Bank of America says “Keep the Change” Ryan 26 Oct 2005

139 comments Latest by Jason

Keep the Change is a new idea from Bank of America that encourages you to build some savings by keeping the change.

So, if you buy a sandwich for $4.50 with your BofA debit card, you are actually charged $5.00, but the change is deposited in your savings account. So, $4.50 for the sandwich and $0.50 for savings. Basically they’re rounding up and refunding the change to your savings account instead of back to your checking account.

Neat idea and new thinking. I recently took about a year’s worth of change to the Coinstar and came out $165 ahead. Change definitely ads up. It would have been easier not to have to go the Coinstar which is why I especially like this idea from Bank of America.

139 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Chris M 26 Oct 05

How interesting that they are also now charging extra when you make more than three transfers between checking & savings per month… sneaky!

Mark 26 Oct 05

VERY forward thinking. Nice way to keep your balance nice and clean. Coinstar is such a ripoff…why only keep $0.89 on the dollar when you can take the bag-o-change to your local branch and get all of it back?

Chris M 26 Oct 05

(Also, remember Coinstar now has a program where you can turn your change into a Amazon.com gift cert or Starbucks gift card without getting charged the 8.9% fee)

Mark 26 Oct 05

Thanks Chris for the tip. I always ignored Coinstar because I thought that was the only way to do it. May think twice before changing in my change.

Rob Cameron 26 Oct 05

It’d be awesome if this was somehow possible when paying with cash (I end up with a pocket full of change by the end of the day), but the beauty of paying with a card is that you always have the exact amount. Is this a “feature” you can turn on and off whenever you want?

sb 26 Oct 05

slightly off-topic: coinstar is cool. a really neat machine that has always worked great for me. i don’t mind paying a cut because it’s entertaining to watch the machine. the “time vs. cut” argument is no-existent for me. i’m not rolling coins or taking it to the bank and waiting for a human. losing time isn’t saving money, at least for me.

Colin 26 Oct 05

I guess you’ll be bending down to pick up those pennies, then.

Sam 26 Oct 05

Great gimmick - its catchy and it plays on the guilt of the average American for not saving.

Of course, its only useful if you committ to keep this money as savings unless the goal is to eliminate the pocketfull of change. Given the negative savings rate in this country, I think a lot of people will just have to end up transferring the cash back into savings. An extra step you didn’t need to take before you signed up for their program.

Mark 26 Oct 05

So are you charged interest on $4.50 or $5.00? If it’s the latter, this is earning BofA a few pennies in interest themselves.

Dan Boland 26 Oct 05

This is the part I like — “For the first three months, we’ll match your Keep the Change savings at 100%. That means for every Keep the Change transfer, we’ll contribute the same amount to your Bank of America savings account. And when the three months are over, to make it even easier to save, we’ll continue matching 5% a year, every year.”

Too bad I’m a Bank One customer (oops, I mean Chase).

Jan 26 Oct 05

$4.50 for a sandwich? Is it wrapped in gold or something? :)

Kim Siever 26 Oct 05

It’s Subway.

Matt Baron 26 Oct 05

I think at best qualifies as pretty lame and I definitely would not call this “forward thinking.” Seriously, who cares about that their balance is round on there checking account? Whats wrong with transferring a portion of you check direct to savings?

Change really adds up, sure, but it is not as if this was money that would be thrown away. It just sits in your checking account a little longer and doesn’t collect their diddly squat interest. Whats the big deal?

Since we are on the topic of BoA, I just have to bring up those damn commercials that I am so sick of hearing. Drag n drop ATMs so i can rub my hands all over some dirty screen that has been touched by millions and probably even peed on by drunk homeless people that live in them… Great! Glad to hear you are “working on that!”

I’m sick of these so called “innovations,” please stop giving these people press…

Marc Hedlund 26 Oct 05

Of course, B of A is really excited about the amount they get to charge the merchant for you to use your card (as opposed to cash). This sounds like a free-to-them plan to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about running up card fees for them. Ask that sandwich salesperson what *they* think about it.

It’s a pretty good bet that any time a bank launches a new program, someone, somewhere is getting their lunch money stolen. Remember, these are the guys who will charge you $10 a month for a low-balance savings account, which basically amounts to a row in a database. They do not care about helping you save money.

JF 26 Oct 05

I agree with you Marc. I’m not a fan of the banks, but I do like this type of thinking. At least someone’s thinking in that industry.

Ervin 26 Oct 05

So, basicly, this is a worthless card.

Why? Because, after the first 3 months pass, the maximal cashback for a purchase will be 5% of 99 cents = 19.8 cents. It can be a $100 purchase, you still won’t get more than 20 cents cashback.

Even in the first 3 months, you’ll get a maximum of only $0.99. (But let’s not count the time you waste to get a grocery bill of x dollars and 1 cent.)

It’s just an eyecatcher for stupid people. Meaning: I guess we’ll see a lot of these cards in the stores. ;)

Baeck 26 Oct 05

If BofA really cared about helping you save money, they’d tell you to do something with your money other than deposit it in their savings accounts. For long-term savings, you’re pretty much just as well off leaving the money under your mattress. Either way, you’re earning well under the rate of inflation.

From my point of view, BofA’s strategy is twofold:

1) Increase their debit card use, which earns them more fee revenue.
2) Increase their customers’ savings balances, which will allow them to make more loans, thereby increasing profit.

It’s a win-win for them and a total loss to their customers who are seeing negative returns from their savings by the time you factor in inflation and taxes on interest.

brad 26 Oct 05

How interesting that they are also now charging extra when you make more than three transfers between checking & savings per month… sneaky!

If that’s true, this is pretty much a scam. The fine print says that they make a transfer every day that you use the “Keep the Change” program. So you’re going to pay for every transfer after the first three days, meaning you’ll lose money overall, especially given the fraction-of-a-percent interest rates on most savings accounts these days.

I don’t know if this is true in the States, but here in Canada in order to avoid losing money by keeping it in the bank, I would have to keep about $20K in my savings account just to make enough interest to cover the monthly fees. Fortunately we have ING direct, so I keep most of my money there and just the minimum in my regular bank. But boy, do I hate paying those fees (there’s no such thing as free checking here).

Don Wilson 26 Oct 05

5% of 99 cents = 19.8 cents

5% of 99 cents = 4.8 cents

Ervin 26 Oct 05

Even the worst credit card offers more protection than a debit card. In case of theft, your losses are limited to a maximum of $50; most banks won’t charge you anything, if you report the loss in 48 hours. With debit cards, or the latest evil (“pinless check cards”), the thief can wipe out your account.

I don’t see any reason for using debit cards, except for getting cash from the ATM (a PIN-only ATM card is preferable). It’s a solution only for people with no credit history or no self-discipline (tp pay the bill in full, monthly).

Ervin 26 Oct 05

Don, you are absolutely right. I must have been daydreaming. :)

John Y. 26 Oct 05

They’re regional, I think, but around D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic, Chevy Chase Bank has free change-counting machines. You don’t even have to have an account there to use them: just walk in, use the machine, go to a teller and get your cash (if you have an account, you can obviously deposit it instead).

Anonymous Coward 26 Oct 05

The only problem with this new ad campaign for “Keep the Change” is that I have spoken to a few people who thought that it meant BoA would *give* them the change for using their card. This is of course not the case (an quite obviously would make BoA sink if it were), but I can see how it might be misleading.

Brandon 26 Oct 05

It’s my understanding that people are willing to use Coinstar, despite the 11% fee, because banks now charge just as much to count change. Anyone have any experience with this?

I use a credit union, and they count my change (with a machine, of course) without charging me a fee.

Matt 26 Oct 05

Hey,

At Commerce banks, they have machines that will count your change for free. Usually, they also have a game up where you can guess the amount you have beforehand, and if you’re right within $1 or so, you get a free “prize” (plastic Commerce piggy bank, etc…).

-Matt

Andy 26 Oct 05

Bank in “we’re in the business of making money” shocker!

Why are some people so pessimistic? The ‘keep the change’ idea sounds like a good idea to some people. If you don’t like it (just like everything else) then don’t use it. So the bank makes some money out of it, so what? You get to die not-quite-so-penniless in your old age.

