BankAmerica Offers Check Deal in Arizona

Bank of America Arizona is having a sale on checking accounts to commemorate its first year of business in the state.

Along with free checking, the Arizona bank is waiving the $18 fee for one year on newly approved Classic Visa cards.

The free checking program, which runs through this week, carries benefits for a drug education program. For every checking account opened this week, the bank will donate $1 to DARE, a nationwide effort to educate elementary schoolchildren about the dangers of substance abuse. The program, conducted by law enforcement agencies, is active in 450 of the state's schools.

Service Charges Waived

Bank of America's most popular checking accounts cost $6 and $7 a month. The free checking offer is limited to one per customer and applies only to monthly service charges.

During the promotion, the Arizona bank will pay $10 for unused checks that customers bring in from other financial institutions. It will also give customers 200 free checks with each new account.

San Francisco-based BankAmerica Corp. held a similar one-day sale on May 6 to mark what would have been the 119th birthday of bank founder A.P. Giannini. It offered three years of free checking and opened more checking accounts than in two typical weeks, according to a spokeswoman.

Bank of America entered Arizona with the purchase of the failed Western Savings and Loan Association, Phoenix. It late purchased the failed Merabank, Phoenix, and failed Pima Savings and Loan Association, Tucson. It now has $6.4 billion in assets and more than 100 branches in the state.

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