Saturday, January 09, 2010

Bank of America Review

Yeah, many people have many prejudice of this bank, but I'm going to attempt to have an honest review.

Some Information:

Bank of America is a financial services company, the largest bank holding company in the United States, by assets, and the second largest bank by market capitalization. Bank of America serves clients in more than 150 countries and has a relationship with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 83 percent of the Fortune Global 500. The company is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Global Consumer and Small Business Banking is the largest division in the company, and deals primarily with consumer banking and credit card issuance. The acquisition of FleetBoston and MBNA significantly expanded its size and range of services, resulting in about 51% of the company's total revenue in 2005. It competes directly with the retail banking divisions of Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The organization includes over 6,100 retail branches and over 18,700 ATMs across the United States.

Bank of America is a member of the Global ATM Alliance, a joint venture of several major international banks that allows customers of the banks to use their ATM card or check card at another bank within the Global ATM Alliance with no ATM access fees when traveling internationally. Other participating banks are Barclays (United Kingdom), BNP Paribas (France), China Construction Bank (China), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Santander Serfin (Mexico), Scotiabank (Canada) and Westpac (Australia and New Zealand). This feature is restricted to withdrawals using a debit card, though credit card withdrawals are still subject to cash advance fees and foreign currency conversion fees. Additionally, some foreign ATMs use Smart Card technology and may not accept non-Smart Cards.


In essence, Bank of America is a very big bank with a lot of customers. As the largest bank, the Bank own the largest number of branches and ATMs in America. Together with some of their interesting programs like "Keep the Change", Bank of America seemed to be a very good bank by looking at their numbers.

I've personally had accounts from Sovereign Bank, Citigroup, Citizen's Bank and HSBC. And starting an account with Bank of America seemed very easy. For instance, you can do it online, and within a few simple steps, the bank account was setup.

I liked this service and received my account information and ATM card in 1 week. Depositing my first $25 transfered from Sovereign Bank somehow failed, and I tried calling Bank of America, and after being on hold for 15 minutes, I gave up, and deposited $100 in cash.

My first experience with customer service was bad, but I tried using the ATM card, depositing checks and doing basic banking and it all worked fine.

One of my roommate owned me money, and signed a check over to my name, so I deposited it, and it worked. I checked the account and the amount of $75 was deposited in a few days. So when he needed to borrow a little more again, I gave him some money for holiday shopping and got his pay check the next day. Everything seemed fine.

A week later, my bank account was closed by Bank of America. I could not access my ATM card, could not get to the customer service. I did not receive a phone call, nothing. Bank of America just terminated the bank account with fund inside. I was rather frustrated, and the ATM card did not say anything, it simply did not work. I went to a branch and after speaking to a customer service agent at the branch, he called and told me it is a "Corporate Decision" and did not elaborate any further.

3 days have passed and I just received a letter that my account was closed, no reason was given, just a note saying that they have the right to do it, and that my money may be returned to me in the next few days.


For a bank that has so much advantage over their competitors, Bank of America seemed to be totally unreasonable and simply "un-bankable" with.

I sure hope I receive my money that was deposited in the account.



If you never needed to use any customer service, you simply have a direct deposit and you just use your ATM card to withdraw money, then Bank of America may be fine -- until your debit card is compromised and you need to contact the customer service where there is none.

-- Reviewsguru


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