Chris Nolan.ca 26 Oct 05

I always thought that they should have made a button on the debit terminals that rounded up and gave to charity. @ the grocery store for example there used to be those little buckets where you could drop your coins in to donate, once most went debit they disappeared.

Maybe they’ll make it a feature in the future, instead of your savings account it’ll go to a charity of choice.

SH 26 Oct 05

The funny thing about this “new” promo is that I can’t think of one person I know who balances their checkbook regularly and *doesn’t* already round up the change on every purchase. It’s like basic checkbook 101 and it seems like everyone who manages their money without the aid of online banking already does this. (You give yourself a few extra quarters here and there just to make the math easier.) But in the end the leftover “change” amounts to very little and may only serve to cover bank fees every month, so while the idea seems catchy and well-intended, I think it lacks a certain…substance.

LindaC 26 Oct 05

I heard a radio ad for this last night & noticed one of those quick legalese voices say “Patent Pending”at the end. How can this be patentable?? Does this mean that any other bank that wants to offer a similar program would have to pay BofA a license fee??

So they’re getting the fees from the merchants, fees for the savings accounts, the use of your money and, potentially, future license fees. Obviously they think this is going to be a big money making program for them.

Ross M Karchner 26 Oct 05

I like the idea of savings-as-a-function-of-how-much-or-how-often-you-spend, but the “change” thing is too random and pretty artificial.

I’d like it to set the amount in stone, like .25 per purchase, or $1 for every $50 spent. (perhaps not those exact numbers)

LindaC 26 Oct 05

SH,
Some of us are total anal-retentatives that balance their checkbooks to the penny every month without rounding up… even long before on-line banking even existed!!
L:)

Dan Boland 26 Oct 05

I don’t see any reason for using debit cards, except for getting cash from the ATM (a PIN-only ATM card is preferable). It’s a solution only for people with no credit history or no self-discipline (tp pay the bill in full, monthly).

It’s also a solution for people who just want to pay for the things they buy with the cash that they have. To me, it’s a simpler method of smart personal money management.

Jeff Martin 26 Oct 05

Mark: There is no interest charged. This is for debit cards.

I like this idea. Sure it’s gimicky, and those who have iron willpower probably don’t need it. The more automatic savings I can do, the better. I have an automated transfer coming out of my checking account twice a month, but the more I put in, the better. And if I am spending $4.50, I might as well deduct $5.

Doug 26 Oct 05

I’m with LindaC. I balance to the penny every couple days. This just seems like a bad idea. I’ll wait for the first person who isn’t aware of their balance bouncing a check due to money moved into savings “automagically”. That will lead to a lawsuit. Then a class action.

For me, I’d rather use Discover for every possible purchase and get the 1% (or 5% on whatever special they are running) and pay it off each week.

I fear for the day when most of my generation has 0 in savings and is no longer employable. Even though I expect to be cash laden, the society will be scary. Just hope I can buy an Island in the south pacific…

Jake Walker 26 Oct 05

There are no interest charges on Debit Cards. It’s a nice way to put a few bucks away for Christmas Money or some nonesense. If you want to move the money out of the savings account every month and put it in something higher yield, go for it. Save a buck or two a day and maybe you have some money to buy your mother a gift for Christmas at the end of the year.

100% match up front plus 5% match after 3 months is pretty good … the savings acct doesn’t pay much interest, but that’s OK, as you can move the money out of there to something higher yielding if you want to / when it amounts to anything.

Man — everyone tries to cut stuff down. This isn’t a big money maker for Bank of America, it’s a nice idea — there’s no conspiracy. It encourages people to use their debit card instead of cash…. doesn’t affect me, the end user of the debit card.

Brandt Lofton 26 Oct 05

I agree Jake, I’m not sure what every one has their panties in a wad about. No its not productive to keep large amounts of money in savings but thats a different point.

However my one grip is this. I signed up for this, hoping that the transaction posted to my checking/debit account would show up in nice rounded numbers. $20 for gas. $33 for dinner and such. Just for the readability factor.

However, to my disappointment they still show up the same, and at the end of the day or when ever you just get another transaction listed that shows your piggy banked amount.

However, still a good idea for those of use that still understand the value of change saved and invested over time.

On a side note. For those that have such a problem with banks. Why would you even comment as you should have no interest in this feature?

matt 26 Oct 05

It seems like they’ve done their homework on ways people could scam them on this. My first thought was “ok, I can just buy a bunch of stuff for $0.01, and get my own 99 cents moved to savings and their matching 99 cents at a cost of 1 cent”. So if I can find someone to sell me 1,000,000 items at 1 cent per item, I come out ahead … putting aside that my checking account balance is slightly under that level…

Of course, they have restrictions in place — you can’t use this on “cash like” items (gaming chips, travelers checks, etc). You can’t use it on items you returned. You’re limited to $250 matching per year and/or promotional period.

Still, given all that, it seems like I could buy something w/ my BoA visa from myself, via paypal, for 1 cent per transaction, about 250 times, and earn the matching dollars, minus the paypal fee? Or are there also rules on what a qualifying purchase is?

David O'Hara 26 Oct 05

So not only are they going to “adjust” your account for you but they’re going to make your Quicken (you do use Quicken don’t you?) downloads a nightmare. I certainly don’t want any bank moving my money around with my interaction. This sounds like a complete PITA to me. Glad I’m not a BoA customer…

ceejayoz 26 Oct 05

Change definitely ads up. It would have been easier not to have to go the Coinstar…

You don’t get change from using your debit card… so how would this change anything?

Dan Boland 26 Oct 05

I certainly don’t want any bank moving my money around with my interaction.

You have to sign up.

Jeff Adams 26 Oct 05

The $.3 may not be a big money maker for them but getting people to use their debit card more is a huge money maker. On average, people who use plastic tend to spend 30% more than those who use cash. I think this is a horrible idea for consumers and does nothing to help us save but actually spend more.

How about this. Make a budget at the beginning of the month (e.g. budget $300 for groceries) take that money out in cash and only spend that money for groceries. You won’t over spend and you can put savings into your budget.

Jake Walker 26 Oct 05

Glad I’m not a BoA customer…

Man people are bitchy about unimportant, meaningless things. Man, I’m glad I’m not a BofA customer because I wouldn’t want to be banking somewhere were a feature like this was optionally offered. I might forget about my outrage and accidentally sign up for it one day!

David O'Hara 26 Oct 05

Mea culpa, I obviouly missed that it was a “sign-up only” deal. Talk about quick to jump on folks…

Chris Griffin 26 Oct 05

Ok to clarify a few things:

Bank of America does charge a $3 fee for their regular savings.

You can avoid the $3 by either:

Keeping a $300 daily balance

or

Transferring at least $25 a month over to your savings. From what I heard (my friend’s mom is a branch manager at B of A) You can transfer it over and then transfer it back.

Yes you only get 3 transfers per month for free. But the point of a savings account is to save. While B of A is making money for excessive transferees it also encourages people to keep their money in there. And hell, 3 transfers is plenty. If you were to do that to avoid the $3 fee, then I would suppose that would be considered 2 transfers (One $25 to your savings, then transfer back over).

I don’t think B of A would start a promotion with such an blantant way to rip off the customer by charging them for the daily transfer. If they did, they will get a huge lashback and people will either close their savings or turn the “keep the change” feature off.

Tim 26 Oct 05

Banks are in one business only, and that is to take as much of your money as possible. They make plenty from just having your money in their possession but still nickel and dime you on every other service. Between ATM fees, monthly account fees and all the other little charges, what percentage of every dollar are they taking from you? What percentage is acceptable to you? The bitchy people have just reached their tolerance level.

Regarding the patenting, it sounds like a business method patent, which are a pandemic, IMHO.

J 26 Oct 05

Having visited California recently where the habit is to charge sales tax at point of sale (ie the 4.50 might actually cost 4.93 whatever), it seems to me there will be a lot of one and few penny transfers.

Brandt 26 Oct 05

“Banks are in one business only, and that is to take as much of your money as possible.”

ehhh.. that’s the point of any business is it not?

