Posts Tagged ‘BofA’

Bank Blahs {B of A Customers, Check It}.

BankOfAmerica

Whilst daydreaming yesterday, a thought interrupted my British fantasies: I had not yet contacted Bank of America to discuss my moving abroad/not having money in my American account situation. When I called, I spoke with a super helpful gentleman who gave the me the lowdown on my account come September:

A savings account can stay active (without fees) as long as there is $300 or more in the account.
A checking account only needs $2 a month to stay active and will not incur fees as long as the account is the recipient of direct deposit.

The checking is where I’m now having an issue. Obviously keeping $2 in there is no big deal, but the direct deposit? That’s an issue. I have had direct deposit through my company for the last four years, but now that I’m moving abroad there are no paychecks, pension money, Social Security and Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits, or other regular monthly income headed into my account. Without direct deposit, checking accounts are subject to an $8.95 – $9.95 monthly fee, unless you keep a minimum of $1500 in the account. I’m not really okay with that, to be honest.

Since this situation has arisen, I have opted to keep my savings account open in the US, but after transferring my money to my new UK HSBC Passport Account, I will likely close my US checking account. There’s no benefit to paying the $8.95 fee for a year (which adds up to $107.40 in just 12 months!)  since I won’t actually be using the account. Sure, I am familiar with B of A and they have always been super helpful, but these fees aren’t going to cut it. I really liked the fact that B o fA counts Barclay’s and Deutsche Bank as its sister banks and reduces my international charges, so I’m hoping that HSBC will have something similar. Alternatively, I may just keep $1500 in my checking for a while and use my US Visa Debit card at Deutsche Bank & Barclay’s cashpoints while I’m overseas; if the exchange rate goes up, though, that money’s coming out — I really don’t want to have to deal with/worry about exchange rate fluctuation! I’m going to pop into a branch and interrogate one of the associates to find out if there are any other deposits that can qualify as direct deposit and thusly remove the monthly fee. Also, I had noticed that the CampusEdge checking account (which I used to have) has no fees — regardless of how much money is in the account or the direct deposit situation. The account was created especially for high school and college students and after five years you are administratively enrolled in a normal checking (as I was when I hit 21), where fees can be incurred. I’m going to also see if they can re-enroll me in that account while I’m pursuing graduate-level education so I can continue to bank with them. If not, so long Bank of America. It was nice doing business with you!

Signature Stamp - Shannon

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Holy Apps!

I am happy to say that I received my amazing new iPhone via UPS on Thursday night! I’ve been playing with it incessantly (as my family will tell you) because it is so saturated with cool features! Although I thought I had purchased the new 3G, I think it may actually be the 2G. No sweat, though. Either way, I got this bad boy for a mere $190 (with shipping) and it has all the apps I could ever need. In addition to the iPod, Gmail, Safari, GPS, and YouTube, the app store has given me access to loads of free apps to customize my phone! The coolest part is that although I don’t have a SIM card as of yet (that part has to wait until London — jumping on the O2 network), I can still use our Wi-fi to get online and start playing! It’s my handy little mobile computer.

To customize it and make it a little more me, I have added TwitterFon, Skype (which will be amazing for talking to my parents!), WordPress (to check iphone_appsout my blog on the go!), NY Times, LinkedInFacebook Mobile, e-Trade mobile, BofA, Expedia (to view my itineraries) and Lose It! (a food & exercise diary). Additionally, I found a load of apps that will be of use in London! I downloaded three that I thought would be particularly great: a translator, TubeMap and What’s On London. The translator will be cool whilst traveling, it has loads of languages pre-loaded! The TubeMap is also handy, it notes my “home tube station” and gives me a full map of tube lines, points of interest, plus the status of lines at any given time. PLUS, I can map out a route on getting to a destination. The “What’s On London” app is handy for some insight into what’s going on around town in terms of art, books, bars, sports, theatre, museums, music, restaurants, etc.

Best of all, these apps are 100% FREE! I love all things free, and when things are free AND useful, they’re even better. I could not be happier with my investment. This will be the best tool ever come September!

Hope everyone else in my position is having similar luck!

Lots of love,

Signature Stamp - Shannon