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Bank of America Global ATM Alliance - Now Assessing Foreign Transaction Fee

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Old Dec 5, 13, 10:06 am
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Thumbs down Bank of America Global ATM Alliance - Now Assessing Foreign Transaction Fee

All,

Hello. As an American in the UK (who gets paid in USD), one benefit as a BofA customer has been the Global ATM Alliance.

As of Nov. 8, 2013, BofA increased their foreign transaction fee to 3%. Prior to this time, they'd never assessed an FTF on my Barclays or other alliance transactions.

However, since that time, either in the UK or Germany, the 3% has been assessed. Initially, four different customer service reps said it shouldn't happen with Global ATM Alliance banks while one said it was the case. When I called BoA on Nov. 22nd, the rep just said to call when it happend to get the refund.

I pulled 400GBP out the other day and over $19.00 in fees was assessed. The rep I talked to was almost instantly prickly about it; I quickly explained I understood the situation and after her pushing back, requested to talk to a manager. The manager said the 3% does now apply to Global ATM Alliance banking -- I don't have time right now, but am definitely curious what would happen if I call again.

Use your debit card or ATM card within the Global ATM Alliance in the countries shown with no ATM operator fees or Non-Bank of America International ATM Fees. An international transaction fee of 3% may apply when converting your currency. Some ATMs may be located in countries other than the country listed in the coverage area. Only ATMs in the country listed are considered part of the Global ATM Alliance.
The manager was very stuck on the "may" apply - my question was, if it's not waived for the Global ATM Alliance, shouldn't it just say "will apply?"
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Old Dec 5, 13, 3:13 pm
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Schwab
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Old Dec 5, 13, 7:00 pm
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...? Really?

Grrr... I am getting ready to go to London and was counting on no extra fees at Barclays
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Old Dec 5, 13, 7:12 pm
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People still use BoA for their personal banking? The online brokerages have cash management accounts that nearly mimic checking and will actually reimburse ATM fees worldwide. Mind boggling how people are not taking advantage of this.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 8:56 pm
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As I have said several times on this forum, the "Global ATM Alliance" is a scam. BofA's fees are so high to begin with that even after the waiver for using a partner ATM, you end up paying more. When you use a partner bank's ATM, BofA is waiving a fee that many smaller banks don't even charge in the first place. Get a debit card from Schwab, one of the other brokerages, or one of the small banks that provide international ATM rebates, and you can use any ATM you want without being charged a fee.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
As I have said several times on this forum, the "Global ATM Alliance" is a scam. BofA's fees are so high to begin with that even after the waiver for using a partner ATM, you end up paying more. When you use a partner bank's ATM, BofA is waiving a fee that many smaller banks don't even charge in the first place.
What kind of fees, and why would you end up paying more? If I understand correctly, before this FTF is being levied, using a Barclays ATM with a BoA account does not accrue any extra fee, unless you mean the currency conversion rate is bad?

Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
Get a debit card from Schwab, one of the other brokerages, or one of the small banks that provide international ATM rebates, and you can use any ATM you want without being charged a fee.
That's all fine. But that doesn't change the information in the OP. It's sort of like seeing a new thread about an AA benefit going away, and responding well just fly a different carrier and you won't have this problem.

Originally Posted by GatorAir View Post
People still use BoA for their personal banking? The online brokerages have cash management accounts that nearly mimic checking and will actually reimburse ATM fees worldwide. Mind boggling how people are not taking advantage of this.
Same as above. I have Schwab accounts and BoA accounts (and a number of others). Even though I have a Schwab account, I am still interested in changes to terms on my other accounts. Mind boggling how you don't understand people have multiple accounts to take advantage of multiple benefits.

rwoman, this was news to me. Thanks for posting it.
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Old Dec 6, 13, 12:30 am
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Originally Posted by Apieinthesky View Post
What kind of fees, and why would you end up paying more? If I understand correctly, before this FTF is being levied, using a Barclays ATM with a BoA account does not accrue any extra fee, unless you mean the currency conversion rate is bad?
Depends what you mean by "extra" fee. The global ATM alliance waives the ATM operator fee and International ATM Fee. It does not waive the network fee (which is usually 1%), any currency conversion fee that may be imposed by the ATM owner (I don't think Barclay's has such a fee, but others may), or now the foreign currency fee which is 3%.
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Old Dec 15, 13, 4:00 am
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I also read about this recently. Since I am in Germany, the cheapest way for me to pull money (from USD to EUR) and deposit it in my German account was via a Bank of America debit card at a Deustche Bank ATM.

I've never been assessed an international transaction fee until November 2013. It is indeed 3%. I may have to switch to wire transfers since they appear cheaper to do now.
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Old Dec 15, 13, 4:41 am
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I gave up on BofA (my main bank for several years) and switched to Schwab as my primary checking account. Free checks, free worldwide ATMs, no forex fees.

Changing banks is easier than changing airlines.
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Old Dec 15, 13, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
I gave up on BofA (my main bank for several years) and switched to Schwab as my primary checking account. Free checks, free worldwide ATMs, no forex fees.

Changing banks is easier than changing airlines.
Yes, thankfully, I have USAA as well so it's less problematic.

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Old Dec 15, 13, 11:34 am
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I can't be the only one with multiple accounts...

Chase Freedom -- for the rotating 5% categories
BoA Cash Rewards for most purchases -- redeem into one of their savings accounts for additional 10% bonus (so 3.3% on gas) + it's a chip card, so I can use it for trains in Europe (but it has a 3% fee)
Chase United Visa - no FTF on purchases in Europe, but no chip
Amazon Visa -- 3% back on Amazon purchases (a lot for me)

Chase Checking -- there's a million Chase branches in the Chicago area. Makes depositing checks and taking money out easy
Fidelity Cash Management Debit - great for travelling, no foreign ATM fees.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:06 am
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I just discovered this unwelcome new fee around Dec 16, in a trip to Germany. Formerly no fee withdrawals using BofA card from Deutsche Bank ATMs now carry a 3% transaction fee. Nice to tell us about this transparently on the ATM network page...

F banks and their trying to claw back money from customers any way they can.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
I just discovered this unwelcome new fee around Dec 16, in a trip to Germany. Formerly no fee withdrawals using BofA card from Deutsche Bank ATMs now carry a 3% transaction fee. Nice to tell us about this transparently on the ATM network page...

F banks and their trying to claw back money from customers any way they can.
Just learned of it now - certainly not transparent about it. I would definitely call to complain about it this time, although I wouldn't expect success more than once (if that).

Originally Posted by Apieinthesky View Post
What kind of fees, and why would you end up paying more? If I understand correctly, before this FTF is being levied, using a Barclays ATM with a BoA account does not accrue any extra fee, unless you mean the currency conversion rate is bad?
Before the 3% fee I always found the rates to be competitive (i.e., matched xe.com and other sites to third or fourth decimal) and I don't recall being hit with a 1% network fee.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
I gave up on BofA (my main bank for several years) and switched to Schwab as my primary checking account. Free checks, free worldwide ATMs, no forex fees.

Changing banks is easier than changing airlines.
I may do this.

A couple questions:

1) Does "free" ATMs mean that Schwab covers the ATM fee one incurs when using, say, a BofA ATM in the US?
2) How do you deposit checks unless there's a Schwab ATM?

Any other catches?
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:21 am
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I'm miffed at this news, because I spend a lot of time in Canada. Should I switch my account from BofA to TD now? There are way fewer TD ATMs, though.
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