I guess what your saying is that if you owned your own lemonaid business, and the public was willing to pay $100 for a glass of lemonaid. That you would only charge them %15 over cost as that would be the most ethical thing to do?

Tim 26 Oct 05

That is a good analogy, because nobody wants to pay $100 for a glass of lemonaid, but I could charge that if I was in collusion with every other lemonaid stand in the area so that you couldn’t find it cheaper. Is there a realistic alternative to banks for the average person? I guess what I was implying was that banks have not a shred of social responsibility. Whole Food’s CEO makes a good point for having some in this article.

In an attempt to get back on topic, I’ll say it is a very clever idea, I’m just doubtful it’s in the consumer’s interest.

Jeff Adams 26 Oct 05

Of course it’s not in the consumers interest.

Sabrina 26 Oct 05

I personally like the idea and plan on signing up. I currently save my change from cash purchases and this just gives me a way to lighten the load in my purse by pocketing the change electronically instead. I’ll probably just transfer the monthly savings to my ING Direct account to earn a better rate. Of course BofA is going to make money off this program — what company rolls out a program that doesn’t somehow align with their strategic goals and objectives? But it also doesn’t hurt me to participate, so I’m all for it. The matching, to me, is a nice extra.

Jeff Adams 26 Oct 05

It’s like Phillip Morris doing the stop smoking ads.

brad 26 Oct 05

Yes you only get 3 transfers per month for free. But the point of a savings account is to save. While B of A is making money for excessive transferees it also encourages people to keep their money in there. And hell, 3 transfers is plenty.

Maybe I’m reading the fine print and the examples on BoA’s site incorrectly, but it looks like every time you use this “keep the change” feature it’s listed as a transfer to your savings account. So after you use “keep the change” three times in a given month, you pay for every “keep the change” transaction for the rest of the month after that. So while yes, you’re putting money in your savings account, you’re losing money overall.

8500 26 Oct 05

This is a novel idea. I’m already a BoA account holder so I thought I would just log-in to my online account page and sign-up. What?! I can’t sign-up from my account home? I have to enter in my debit card, last 4 digits of my savings account and full address all over again? Seems to be a clear example of a sign-up process discouraging eager users.

I've checked 26 Oct 05

So after you use “keep the change” three times in a given month, you pay for every “keep the change” transaction for the rest of the month after that. So while yes, you’re putting money in your savings account, you’re losing money overall.

Transfers are free for keep the change. Period. There is no scam here.

Friggin Stupid 26 Oct 05

I have to enter in my debit card, last 4 digits of my savings account and full address all over again? Seems to be a clear example of a sign-up process discouraging eager users.

Yeah — let’s introduce something, put it on our homepage, but hope that no one signs up for it.

Sabrina 26 Oct 05

So after you use “keep the change” three times in a given month, you pay for every “keep the change” transaction for the rest of the month after that. So while yes, you’re putting money in your savings account, you’re losing money overall.

Transfer fees are for withdrawals from your savings account, not deposits to your savings account.

I have to enter in my debit card, last 4 digits of my savings account and full address all over again? Seems to be a clear example of a sign-up process discouraging eager users.

As a current BofA checking accountholder, all I had to do was enter my online banking ID and PIN to apply. It was surprisingly easy.

Henry Blackman 26 Oct 05

As a Brit, I’m shocked to see that banking is not simply free. I’ve never heard such a thing that it’s possible to be charged to use a bank account, be it checking (called a ‘current’ account in the UK) or savings.

There is no bank in the country that charges consumers to have any sort of account, or do anything with them that isn’t out of the ordinary (such as use an unauthorised overdraft). In fact, our current accounts pay us interest when we are in credit, albeit for high street banks very little.

For my own, online bank which is a “Co-Op”, meaning it’s ethical, I get paid 3% when in credit and get charged 9.9% when overdrawn. My savings account pays me 5%, and my credit card charges me 9.9% when I’m using it, with 40 or so days interest free credit should I pay the bill in full.

How do these rates compare with the US? Bear in mind the difference in Federal and Bank of England base rates, and inflation?

Kyle 26 Oct 05

I think it’s a superb idea. I use my debit card an awful lot for day to day purchases, mostly while I’m doing work in Starbucks, wifi cafes, etc. I hate carrying cash around, precisely because it seems like a hassle to carry change around (not to mention having been mugged in the city).

I like the idea, seems like an easy to implement a penny jar for those of us who don’t like to use cash. Kudos to BoA, I wish my bank would do something similar.

That said, I think there’s a good argument not to use debit cards at all, and to only use credit cards with good rewards. As long as you make sure you pay them off every month.

Shiro 26 Oct 05

Wow… Imagine this in Japan. The smallest bills we have are roughly the equivalent of US $10 Via US standards, our coins go from 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 50¢, 100¢ and 500¢, so the coin section of my wallet fills up rather quickly.

So instead of having an average of 50 cents put in at a time for a service such as that, I would have around $5 put in at a time. I’d go broke on my checking account pretty quickly, but my savings account would be pretty admirable!

Andy 27 Oct 05

There is no bank in the [UK] that charges consumers to have any sort of account, or do anything with them that isn’t out of the ordinary (such as use an unauthorised overdraft).

Henry, almost every major bank in the UK offers ‘premium’ accounts where you have to pay a monthly charge for other benefits (ie. ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ accounts at LloydsTSB). UK banks make a fortune from it, and it’s very popular with customers.
UK banks are a very long way from being angels - they make as much (if not more) money from other people’s money than US banks.
I work for one of the smaller major banks, and this year it stands to make £600m+ *profit*, mainly from mortgages and personal loans (and this pales into insignficance when compared to players like HSBC and HBoS). Money made from current accounts is the icing on the cake.

Chris 27 Oct 05

I went to the Coinstar site - not having heard about it before - to see what it was.

The ‘Locate a machine near you’ I found to be a bit of a pain. I selected ‘UK’ and entered ‘LS10’ - the first part of the postcode of the office where I work and enough to indicate the district of town I wanted to search (google maps will accept just this).

A dialog box told me to enter a valid postcode. I guessed that it needed the full code and so entered ‘LS101AD’. I got the same generic error message asking me to input a valid postcode.

UK postcodes are usually written with a space so I guessed that I needed to enter ‘LS10 1AD’. But when I clicked the input box where I needed to enter the space, the script cleared the input field forcing me to enter it again.

Not a major chore, to be sure, but with a little extra logic and coding (ie have the Javascript check to see if the default value ‘Post code’ is in the input field before deciding to wipe it) this simple task should be a lot simpler.

brad 27 Oct 05

As a Brit, I’m shocked to see that banking is not simply free. I’ve never heard such a thing that it’s possible to be charged to use a bank account, be it checking (called a ‘current’ account in the UK) or savings.

In the States lots of banks offer free banking as long as you a) keep a minimum balance and b) don’t use online banking. The minimum balance can be as low as $100 but for some banks it’s much higher. And why they charge for online banking is beyond me…seems like that should save them money so they’d offer it for free, right? And yet my bank in the States charges me $7 a month for onlline banking. In Canada, where I live now, it’s worse: the only bank I could find that offered “unlimited” free check-writing and ATM use requires a minimum balance of $3,000, and even then they trick you because “unlimited” turns out to have limits. My account was deducted $17 last month in “excess use” charges. Back in the old days I could make money by leaving it in the bank but no longer…you really are better off leaving it under the mattress unless you use a no-fees bank like ING Direct that provides a decent interest rate. Your bank charges fees for transfers to and from ING, but the interest rate is so much higher than what you can earn in a conventional savings account that you still end up ahead.

Sorry for the rant.

Shoelover 27 Oct 05

I typically just throw all of my change in my kid’s piggy bank at the end of the day.

Does BofA charge a flat transaction fee or a percentage of the size of the transaction?

Shoelover

Dan Boland 27 Oct 05

n the States lots of banks offer free banking as long as you a) keep a minimum balance and b) don’t use online banking.

At Bank One, the only requirement for a free checking account is a direct deposit (aka a job). Online banking is free.

