Bank of America is raising the minimum balances required to qualify for no-fee checking and is eliminating most transaction fees.
Holders of the Standard Checking account, for example, will need to keep $750 on deposit to avoid a $7.50 monthly fee. That is up from the $3 a month and 30 cents per transaction now charged when balances dip below $500.
The new prices are effective Aug. 17.
A Response to Customers
The per item fees have been eliminated because customers just don't like them, said Harvey Radin, a spokesman for the lead subsidiary of Bank America Corp.
The bank was planning the changes before the acquisition this year of Security Pacific Corp., he said, and the merged institution will offer a uniform product menu.
Bank of America is also introducing an account, called Versatel, designed for people who bank by automated teller machine and telephone.
They pay $5 a month with no balance requirement, but must pay on additional $4 a month if they want to use a branch.
Interest Checking accounts will require a $1,500 balance, up from $1,000, to waive a $9 monthly fee, up from $8.
Bank of America also raised to $25,000 from $10,000 the balance required to avoid fees in the Prima account, which is geared for the affluent.
They get many free services, including a no-fee credit card, but are charged $20 a month if they fall below $25,000.
Bank of America will start allowing customers to combine checking, savings, and money market accounts to satisfy minimum requirements.