New guidelines have some Bank of America customers furious

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)– Angry consumers are calling out Bank of America after it tightened up the guidelines for free checking.

The bank’s eBanking accounts weren’t technically complimentary: An $8.95 regular monthly charge used to customers who checked out tellers for routine deals. However customers who did their banking online didn’t need to pay, no matter how low their balance got.

Now all consumers with eBanking accounts have actually been moved to Core Monitoring, which brings a $12 month-to-month fee. Consumers can prevent that fee if they make a month-to-month direct deposit of a minimum of $250 or maintain a balance of $1,500. Students and customers in a benefits program are likewise exempt.

The bank presented eBanking accounts in 2010 and stopped offering them in 2013. Bank of America has been moving eBanking clients to Core Monitoring for several years. The last group was informed in October and moved over on Friday.

Lots of clients weren’t delighted about it. A petition opposed to the new rules had more than 45,000 signatures on Monday.

“Bank of America was understood to care for both their high income and low earnings customers. That is exactly what made Bank of America different,” composed Mel San, who began the petition.

Some individuals composed that they cut ties with the bank over exactly what they viewed as unjust treatment of customers. One called it an unneeded concern on the poor.

The petition released January 5. About 17,000 signatures were included over the past week, and about 600 on Monday alone.

Bank of America stated through a spokeswoman that Core Monitoring is “a fantastic worth.”

She stressed that it supplies full access to banks, ATMs, mobile and electronic banking and uses numerous methods to prevent the regular monthly cost.

Other significant banks provide comparable services. Citi’s Access account charges $10 a month, and clients can prevent the fee by making a qualifying direct deposit or bill payment per period, or keeping at least $1,500 in particular linked accounts.

And Chase waives the $12 month-to-month fee on its Total Inspecting account for people who make direct deposits of a minimum of $500 each month, preserve a minimum day-to-day balance of $1,500 in the account or have at least $5,000 in qualifying linked deposits and financial investments.

Customers looking for a lower-cost alternative from Bank of America can register for the bank’s SafeBalance account, which has a flat charge of $4.95 monthly and doesn’t enable overdrafts.

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