Waylon 27 Oct 05

There is no scam here! BoA doesn’t charge a fee for deposits into savings accounts, just withdrawals, as was mentioned. This seems like a good idea for those who WANT to take advantage of it. Also, I’m surprised no one has mentioned Washington Mutual; they have FREE checking. No balance requirement. No monthly fee. No transaction limits. Just free checking. Also, most credit unions offer free checking on either a direct deposit or, in some instances, just for opening a savings account in addition to the checking account.

Jeff Adams 27 Oct 05

At Bank One, the only requirement for a free checking account is a direct deposit (aka a job). Online banking is free.

If you are self-employed, no dice.

8500 27 Oct 05


Yeah — let’s introduce something, put it on our homepage, but hope that no one signs up for it.

Um…I think you misunderstood my comment. I have no doubt that BoA would like a ton of people to sign-up for this service but they have made the process too difficult for those of us that already bank online with them. Every piece of information that they collect on the sign-up page they already have. I’m not saying they are deliberately making the process difficult but it is a side effect of their design decisions.

bmc 27 Oct 05

mountain out of a molehill.

bmc 27 Oct 05

Wait a second…

So you’re the jerkoff in front of me buying a friggin sandwich with his debit card? What kind of person can’t be bothered to pay $5 in cash?!

Thanks for holding up the line.

Aled Davies 27 Oct 05

It’s a nice idea, but the rate of interest (0.5%) really sucks. I earn more cash back from using my Costco Amex.

monkeyinabox 28 Oct 05

Homeless person: Do you have any spare change?

BofA Customer: nope! It’s in the bank, sorry!


It’s really a ploy to stop street corner begging.

Kellie 28 Oct 05

Hey, we’re talking about free money for the first 3 months (was that up to $250?). I’m not too good to turn down free money from the bank even if it a few cents here and there.

Gus 28 Oct 05

I bank with BofA and I have no fees unless I overdraw an account. Do all my banking online. Direct deposit for my paycheck (and my wife’s).

I use a debit card because it’s more convenient than a check, and faster, and has no interest (unlike a credit card), and it’s easier to carry with me than several hundred dollars in cash, and doesn’t require many trips to an ATM (if I were to use cash but carry smaller amounts).

It has nothing to do with “lack of discipline” or anything of the sort. It’s just extremely convenient, and 0% interest.

As to this being a scam or a “take advantage of our ignorant customers”, I seriously think the people saying most of that need to take a few deep breaths, look around at the outside world for a little bit and think, for a few seconds, “you know, there may actually be people in the world who are not actively out to get me”.

julie 28 Oct 05

“I’ll wait for the first person who isn’t aware of their balance bouncing a check due to money moved into savings “automagically”. That will lead to a lawsuit. Then a class action.”

That won’t happen because if you accidentally overdraw your BoA checking account you can also authorize them to just charge it to your BoA credit card. Hee hee! How convenient.

Alex 30 Oct 05

See www.piggycard.com, a system that lets you collect and save your change at the point of sale— no jars, no ashtrays, and great way to save.

John 31 Oct 05

Julie… if you read the fine print, it explains that if your checking account does not have the money available to transfer to your savings, the program cancles for the day. There are no fees for this either. Everyone needs to read the fine print…there are absolutely no “hidden fees” of any sort for using this program. There are no fees for the money being transfered into your savings. Everyone is sooo negative these days, thats the real problem with the world… not the banks. I wish there were webpages like this where the banks can complain about the anoying customers they have to deal with every single day!!!

Derek 01 Nov 05

The “scam” here may be in the “float”. My checking was charged $2.68 on 10/31, but the money was not posting to my savings on the same day. BofA rep said it may take 24 hours to post…so that is how they are making their money…float. I am cancelling. This may be fraud…no disclosure.

SP 01 Nov 05

Alex… I went to the Piggy Card site. I want one!

John 01 Nov 05

Float? But Derek, why does it matter if the money was deposited in your savings the next day? It’s still going in there? With all banking services, there is a point in the day where transactions post the following day. Even when you give them your paycheck, sometimes you can’t get your money until the following day. So because this program falls under the same criteria (posting the following business day) why does it make it so bad??

Derek 01 Nov 05

John, my issue is that this float is a huge money maker for the bank when you look at the total volume of customers/transactions (not just my transaction)….2 bucks times one million customers (if enrolled) is a huge dollar amount. Posting of paychecks is entirely different (cut off times). In this case they take my money out of my account, and wait a day or two to put in another account. With a paycheck, I didn’t have the money in there to begin with. See my point.

JJ 01 Nov 05

Alex…I read about Piggy Card in the New York Post today. There also is information about it on the internet. It sounds like a great system for saving change. When will it be available?

Darryl 02 Nov 05

Many of the commentors to this post simply seem to have their facts wrong. You should re-read the terms before dogging on it. While BOA’s interest rate is pathetic, they are giving you at a minimum a 5% match (up to $250 a year, which few would reach if you do the math). It’s worth your time just to have a $300 savings account sitting there collecting your change, earning 5% on that change, rather than having the change collect dust in a jar.

Dumb enough to be a 10 yr BofA customer 04 Nov 05

“I don’t think B of A would start a promotion with such an blantant way to rip off the customer by charging them for the daily transfer.”

Dude, you don’t know them. I would bet a thousand dollars that they set this up thinking that X amount of people were going to transfer less per year than BofA was going to charge them for savings account fees, so that it would be free fee income for them. BTW, fee income looks really good to analysts who are forecasting stock trends for a company, so this is also a way to make their stock look more favorable, in addition to whatever other nefarious purposes it is serving them. I can’t tell you how many shady ways they’ve found to suck fees out of me over they years. They sure aren’t doing this for the good of the people, I can promise you that!

Valentin Lorien 05 Nov 05

I signed up for the “Keep the Change” program, but just found out that Bank of America doesn’t “match” the savings until a YEAR LATER. So, if you decided to cancel the “Keep the Change” program after the 3-month ‘matching’ period, you forgoe all of the match savings you would’ve gotten if you stayed signed up for the whole year.

Brandon Vance 06 Nov 05

Ok, with every new program in every bank you can find fault. I work for BofA as a teller and this is one of the few programs I truly believe in. I tell as many cust about it I can. Remember people BoA, still gives you the opportunity to not get fees on any account. On your savings its the easiest, all you have to do is set a once a month auto transfer of $25 from checking to savings.

Think please, this is not a way to make a million or even a thousand dollars, it is away to help people save some money and not just have their savings accounts sitting there empty. Yes the bank wants to make money, but it truly is benefical to have people save money.

And no, the bank does not have a limit on how many transfers you can make to your savings from checking. The other way around your limited to 6 by the federal govt.

Tracey 08 Nov 05

I just signed up after reading all these comments, which were helpful by the way ;) The way I figure it is that it’s free money, and I’ll be contributing my virtual change to my savings account. Regardless of how much or how little gets transferred, and matched, it’s still more money in my savings, period. I’m just a little surprised at the message I received after signing up: “Your enrollment application has been successfully transmitted and will be processed within 10 business days. We will notify you by email when your Keep the Change™ savings transactions begin.”
10 days?!?!?!? Whatever…

James 11 Nov 05

About the maximum of 3 transactions per month: this applies to withdrawals only and there is no limit to deposits. The withdrawal limit is federal law: savings accounts are for savings, not for frequent transactions.

Keep the Change is a great idea for people who are convinced the are so sretched that they can’t save any money at all. This is a painless way to save, and at the end of the month the money in savings will seem like it came from nowhere.

However, I would not sign up for Keep The Change for a simple reason: using Quicken to keep track of 30+ transfers to savings every month would be rediculous. Imagine: a checking account statement with twice the normal number of transactions!

Even the worst credit card offers more protection than a debit card.
Not true! Haven’t you seen the commercials about “if your Visa Check cars is lost or stolen the money will be back in your account the next day”?

I think keep the change is a cool *optional* feature but I don’t plan on signing up. I have free checking at USAA: no monthly fee, no minimum balance, no direct deposit requirement, free checks for the life of the account, free use of any bank’s ATM with automatic refunds for ATM fees, and 1/2% cash back on the debit card. Bank of America will have to do a lot more than “keep the change” to get me to switch.


