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Bank of America - Anyone use 'em?
Old 11-07-2007, 01:07 AM   #1
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Bank of America - Anyone use 'em?

I use BOA for checking and the MM, but thinking of using them as my main investment acct too. Anyone had any good or bad experiences?
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:40 AM   #2
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BOA is a bank not an investment house. Why invest with them over other choices? I like Charles Schwab myself but any of the online discount brokers are probably better than BOA. I have my checking and HELOC with BOA so I am not against them but they don't seem to be the brightest crayons in the box and their mortgages aren't low rate or low fee.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:41 AM   #3
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I use them to buy stocks (the unlimited free trades offer) and I am very happy with the experience so far.
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:05 AM   #4
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No way would I use Bank of America as an investment house. Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab are high quality, low-cost brokerage houses. Why pay a full service broker or bank for the same (or probably worse) service?

I do use Bank of America for my checking and am very happy with them there. But Fidelity gets all my investment business.

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Old 11-07-2007, 08:29 AM   #5
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I've told this before: I signed up with BoA when TDWaterhouse bank closed. I thought I would get free checking and low cost brokerage trades. BoA took a 6-figure deposit of mine (deposited in person mind you) and promptly treated it as a withdrawal. Since they thought my account was in the red by six figures, I could not withdraw any money. Our direct deposit paychecks were sucked into the abyss. Checks bounced. Online bill pay bounced. A check to the PTA bounced. Although BoA was informed within 24 hours of their mistake, it took them over 3 weeks to fix it because their banking software sucks.

I had not been inside a bank in something like 8 years. I had to go practically daily into the local BoA branch to get action. They eventually paid for all the fees charged to me by folks returning checks, but if we didn't have credit cards and a money market fund, we would've been SOL for those 3 weeks. They never paid me for all the time I took fixing their mistake.

Thankfully, WellsFargo came out with their free trades deal. I am a happy WF customer. They are better than BoA hands down. You should switch.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:15 PM   #6
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I think either something has changed or maybe I am uninformed, but they have a non-managed investment option with free trades so....cheaper than Charles and Fidelity. It's called Self Directed Investing. No charges at all for anything and it's easy for me to transfer to my checking. Plus the MM is higher yeilding than the other guys.

Schwab had some bigger charges to purchase my Vanguard Funds too. Seems crazy for a guy that rebalances every 6 months.

(Who cares what their mortgage rates are?)
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:24 PM   #7
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From what I read, few jumped on the free trade bandwagon with Bofa and requires you keep 25k in deposit accounts with them....I did the wells fargo offer with 100 free trades per year/per account and the 25k can be brokerage accounts and a portion of credit cards balances (if you are doing balance transfers) or part of mortgage....yeah, there is a lot of complaints about Bofa's banking biz...and their accounts are generally not competitive to keep 25k in deposit accounts even pursuing this....Smoking Hot BOA now has MMA which pays as high as 5.03%
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:24 PM   #8
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Years ago we had a mortgage that ended up becoming a B of A mortgage when they bought the other firm that originally issued the mortgage.

After constantly having them misapply early loan payments we made (posting them as monthly payments made ahead of time with most of payment charged to interest, instead of as prepayments of principal only!), and then screwing up the final payoff computations, I swore I would never do business with them again.

But, two credit cards we had, issued by other firms, ended up becoming B of A credit cards when they bought the other firms. Leave it to them, the savings bonds rewards program (a saving bond for every so many dollars of purchases on the card) we had for years was terminated.

Frankly, I think B of A sucks.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:54 AM   #9
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I have no experience with the investment side of BofA but I do use them for my checking, savings and credit card. But I do not use the savings and credit card for long term savings and debt. I just keep the savings above the required amount and the credit card paid in full before the due date. I have a "premium account" and have never had a fee assessed. The minimums are low.

BofA has easy to use on-line features. One feature I like is the ability to do on-line purchases using a dummy account number associated with my credit card that lets me set limit on the charge which expires at a date I can set. Their credit cards are not good if you think you will carry a balance.

The checking/MM savings are only good if you use them as I do - as a temporary node for my money. I have our paychecks deposited automatically. I have set up an automatic transfer of part of the money to the savings 3 days after the paychecks go in. I do on-line transfers from the accounts to my Roth (Vanguard) and PenFed (CDs). I do these transfers manually from Vanguard and PenFed.

The MM rates are abysmal at BofA (at least when set up associated with a checking account). I save for short term purchases (new roof, water-heater, etc.) using the MM but, for the most part, I just park the money there until I find another place to put it. Again, I do not encounter fees when I use this MM like this as long as I keep the minimum in the MM.

There are many other features that I don't use that are nice (BillPay, etc.). Other banks might be just as good for similar activities. I have never considered using them for investment for one reason. If they pay a non-competitive MM rate, I doubt that they are customer focused in other investments. I have never really verified this as it is an anti-BofA prejudice of mine. I figure that if they see their small clients moving money to other FDIC institutions and still don't offer good rates, they don't care about their smaller investors.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:56 AM   #10
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I have a B of A checking account and credit card (i think it's a premium account). I keep $20 in that account and pay the credit card bill in full monthly. My local branch is the only bank in town that exchanges foreign currency at the counter. They keep quite a variety on hand and do this for customers at reasonable exchange rates w/ no fee.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:27 AM   #11
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I have been with BoA since 1980. I have 2 checking accounts and each of my 2 kids have savings/checking accounts there. I get free checking/no fees for all of the above by being a "Prima" member - keeping $10,000 in a BoA MM earning 2.75%. This seems like a decent value even at that low %.
All of my other cash is in CDs, Vang. MM and E savings earning between 5 - 6.3%

I have had to call BoA several times over the years to have them remove fees they "accidently" added. You really have to check your statements with all banks.
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