Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How losing my checking card made me $10

The other night I'm talking with my bro and realize that my Bank of America checking card isn't in my wallet. Like my driver's license, if my checking card isn't in my wallet, I don't know where it is.

I went online and found a mysterious little $1 Amazon charge which, as it turns out, is one of those "verification charges" to make sure it's actually your card (thanks Ben @Amazon!). Someone was trying to buy stuff with my money!

I gave BoA a call and spoke with Liz, and she was great. We went through the process, and I've just got to stop by BoA to get some new plastic tomorrow. No problem.

Then she goes "Is there anything else I can help you with?"

So I recently re-opened a BoA savings account, even though I already have one with another bank. When signing up, I missed the part that said in order to avoid a monthly $5 maintenance charge (what are they maintaining?!), you've got to have more than $300 in the account. This makes sense, because what good is a saving account with less that $300? It was a minimum transfer of $25 to open the account, so I took care of that, and then forgot about it. June ends and I get slapped with $5 for not having enough cash in there, and then forget about it. July ends and I get slapped with $5 for not having enough cash in there, then forget about it. Then I realize that I just lost $10 for no good reason, and transfer some money over.

So when Liz asks me if there's anything else I can help her with, I say, "Well.........two months in a row I forgot to transfer money over to my new saving account, but I just took care of it. Is there anyway I could get reimbursed for that $10 in maintenance charges?"

And she goes "Sure, no problem."

If some asshole hadn't stolen my checking card (or if I hadn't had been silly enough to lose it), I would have gone through life $10 less rich, and not as happy with BoA customer support as I am now.

Lesson learned: Lose your checking card to make some quick cash. Don't worry about monthly maintenance charges until the last minute. Never be afraid to ask something if the worst they can do is say no.

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