WAXMAN 26 Nov 05

Let’s see here…Bank of America agrees to pay $69 million in a class action suit related to their involvement in the Enron scandal…A San Fransisco jury awards Bank of America customers 1 billion dollars after finding BOA responsible for mishandling social security checks for seniors and the disabled. … BOA was sued (81 million dollars) for obtaining thousands of unauthorized consumer credit reports and selling them to 3rd parties in clear violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
They are currently being sued for charging fees (in some states) to cash checks that were written by employers with accounts at Bank of America.
They obviously saw the explosion of check cashing centers opening on every street corner and realized that they wanted a cut of that business too.
I recently learned that my maximum daily withdrawl allowance through Bank of America is $300.00
I was charged $2.00 for not using a BOA terminal and another $1.50 for my attempt at withdrawing $400.00 which I was not allowed to do. Sneaky…
A banking watchdog group reports that 30% of BOA’s profits are from overdraft fees.
Am I crazy or doesn’t it seem that this “harmless” program gives BOA even more of an opportunity to shuffle funds in my accounts in hopes of getting a lower balance, possibly resulting in some overdraft charges?
Without my permission or authorization, I was signed up for Keep the Change and money started disappearing from account about 2 weeks ago. It’s not 99 cents a day either.
Last week, the debits from my checking account averaged $7.55-Monday through Friday. By the end of the week, I had $43 out of my checking account.
Just so happens that this program was launched just before the holidays, when many account holders will find their accounts slimmer than at any other time of the year.
HELLO overdraft fees.
Anything too good to be true….

chris 10 Dec 05

this is quite possibly the dumbest idea I have ever heard of - why would I ever want the bank to charge me more than something costs in order to “help” me by moving money from one account to another? Idiotic if you ask me.

jessica 11 Dec 05

all i hear is a bunch or people who obviously dont know how to use a bank account. there is no reason to overdraft if you can count so the fees are not the banks fault. and keep the change is an awesome way to beef up your savings acount a bit more if your not the best at saving money. I have a completely free checking account at boa and have never been charged any fees and its not even like i keep tons of money in there.

Wendi 14 Dec 05

“…it seems like I could buy something w/ my BoA visa from myself, via paypal, for 1 cent per transaction, about 250 times, and earn the matching dollars, minus the paypal fee? Or are there also rules on what a qualifying purchase is?”

Great minds think alike. I had the same idea, but Paypal is excluded under this provision in the Terms & Conditions:
“You will not receive the matching funds for .. account funding transactions including transfers to open or fund deposit, escrow or brokerage accounts … “

They don’t see Paypal as a purchase but rather funding your Paypal account, which in turns pays for your purchase. I also confirmed this with a Customer Service rep online.

So now all someone needs to do is to make a website that sells a legitimate “product”, like an ebook maybe, and accept debit cards directly, charging 1 cent, and you can set it up to automatically buy 250, 1 at a time! Of course I’d spread it out over the 1st 3 months to be not quite so obvious as doing 250 in 1 day! :) They might have to charge more than 1 cent in order to cover their fees to accept the card, I guess.

Whoever set up the site would benefit by making $2.50 from each person who used it, minus costs and assuming they charged enough to cover Visa’s fees and still make 1 cent per transaction. The users of the site would benefit from getting the $250 from Bank Of America! Any volunteers to set up the site?

After all, they max out your match at $250 anyway, so I’m just seeing what’s the most certain way to get to the $250.

Wendi 14 Dec 05

“…it seems like I could buy something w/ my BoA visa from myself, via paypal, for 1 cent per transaction, about 250 times, and earn the matching dollars, minus the paypal fee? Or are there also rules on what a qualifying purchase is?”

Great minds think alike. I had the same idea, but Paypal is excluded under this provision in the Terms & Conditions:
“You will not receive the matching funds for .. account funding transactions including transfers to open or fund deposit, escrow or brokerage accounts … “

They don’t see Paypal as a purchase but rather funding your Paypal account, which in turns pays for your purchase. I also confirmed this with a Customer Service rep online.

So now all someone needs to do is to make a website that sells a legitimate “product”, like an ebook maybe, and accept debit cards directly, charging 1 cent, and you can set it up to automatically buy 250, 1 at a time! Of course I’d spread it out over the 1st 3 months to be not quite so obvious as doing 250 in 1 day! :) They might have to charge more than 1 cent in order to cover their fees to accept the card, I guess.

Whoever set up the site would benefit by making $2.50 from each person who used it, minus costs and assuming they charged enough to cover Visa’s fees and still make 1 cent per transaction. The users of the site would benefit from getting the $250 from Bank Of America! Any volunteers to set up the site?

After all, they max out your match at $250 anyway, so I’m just seeing what’s the most certain way to get to the $250.

Kim 23 Dec 05

I was convinced to sign up for Keep the Change by a smooth talking personal banker at my local BoA. He had failed to mention that the max annual amount the bank would match was $250 and that there’d be a delay for “the change” to transfer over into savings.

Now, this program may benefit some people, but I don’t have a steady source of income right now and monitering the progress of Keep the Change is just another hassle for me (I don’t trust BoA, personally. I joined it to waive my checking account fees for the first 5 years). I’d just have to transfer savings back to checking more often than I did before.

So I cancelled it after one day. “The change” that should’ve transferred over to savings is nowhere to be found (it’s been deducted from my checking, at least).

Sign up at your own risk, is my advice.

Ze Genius 27 Dec 05

Wendi,


You and me both …


The only point is I am wondering who would create a site that can charge just 1 cent (or maybe 5 cents) per transaction and still manage to cover the extra fees that BoA charges them for using your card. If you have any pointers, please buzz me …. :)


I am a strong supporter of the “Keep the change” program. I’ve never had any mentionable balance in my BoA Savings account, though it was free with the auto transfer from BoA Checking to BoA Savings. I am an ultra-heavy user of my debit card, and simply love the convience of cashless transactions, becoz, uber-geek-living-and-working-online that I am …. I barely carry a buck or two in cash in my wallet. BoA even gives a nice mini-card that you carry around on your key ring … no wallet required. It takes just a few seconds longer than paying for cash (if you exclude the digging in the purse for getting the cash out … or the various countings that occur … once in your hands, and once in the cashier’s).


I hate credit cards becoz of the simple fact that since I am new to the States, most of my cards either have a pathetic grace period and/or exorbitant fees … or else have to be “secured” (which is another crappy-roundabout way of having a debit card, if you ask me). I definitely am not eligible for a “rewards” credit card at this point.


Using this program over the past 40 days has already netted me around 110$ (though this is basically my own cash moved from CKG to SVG). I’ve confirmed with my local bank exec that the 100% matching funds for the first three months will be deposited at the end of the first three months itself ……. the remaining 5% matching will be deposited on every anniversary of your program enrollment date (subject to 250$ max per year). Am waiting for the initial 100% matching funds to be deposited, and then I will transfer it to a higher yielding account (mostly my overseas stock e-trading accounts)


I feel that though someone is getting short changed …. somewhere … (most probably the merchants who will have to pay more for more people using cashless transactions), even on close analysis of the fine-print and during my initial usage of this program, I stand to gain. I could not be bothered much about the rounding of figures to the exact dollar amounts … everybody nowadays should use XL/Quicken/Money/online banking to manage their statements …. and if they don’t, they should !! 8) Neither does it matter much to me that the savings account in BoA gathers 0.5% (worse than peanuts) … becoz it won’t stay there


Also, on a side note to address some of the concerns listed above:

1. BoA adds just one transaction called “Keep the Change transfer from SVG to CKG on mm/dd/yy” to ur statement PER DAY. This means an overhead of just 30 rows per month (for those who are complaining of having to download HUGE Quicken/Money sheets)

2. BoA transfers the change for each transaction by summing them all up in one CKG-to-SVG transfer

3. BoA does NOT charge you a fee for transferring from CKG to SVG … You do have your 3 transfers (BoA imposed) limit for transferring from SVG to CKG … or the 6 transfers (federal limit) if you have a balance more than $2,500 in your CKG account.

