Bank of America today announced significant changes to its overdraft services, including plans to eliminate non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees beginning in February, and to reduce overdraft fees from $35 to $10 beginning in May.
The company will also eliminate the transfer fee associated with its Balance ConnectTM for overdraft protection service in May. These and earlier changes over the last decade, together with industry-leading solutions that can help consumer clients avoid overdraft fees – such as the no overdraft fee SafeBalance® account and Balance AssistTM – will lead to overdraft fee revenues being reduced by 97% from 2009 levels.
“Over the last decade, we have made significant changes to our overdraft services and solutions, reducing clients’ reliance on overdraft, and providing resources to help clients manage their deposit accounts and overall finances responsibly,” said Holly O’Neill, President of Retail Banking, Bank of America. “Throughout the process we have engaged our National Community Advisory Council (NCAC) for their guidance and feedback on our changes. These latest steps will further support our clients and empower them to create long-term financial wellness.”
Progress toward reducing overdraft fees
Since 2010, Bank of America has taken many steps to empower its consumer and small business clients to bank with greater confidence and reduce overdraft usage. The company leads the industry in helping clients avoid overdrafts and, in doing so, has significantly reduced the vast majority of fees related to overdraft. Key milestones along this journey have included:
- 2010 – Eliminated overdraft fees for consumer clients when using debit cards at the point of sale
- 2011 – Introduced courtesy low balance alerts
- 2014 – Launched the SafeBalance “no overdraft fee” account
- 2017 – Eliminated the extended overdrawn balance charge
- 2020 – Created Balance Assist, a low-cost solution to manage short-term liquidity needs
- 2021 – Launched Balance Connect for overdraft protection, letting clients link to up to five accounts to avoid overdrafts
- Feb 2022 – Will eliminate non-sufficient funds fees
- Feb 2022 – Will remove ability for clients to overdraw their accounts at the ATM
- May 2022 – Will reduce overdraft fees from $35 to $10
- May 2022 – Will eliminate Balance Connect for overdraft protection transfer fee (formerly $12)
“We remain committed to taking actions that will further bring down overdraft fees in the future and continue to empower clients to drive positive changes to behavior pertaining to overdraft,” added O’Neill.
In addition to the changes to overdraft-related fees, Bank of America’s suite of Essential Solutions offers a powerful combination of transparent, low and no cost, easy-to-use offerings that help clients budget, save, spend and borrow carefully and confidently. The full array of solutions includes:
- SafeBalance® – With SafeBalance, there are no overdraft fees, and the monthly maintenance fee is waived for eligible students under the age of 25 as well as for clients enrolled in our Preferred Rewards program.
- Balance Assist – Balance Assist provides an affordable way for clients to manage their short-term liquidity needs, borrowing only the amount they need, up to $500 (in increments of $100) for a $5 flat fee regardless of the amount borrowed. Repayments are made in three equal monthly installments over a 90-day period. To learn more, review these additional product details and eligibility criteria. Borrowers must have been a Bank of America checking account client for at least one year.
- Balance Connect – Balance Connect allows our clients overdraft protection through the ability to link up to five accounts to their checking, while increasing simplicity and accessibility through digital sign-up and management.
- BankAmericard® Secured Card – This credit card can help clients establish, strengthen or rebuild credit, and they can apply for an account with a security deposit starting as low as $300. With responsible credit behavior, over time, this could help clients improve their credit score.
- Affordable Home Loans – In early 2019, Bank of America launched its now expanded $15 billion Community Homeownership Commitment, which has already helped 32,000 low- and moderate-income homebuyers achieve homeownership through low down payment loans and down payment and closing cost grants. By 2025, Bank of America anticipates helping more than 60,000 individuals and families to purchase homes through the program.
- Keep the Change® – This tool helps clients build savings by automatically depositing spare change from rounded up debit card transactions into a savings account. Over the last 15 years, this program has helped clients direct more than $15 billion in excess change to client savings.
- Better Money Habits® – A free financial education platform that provides a simple, accessible way to connect people to the tools, resources and education they need to take control of their finances.
Last year, Bank of America has been recognized with more than 280 industry awards for its innovation, financial technology, and delivering exceptional client services and solutions.