank of America

We had "unpleasant" experiences with BoA as well. It involved a house loan that my mom had on another property. BoA would complain several times a year of not receiving payments and so replacement payments would be sent in. We tried to get her granddaughter authorized to talk with BOA when an issue came up..but they would only talk with my mom. They sent in forms multiple times to authorize the granddaughter but they always got "lost".

It turned twilight zonish when my mom died. They refused to talk with anyone except her..didn't care about death certificates or court docs authorizing executors..they would only talk to her (what part of **dead** don't you understand?? )

Instead of hiring a medium we got a lawyer involved and BoA eventually backed down and started acting like a more normal company.

Not sure how they do in their other businesses but they were pretty funky to deal with in this one.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Bank of America

Thank you all so much for your quick and candid replies. You have definitely pushed me towards Wells Fargo...unless anyone has similar horror stories from them.

Wells seemed to receive favorable reviews in other threads; but, I would definitely welcome any opinions about them as well. (They just don't have any branches in my state.)

Thank you again.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: Bank of America

I hope Bank of America's web monitors pick this thread up and act upon the message in a positive way.

Bet they find it and don't act on it, though.

Customer service is often an after-thought at major companies (despite protestations to the contrary).



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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 05:46 PM   #9
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Re: Bank of America

I would have to say that Bank of America has the worst customer service of any company I have ever delt with. I would never do business with them no matter how good the deal was.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:04 PM   #10
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Re: Bank of America

All my experiences with Wells Fargo were great back when I lived in Denver, CO. I live in NYC now, so no Wells Fargo here, but the day they open a branch here in the Big Apple will be the day I'll transfer my money out of Chase and back to them.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:10 PM   #11
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Re: Bank of America

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolChange
Wells seemed to receive favorable reviews in other threads; but, I would definitely welcome any opinions about them as well. (They just don't have any branches in my state.)
I see no reason to have walk-in branch for my bank. I used an internet only bank (TDWaterhouse) for about 7 years until Ameritrade bought TDWaterhouse and severed the banking relationship between the broker and bank. TDWaterhouse Bank was absolutely superb with free everything. WF comes close, but one needs a higher minimum to get free everything from them.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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Re: Bank of America

Just to post a minority opinion on BofA - I have had checking and savings accounts with them since the days of Nations Bank. I use their on-line bill paying software. I had a HELOC from them as a bridge loan when I bought my new house a couple of years ago. My pension is direct deposited to the checking account. DW's pension is direct deposited to the savings account. I do electronic transfers to and from these accounts. I have had zero problems. I don't know why the previous posters have had such a bad experience ... I have nothing bad to report.

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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:40 PM   #13
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Re: Bank of America

I've had a checking account since 1978 and I've never used a bank. I've used a credit union.

Maybe if enough people move to credit unions, BofA will have to do something about their customer service.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:43 PM   #14
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Re: Bank of America

My experience with wells is that they are getting a lot of business on this offer so you have to be somewhat patient...from the threads on fatwallet, my impressions of Bofa is that you get much better service with balances of 100k in deposit accounts and get a personal banker....not many have signed up for the free trades with them...if you do, check out one of the affinity money market accounts (thread on fatwallet, also)....since you need 25k in deposit accounts....

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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:51 PM   #15
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Re: Bank of America

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolChange
You have definitely pushed me towards Wells Fargo...unless anyone has similar horror stories from them.
I have not banked with Wells, but they serviced my mortgage when I had one, and no problem. I refi'ed with them when rates dropped and it was amazingly easy -- they just mailed me a 'notebook' of forms, I read, signed, needed to get one notarized, poof, all done.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 06:52 PM   #16
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Re: Bank of America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I've had a checking account since 1978 and I've never used a bank. I've used a credit union.

Maybe if enough people move to credit unions, BofA will have to do something about their customer service.
Or, (more likely, IMO) they'll lobby Congress to put the squeeze on credit unions. Banks hate credit unions.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 07:36 PM   #17
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Re: Bank of America

Add me to the list of people who will never do business with BA again.
I both a credit and checking relationship with them for 15 years until they processed (in error) some other customer's insurance auto pay and then refused to correct.
I had to use a connection to access a SVP before I could get it corrected. Took about a month. What was worst during the entire process, they told me to prove to them it was not my insurance-no matter name on account and insurance company did not match
Run Run Run BA
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 10:00 PM   #18
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Re: Bank of America

I've been considering buy BofA stock, with a yield in the mid 4s and good growth prospect it looked like a decent investment, but... maybe not.

As the largest bank in the US, I guess I'd expect a lot of negative comments, but the absence of positive ones is scary as a potential sharehodler..

BofA owns my mortgage, the process of assuming was a bit frustrating but basically par for the course. Are there any happy BofA customers out there?
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Re: Bank of America
Old 04-30-2007, 10:12 PM   #19
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Re: Bank of America

BofA bought MBNA a while back and the transition was NOT smooth. What they said on their website did not match my experience during the change.
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Re: Bank of America
Old 05-01-2007, 10:22 AM   #20
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Re: Bank of America

Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp


As the largest bank in the US, I guess I'd expect a lot of negative comments, but the absence of positive ones is scary as a potential sharehodler..

BofA owns my mortgage, the process of assuming was a bit frustrating but basically par for the course. Are there any happy BofA customers out there?

Well, as you suggest, internet boards always attract negative comments!

But since you ask, I'm a happy BofA customer. Well, at least not unhappy. Maybe my expectations are pretty low anyway! Still, I've had business and checking accounts with BofA for 25 years or so and never had a bad experience of any sort. Even the staff at the local branch are OK.

But I've never used them for stock trading, and I'm not sure I'd want to.

Peter
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