4. Though they may be making money in the “float”, it does not make a difference to us, does it? Because we **ARE** getting our cash in the SVG accounts. IMHO, the merchant’s fees will be one of their primary reasons they let this program go live …

All-in-all, I commend BoA on their ultra-creative strategy to let their end user’s (and themselves) earn a little extra cash each time a card is swiped.


- zeGenius

Aaron 03 Jan 06

I almost never participate in threads like these, but I thought I would on this “keep the change” issue. I don’t understand why all of you wouldn’t think it’s a good idea. Many will earn the max of $250 in the first year (because of the 100% matching for the first 3 months). And in future years, many will earn an additional $25+. All for simply living your life. I just don’t see the downside or a reason to be cynical. This isn’t a ton of money, but I think all new ideas that add value to the market should be welcomed. This kind of innovation will lead competitors to develop their own programs. In the end, it will be us consumers who benefit. Not every big company is looking for ways to screw you. But then, I’ve never been a cynic ;)

FYI - Check out www.ingDirect.com for one of the best money markets in the country. It’s incredibly easy and I believe is paying about 3.75% right now. That blows away the national average of about .5%.

SS 06 Jan 06

Somehow I like this program. I already made $30 in a month. I don’t think I can make the $250 they promised as maximum. To do that imagine you make the max 99 cents per tx. YOu need to do 253 transactions. Let us say we make 60 cents average. You need to do close to 420 transactions. Let us say $10 per tx. You need to spend close to $5000 to get this $250 in 3 months. I don’t think I can do that. I am looking at $100 which is realistic.

I am putting tips such that the final bill looks like $32.01 gaining the 99 cents there while mystifiying the servers. Doing calling card purchases at $5.15 each time so that make 85 cents every time, having 99 cents coffee which leads to a bill of 1.04 and gainig 96 cents there and so on.

I really enjoy it!!!!!!!!!

SS 08 Jan 06

I am looking at a merchant may be like Walmart who will let me buy a gift card with value at my will for example $5.01. I can buy 100 such cards and use them over the time.(While making 99 cents for each card) Buying such a gift card won’t hurt since we will use them anyway. Let us rip off BOFA!!

C. J. 14 Jan 06

As a BofA Employee, I feel that most of you do not know who to use a checking account. First - YES Banks exist to make money, how do you think I get paid, I doubt any of you go to work for free! Those of you with the problem that 30% of the banks profits come from overdraft fees please read my first line. If you knew how to use an account you wound not be getting any overdraft fees. Better yet sign up for Keep the Change that way the money will get transferred to a savings that you can link for OVERDRAFT PROTECTION, so when you screw up you can cover it instead of having the bank do it for you! Keep the Change is a good Program for people that have a free checking account (yes that means Direct Deposit, or a minimum balance requirement, or are going to school) and have a savings, other wise you can pay 5.95 a month. Yeah I said it, pay the fee, that’s what….one less Starbucks coffee for you a month. Next those that can not afford to or can’t get a credit card and pay it off in full every month this is a great way to make a little money back on what you end up spending in the first place. To all of you that feel that keeping money under a mattress is safer just send me your address. When it gets ripped off you won’t have any one to cover your A$$. For the money that I myself and I’m sure some of you keep in the bank, which isn’t a lot but more than I would feel comfortable with under my mattress, the 5.95 a month is worth the security and insurance. Bank of America does not charge you to transfer money into the account only out of the account. You can make 3 transfers out of a regular savings or 6 transfers out of a Money Market savings which is also under federal law. Next the float, the money is transferred out of you checking and into you savings that night thus earning you a little higher interest rate on that little amount of money that is now in your savings. BofA DOES NOT CHARGE FOR ONLINE BANKING OR ITS BILL PAY SERVICE - no matter what type of checking account you have (they do charge for quicken downloads). Honestly that is the problem with most of this country the only thing we are good at is bitching about what everybody else is doing, so in that case unless your perfect, which sounds like most of you aren’t, SHUT UP.

zeGenius 14 Jan 06

Addendum:

Some tips of how I made $110 in 40 days using KTC:

1. (Obvious) Split shopping transactions into smaller bundles, each of which totalled around X.01 to X.05

2. Paid gas for my roomie’s car in X.01 increments !!

3. Tipped waiters/pizza delivery guyz to bring the total up to X.01

4. Bought a store gift card (e.g. Target/WalMart/Giant, etc) … used this card to “top-up” any single transactions to X.01 … e.g. If my current shopping at Target was around 4.92 … I just handed over my Target GC and asked them to add “0.09” cash to the GC. … perfect … 5.01 !!!

5. Also, made quite a few individual additions to the store GC in the amounts of X.01 (always choosing a random value for X in order to throw anyone off who’s analyzing/auditing my BOA stmts). This is cool … I can spend that cash stored on the GC after the 3 month period.

6. Downgraded to the McDonald’s / Taco Bell / Wendy’s value menu instead of full meal burgers …. burgers at 1.04 !!! WOWOOWOW … perfect.

7. I live with four other roomies …. and volunteered for shopping duties for these 3 months. imagine buying daily groceries/etc for 5 guyz … using ur BoA card …. scorching !!!


If anyone else has ideas on how to max the $250 matching limit … please feel free to post them out here.


- zeGenius

SS 14 Jan 06

We all buy a lot of greeting cards from wallgreen, hallmark etc..
They have 99cents cards which could bring total to $1.04 in VA after sales tax. I bought 10 of them in individual transactions and effectively made $9.60. I will use tehm over the period when I need Greeting Card

Larry Thomson 19 Jan 06

Not so fast, this is not a new idea…I understan that their in settlement talks with Every Penny Counts (EPC) for copywrite issues

Larry Thomson 19 Jan 06

Not so fast, this is not a new idea…I understan that their in settlement talks with Every Penny Counts (EPC) for copywright issues

Big Jake 09 Feb 06

Does it matter if I hit the Debit or Credit button?

Honestly doesn’t sound that bad, what’s wrong with free money? Who cares if it’s nibbling off a little change from your checking account? What are you going to use it for anyways?

Also, if you DO read the “fine print”, (at least if I did it correctly?) Well crap I’ll paste it right here, but it looks like they only make the transfer of your extra funds annually… it’s like a little Christmas bonus or something. Go out treat yourself to a nice dinner or something.

“The matching funds will be credited to your savings account annually, within 8 weeks after the month in which the anniversary of your enrollment in Keep the Change savings service occurs. To receive the matching funds, your checking and savings accounts must be open and in good standing, and you must still be enrolled in the service. Annual promotional match will not exceed $250.”

James 16 Feb 06

In response to C.J, the B of A employee:
CJ makes it sound like one has only two choices: put money under the mattres, or pay a monthly fee for a BofA checking account (assuming no direct deposit or minimum balance). Several FDIC-insured banks, which are just as secure as BofA, offer FREE checking with no requirements (check Washington Mutual). Yes, I would pay 5.95 a month if it was the only way to protect thousands of dollars, but there are reputable competitors out there that offer the same product absolutely free.
I have a free checking account (no fees, no minimum balance, no direct deposit requirement, free checks, free use of any ATM in the world), and I have a debit Master Card with cash back rewards. I don’t have to worry about overdrafting my checking or keeping track of transfers but I still get the cash back at the end of the month.

CL 20 Feb 06

BOAconstrictor makes money be charging the merchants a fee on the higher transaction amount (ie, 4.50 > 5.00 or .50 *BoA-charged debit fee). And then who do you think the merchant passes these extra costs onto…yes, you the ‘saver’. The money that goes into your savings is your own money (plus the promotional money). I would think a much better idea for the consumer is to have automatic debit from the paycheck into savings. Start out with 1% and increase by 1% per month, so you would be saving around 12% of your paycheck by the end of the year.

Mark Tee 21 Feb 06

I got into this Keep the Change program for one reason and one reason only. The $250.00 Matching for the first three months. It is not the first time that I recieved money from BofA for a promotional program. Just play by thier rules and at the end they deposit the money in your account. I think $250.00 free money for just buying things with your debit card is worth it

But… be aware. (I did not say ‘beware’) most products in the store cost x.95 or x.99. Add five of them together and the total is still x.92 or less. That amounts to maybe 8 cents KTC transfer and 8 cents match. Not much when you consider you are trying for the maximum of 250.00.

