The Secret Catch to Bank of America's "Keep the Change" Program

08.28.08 | Online Savings Accounts | 5 Comments | by junger

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Bank of America's Keep the Change (background) program has a big, big catch to it.

The savings account where your money is likely going has a pitiful .2% APY.

Yup, for real. From the fine print:

Savings accounts eligible to receive matching funds include, but are not limited to, Regular Savings, which requires a minimum opening balance of $25 and pays a variable Annual Percentage Yield that was 0.20% as of 08/28/08.

0.2% APY means your money is not working for you. When you could open an online savings account that offers upwards of 3.75% APY (Dollar Savings Direct, WaMu), there's no reason you should be using BofA.

Still not convinced? Look at the other requirements:

  • $300 minimum balance, or
  • Automatic monthly transfer of $25
  • $3 withdrawal fees if balance is under $2,500 and more than 3 monthly

Considering that the best online savings accounts have no minimums, no fees, and no requirements, you should not be keeping your money with Bank of America.

It's great that BofA is helping people automate their savings — it's the easiest way to start pocketing more of your own money — but customers still aren't getting a good deal.

(Yes, you do get matching funds from BofA of up to $250 in one year, but you could get the same by smartly opening certain savings accounts. And you could move the money into a money market account, but the requirements for that are even worse.)

Saving your money smartly means making it work hard for you. If you want your money to make you money, open an online savings account now.

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