My son solved this problem by studying the gum counter. When we were aware of the transaction total he would grab the appropiate item and tag it on the bill pushing the total over the dollar to 5 or 10 cents. Therefore making the KTC transfer 95 cents (approx) and the match 95 cents. This works well, just buy your stuff in smaller groups thus increasing the transactions more often. only problem was I had a car full of gum and candy. My son has made this a project with me to improve the KTC transfers because he gets lots of stuff. We took better control of our purchases by using the self checking counters that you find in some grocery stores. We close the transaction after a few dollars (and cents) then open a new transaction and buy a few more items. This works good, but you have to do it late at night or very early so no line of impatient people form behind you.

This brought the best idea yet. Self serve gas pump. I stood with my debit card for twenty minutes filling up my tank at $1.01 at a time. I made 35 transactions on a receipt four feet long. At 99 cents for the KTC match, my gas only cost me 2 cents per gallon. This worked great for achieving the max of $250 but the next week when it was time to fill the tank again, all the gas stations did not let me use mt debit card at the pump any more. I had to go in to the cashier. Try telling them you want to make a purchase on your card for $1.01 or even 3.05. They think you are crazy. But I only have one week to go for the 100% match promotion and I am up to $210.00. So far that is $70 per month free money!

Wake up! Free money! 2 cent gas! All you people stop your griping. There is not too much oppertunity to make money without working, risking investment, or begging out there. Because it is Bank of America, you know it is legit. Not a scam or conspiracy. Just a promotion for saving.

Ron 26 Feb 06

Personally, I think this is a very dumb idea. First two times I saw the commercial on TV, I actually thought they were giving the cardholder the difference. All BofA is doing is CHARGING YOU MORE AND PUTTING THE DIFFERENCE (your own money) INTO YOUR SAVINGS. Be your own person and put money away in savings yourself, and forget BofA’s dumb “offer”. Or just continue to withhold too much tax so you can get a refund at the end of the year.

Maggie 28 Feb 06

Many of you keep saying that there are fees for being in the “Keep the Change” program and that customers will lose money after awhile. To those who believe that—you’re all wrong! The “Keep the Change” is a absolutely “free” program that BOA came up with to help customers save. There are no charges whatsoever for “Keep the Change” transfers from checking to savings. What makes this program good is that BOA will also match you 100% for the 1st 3 months and after that 5% annually. I personally think it’s great to get some free money.

The way it works is that debits and checkcard purchases come out of your checking account as usual. BOA in this program rounds up that amount to the nearest dollar and transfers that change amount from checking to savings. Yes indeed that is your own money being transferred from checking over to savings. The thing is that BOA will also match it 100% for the 1st 3 months and continue giving afterwards an annual reward of 5%. BOA did set a limit of matching up to $250. Please don’t complain for free money.

Yes, savings does state that you can only make 3 withdrawals per monthly statement. If you are below the required minimum balance then of course they charge $3.00. One should be careful with their funds to begin with to avoid having service charges.

In regards to the comment that this program could be responsible for people bouncing checks and for lawsuits to occur. You are so wrong to think that! It would not ever be BOA’s fault. The problem would be with the account holder who allows their account to have insufficient funds. For starters, BOA reviews your account history and will only approve you into the “Keep the Change” program if you have a history of having accounts in good standing with them. If not, BOA will not even enroll you.

Also, if you are in the program and at some point don’t have enough funds to make a “Keep the Change” transfer then BOA will cancel the transfer for that particular day. Although, if that happens repeatedly, BOA will disenroll you from that program. They specifically state at enrollment that your accounts must be in good standing to remain in this program.

Hopefully, my comments have been helpful. Now it is up to you whether this program is right for you.

Zman 05 Mar 06

The account seems like a good idea to me and would be great for those who are already using a debit card for daily transactions. Maggies gomments of Feb 28 seem the most informed.

Kudos to all the others with great ideas on how to max out the matching of funds for the first 3 months.

Joe Krysky 08 Mar 06

Jake Walker said-

_____Man — everyone tries to cut stuff down. This isn’t a big money maker for Bank of America, it’s a nice idea — there’s no conspiracy. It encourages people to use their debit card instead of cash…. doesn’t affect me, the end user of the debit card._____


WOW, a person only concerned about himself, that says alot about our society. That’s a great way to make things better isn’t it?….I only care about me, not the repercussions of my actions. Nazi Germany didnt affect me, why should I care? Everything will eventually affect you.

Optimistic 15 Mar 06

Anyone seen the new deal Washington Mutual has? They are offering free checking, free ATM withdrawals, free checks for life and one free overdraft/nsf per year! I love this bank!

ALX 19 Mar 06

WHAT you guys seem to be ignoring from the beginning is the FREE MONEY! that bank of america basically hands to you for the first three months when they match your savings account balance! Anyway, thought you should know..

ALX 27 Mar 06

Follow the $. How is BoA making money out of this new plan.

Kristina 14 Apr 06

Actually…..I have a savings account, checking account and a money market account. I put all my money direct deposited into my money market account, including the keep the change portion….By doing that I not only get my keep the change matched by BofA, but I also get interest paid to me on the whole amount. I then pull out the necessary amount at the beginning of the month . My savings account is attached to my checking, and my money market is solo. By doing this, I have found that I actually make money from BofA, so in my opinion if you do this correctly the keep the change program is pretty good. I think it is just all in how you plan and do it.

donna I 27 Apr 06

ALX says “Follow the $. How is BoA making money out of this new plan.”

It encourages the use of your debit card, which makes them money from the interchange fees they charge to the merchant.

mferguson 09 May 06

The charges will be incurred if you make more than 3 transactions from your savings account, you can deposit INTO your savings how many times you wish. I would assume that you are provided 3 free transactions from your savings and charged a fee for anything after is to deter you from actually using your savings. Why would you want to dip into your savings anyway? The purpose if for you to SAVE and if you are charged a fee for spending your savings then you would give it careful thought as to how much you are willing to save. This is the problem with Americans; we don’t save!

cbermudez 12 May 06

Everyone keeps calling it free money, it is Your money.If you go to their web site and read the fine print , it says :
The matching funds will be credited to your savings account annually within 8 weeks after the anniversary of your enrollment.
After a few months , I dropped out of it because it was making a mess of my checking account.

Greenville Saver 19 May 06

I just saw this commercial and this is the lamest commercial since it implies that you’re getting this change given to you by Bank of America. I ended up here, wherever I am, because the commercial was so lame. This is completely lame.

Keep the Changer 29 May 06

Has anyone actually received the matching money from the Keep the Change program? I am past the 5 months and in good standing and all with both accounts and haven’t seen anything.

Keep the Changer 29 May 06

Has anyone actually received the matching money from the Keep the Change program? I am past the 5 months and in good standing and all with both accounts and haven’t seen anything.

Keep the Changer 29 May 06

Has anyone actually received the matching money from the Keep the Change program? I am past the 5 months and in good standing and all with both accounts and haven’t seen anything.

mmmm 30 May 06

As was posted earlier you won’t get matched until the anniversary of enrolling in Keep the Change. Or until up to 8 weeks later.

“The matching funds will be credited to your savings account annually, within 8 weeks after the month in which the anniversary of your enrollment in Keep the Change savings service occurs. To receive the matching funds, your checking and savings accounts must be open and in good standing, and you must still be enrolled in the service. Annual promotional match will not exceed $250. “

Sovea 30 May 06

The catch is that your balance increases more rapidly and if you aren’t paying it off monthly, eventually you are paying finance charges on this money that’s in your saving account…not a good idea in the long run unless you are not carrying your balance over.

Mr. H. 30 May 06

as a boa naturally you’re going to be selling the program. I’m a customer since from when they were fleet. I only went because this branch is open till 7 on friday and 12 on sat morning. BUT along with getting that amount deducted out of your debit when boa rounds off, risking over draft hints, aren’t you going to be hit with savings account fees on top of the $2.50 a month debit fee???

Mr. H

Jack A. 05 Jun 06

Mark Tee’s idea was very interesting and helpful to save!

I also had an idea for buying food @ McDonalds:
You should use the checking card to buy stuff from McDonald’s value meal, each seperately, and you would only be paying 18cents per item:

McChicken, or Dbl Cheeseburger or small fries, etc: $1
Taxes: $0.08
Total: $1.08

I checked my savings account, i’m in the first 3 months, so BoA is matching it 100%. So I get $0.92 into my savings. So basically, you pay only $0.16 for buying stuff on the value meal, as long as you pay for each item seperately, one at a time.

16 cents per value item on McDonalds = $$
Doesn’t work at some other fast food places, like Taco Bell, because they charge a 69c additional debit card fee.

River 16 Jun 06

Even the worst credit card offers more protection than a debit card. In case of theft, your losses are limited to a maximum of $50; most banks won’t charge you anything, if you report the loss in 48 hours. With debit cards, or the latest evil (“pinless check cards”), the thief can wipe out your account.

Banks are 100% responsible for the loss on debit cards. Yes, your account can be wiped out, but if due to fraud, the bank must reimburse you. This loss is not refunded to the bank via their card vendor (Instant Cash, Shazam, etc.) it is the burden of the bank to cover. Insurance is available for this. Most banks have a high per instance deductible and premiums are expensive. Debit cards a large area of fraud loss for banks. In our experience (I work at a non-BOA bank), customers who never make on-line purchases with their debit cards or use their cards oversees, rarely experience losses. ADVICE: USE YOUR CREDIT CARD ON-LINE & WHEN TRAVELING OVERSEES!!

CP 18 Jun 06

Here in New York City one idea is to perhaps use the machines in the subway. You can add any amount above $1.00 using a credit card to your MetroCard. This morning I think I added 5 transactions at $1.10 a piece, netting me I believe 5 x .90cents, or $4.50. But interestingly enough the Metrocard machine shut me down after 5 transactions so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

Buying gasoline is by far the best idea I’ve heard so far; so is rounding up the tip to an $0.01 amount.

Good luck. I like this promotion, it’s hard to make the full $250.00 but for those of us who are trying please keep the ideas coming!

HBURCH 01 Jul 06

WHAT I REALLY WANT FROM A BANK IS …….
NOT TO HAVE TO PAY YOU 35.00 FOR A 5.00 OVERDRAFT!!!!!
SURE I COULDVE LINKED MY SAVINGS TO MY CHECKING AND STILL PAID AN OVERDRAFT FEE, BUT HEY IF I HAD MONEY IN MY SAVINGS I WOULDNT BE OVERDRAWN IN THE FIRST PLACE….EVER!!!

bobo 05 Aug 06

Yall really need to read the fine print on this keep the change deal. Plain and simple, they are giving you 250. bucks. Yes they do want 300 bucks for 1 year, but wait, you can avoid this by setting a deduction of 25.00 from checking for 2 months and meet the 300.00 in the same amount of time. Where else can you get a return like this for 50 bucks. Ok here is what I do, I carry a little change in my pocket. If the bill is 25.50, I give them 49 cents and use my debit on the rest. 25.01. Some will say this guy must be bored but wait. I will spend over the next 2 months maye an extra 3 hours doing what I would normally do but for those 3 hours BOA will pay me 83 bucks an hour hence the 250. cap. There are alot of deals out there for banks, why not take advantage of them.

bobo 05 Aug 06

Yall really need to read the fine print on this keep the change deal. Plain and simple, they are giving you 250. bucks. Yes they do want 300 bucks for 1 year, but wait, you can avoid this by setting a deduction of 25.00 from checking for 2 months and meet the 300.00 in the same amount of time. Where else can you get a return like this for 50 bucks. Ok here is what I do, I carry a little change in my pocket. If the bill is 25.50, I give them 49 cents and use my debit on the rest. 25.01. Some will say this guy must be bored but wait. I will spend over the next 2 months maye an extra 3 hours doing what I would normally do but for those 3 hours BOA will pay me 83 bucks an hour hence the 250. cap. There are alot of deals out there for banks, why not take advantage of them.

bobo 05 Aug 06

Yall really need to read the fine print on this keep the change deal. Plain and simple, they are giving you 250. bucks. Yes they do want 300 bucks for 1 year, but wait, you can avoid this by setting a deduction of 25.00 from checking for 2 months and meet the 300.00 in the same amount of time. Where else can you get a return like this for 50 bucks. Ok here is what I do, I carry a little change in my pocket. If the bill is 25.50, I give them 49 cents and use my debit on the rest. 25.01. Some will say this guy must be bored but wait. I will spend over the next 2 months maye an extra 3 hours doing what I would normally do but for those 3 hours BOA will pay me 83 bucks an hour hence the 250. cap. There are alot of deals out there for banks, why not take advantage of them.

ken 16 Aug 06

With gas prices so high I get back with keep the change program. Their is no charge for atm at most Union 76 gas stations. Which in my area has the best prices on gasoline because of high volume. I put in 10.01 then stop pumping and start over time over time until full. I have a SUV and I put in about 60.00 a trip. So 6x.99x2 = 11.88 I saved on gasoline thanks to BoA for the first three months on just one trip. And after three months I’ll open another saving acc’t attached to my bussiness checking acc’t t after that then my mother acc’t which I’m also on. So for the next nine months I can maybe save 3x250= 750.00 on my gasoline and other ATM purchases. And I keep $300.00 in my acc’t each month so their no BoA charges. And having three cars I buy a lot of gasoline. It’s free money to me

Ryan 18 Aug 06

What if you just hooked up with a buddy and just kept paying him $.01 on paypal? I mean you could technically do that to meet the $250 maximum pretty quickly in one day. I mean your buddy would just owe you $2.50 minus any fees. But I wonder is there a minimum on paypal? Well I just looked on paypal, and there is no minimum. So technically this could work, right?

TVM 22 Aug 06

Penny wise and pound foolish. If you are using your ATM/Debit Card, why would you need to carry change in your pocket? BoA will make money from the minimum requirement fees and using your $300 bucks for a year. This program is marketed at the same ‘tax-on-the-stupid’, lottery-ticket buying crowd; hence, their ads during Nascar races on t.v.

PointLess Program 22 Aug 06

To Jack A.’s comment,
The reason Taco Bell charges you the 69 cents is because, unlike McD’s, they are passing on their costs to you. So, you are really costing McD’s roughly 69 cents for each transaction, will you make chump change from your own money - BoA matches .92 from money taken from your checking, but makes about $1.40 (2 transacts) from the store. You would be much better off automatically saving on your own from your paycheck.

dont be a freaking cry baby 18 Sep 06

when you post a comment did you ever see the little “note”

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i understand that you have the total right to post your opinion but dont say that your opinion is true…. cause its not! all im going to say is that before you make a comment about anything … this case a bank you want to get all the info… so to the keep the change program …. let me make one thing clear… you get 100% of the total about of change that went into your savings acct from bank of america. * can not exceed $250* after that after having the program you get 5% of the total amount you “saved ” for a yr. dont believe me go pick up a flyer AND READ THAT BACK!! that is the law … they must tell us under what conditions the plan works… so IF YOU CAN READ THAN DO IT THATS WHY YOU GO TO SCHOOL RIGHT?? SO DONT FREAKING COMPAIN IF YOU DIDNT DO YOUR CIVIC DUTY… you know that when you sign something you read the document?? well same applies to banks and store memberships or else you just might get screwed!

i tried of hearing ohh wamu this and wells this and boa this and my credit union isnt open today…. BLAH BLAH BLAH go try you mom a river and she’ll tell you the same thing ! thats all had to vent!!

BTW - THIS IS MY OPINION!!!!!

Matt 28 Sep 06

I just totaled my savings for the past year (I signed up right when they started the program). $572.64. And I’ve still yet to receive the promotional payment (100% match from the first 3 months, 5% from the year up to $250), which should come in about two months.

Thanks, bofa.

And to the naysayers, not a single fee has been posted to my account for this program.

Jason 06 Oct 06

I work at BofA and for those who think we charge for doing checking to savings transfers are wrong!! its like this: if your balance is UNDER $2500 in the Savings account u may only do 3 TRANSFERS OUT of the account per month. you may deposit/transfer into the savings as much as you want regardless of the balance.

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