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Bank of America ATM Global Alliance Scam

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Apr 30th, 2015, 08:21 PM
  #1
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Bank of America ATM Global Alliance Scam

According to Rick Steves, and a few others, including myself, Bank of America's ATM Global Alliance is now a scam. charging 3% for all ATM withdrawals. As Rick says, time to find a new bank.

https://community.ricksteves.com/tra...lobal-alliance
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Apr 30th, 2015, 09:41 PM
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The BofA has been this way for many years. This is clearly stated in their oversea cash withdrawal.
https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposi...aq-atm-fees.go
"What are some tips for using an ATM in foreign countries?"

ATM Global Alliance = 3%
non ATM Global Alliance = 3% + $5

The ones who complain are those who don't read the terms and assume that the terms are somehow favorable to them. I have BofA at home because that is the ATM at my work. I paid attention when they notified the change in the foreign transaction fee structure several years ago and the BofA is now only my backup ATM card when I travel.

Similarly, every year, someone decides to travel to Italy for the first time, and because they always drive at home, they assume driving is the cheapest and fastest way even going into Rome, Florence, and Pisa. When I tell them it is not the advised way to travel to these locations, they don't want have anything to do with the comment. They get raging mad when ZTL fines start to pour in as if it was the fault of the rotten Italian system when it was them who naively assumed driving in Italy was same as driving in the USA.
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Apr 30th, 2015, 09:49 PM
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Ask the original posters of this thread: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-to-europe.cfm They might be able to tell you how they did it.
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Apr 30th, 2015, 09:50 PM
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Apologies for [posting on the wrong thread.
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May 1st, 2015, 02:15 AM
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I dislike BoA as much as the next person but I don't see how this is a scam.
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May 1st, 2015, 03:48 AM
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I also think that what happened is that they ended their association for free ATM with BNP Parabis.
And no, it ain't a scam.
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May 1st, 2015, 05:25 AM
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Someone raising charges is NOT a scam. Just a change in terms. If you didn;t notice the change they notified you of that is your carelessness - not a scam.

Any bank has the right to set their fees for these services and you shoud look carefully at all of your options - just like buying anything else - to see which has the services you need at the best price.

As with anything else: caveat emptor!
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May 1st, 2015, 06:34 AM
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I agree this is not a scam. Other institutions also charge similar fees. I switched banks after learning of this change in fees.
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May 1st, 2015, 07:50 AM
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Well, I have BofA and I have used the partner banks BNP Paribas and they acted exactly as related on the website. I was not charged the $5 fee for using an out of network ATM as I was when I used another bank's ATM at CDG. That is the only thing guaranteed by the partnership; no fee.
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May 1st, 2015, 07:59 AM
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Scams like that are how banks and businesses make money - right up front - how you can call this a scam is beyond belief - your headline maligns B of A for practices that are clearly outlined to their customers who if they read the fine print should know the ropes - did Rick actually call it a scam - if so shame on Rick and shame on you for repeating it then without thinking apparently.
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May 1st, 2015, 01:27 PM
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I don't know why people get so worked up over a fee that would end up being about 1/2 of 1% of the cost of their vacation.
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May 1st, 2015, 05:13 PM
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It's a skim, not a scam. For no work at all, with no added value to the customer, they take 3% for themselves. It's legal but despicable.
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May 1st, 2015, 05:46 PM
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@PQ - it wasn't RS. It was one of his readers posting on a forum. In mid 2014.
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May 3rd, 2015, 12:53 AM
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I think that the deception on the part of B of A was in emphasizing to its customers that they could save a $5 fee by using a member bank. Of course, few if any other banks charge their ATM customers a $5 fee to make ATM withdrawals in the first place.

B of A continued to advertise how customers could save $5, not mentioning, at least not in their advertising, that customers would be actually paying more - 3% more exactly, each time a he made an international ATM withdrawal.

Perhaps not a scam per se, but definitely an effort to create a false illusion of economy by banking at B of A. The fact remains customers of B of A making international ATM withdrawals are paying more for this service than are the customers of any other US bank.
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May 3rd, 2015, 06:05 AM
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"The fact remains customers of B of A making international ATM withdrawals are paying more for this service than are the customers of any other US bank."

And just how much research have you done to support that very sweeping statement? I left Wells Fargo precisely because of those fees, and a look through their current fee schedule shows they haven't changed. IF you have the right kind of account you get two (two!) free transactions a month at non-Wells Fargo ATMs, otherwise withdrawals at international ATMs are $5.00. The currency conversion fee is 3%. No different to BofA, and you have to dig to find the info.

If you want lower fees you need to use a Credit Union, or possibly Capital One. I have a very good no-fee deal with Capital One, but I'm not sure it's still available.
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May 3rd, 2015, 09:04 AM
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While I agree it's not a scam, the topic by-line did peak my interest as a BofA customer. And it did provide me with useful, updated information. I am one (I'm sure of many) who was not aware of the change, and as my eyes get worse with time, my diligence in reading the change of terms in tiny print we periodically receive diminishes.

So even though this change apparently occurred a few years ago, I appreciate learning about it now, so thanks!
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May 3rd, 2015, 10:44 AM
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It is not a scam, but it is outrageous. I recall that when BofA was installing all the ATMs it said that it would charge for teller services when withdrawing money, although it never has in the rare times I used the teller services. The ATMs were an advertised cost reduction feature – many tellers were laid off – as well as an advertised convenience.

Let us assume that I need to keep $10,000 in my account while traveling abroad, for withdrawals and an emergency cushion just in case. The bank does not pay me interest, uses the deposit to make money by lending it to others or investing it, does not manage the ATMs from which I withdraw money abroad, and has the money converted and transferred for fractions of a penny to the dollar; and then charges me a 3% conversion fee (Visa makes money on its 1% standard conversion fee).

I consider that outrageous.
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May 3rd, 2015, 11:18 AM
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Banks are businesses, just like Ford, or Apple or McDonalds. They have shareholders to satisfy and profits to make. They aren't charities or non profits.
When interest rates are high they charge their customers less, because they can make money from the interest your money earns them. When interest rates are low, or even negative, then yes they charge you more so they still make a profit to keep the shareholders happy. It's called capitalism.

If you don't like it choose to keep your money in a credit union, or under your mattress.
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May 3rd, 2015, 11:43 AM
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When interest rates are high they charge their customers less

Remind me of that when they will reduce these types of charges in the future.
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May 3rd, 2015, 11:58 AM
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"I consider that outrageous."

Of course it is outrageous. My point is that it is no different than many (probably most) other US banks.

I have three checking accounts. One is for travel, with Capital One, with no ATM or foreign conversion fees. One is with a Credit Union, with low ATM fees and 1% foreign conversion fees. It is my backup travel account. One is with a local bank, for domestic use. The only reason I have the third is because the Credit Union doesn't have safe deposit boxes.

BofA isn't going to change its policies because you think they are outrageous, but you have the option of finding somewhere cheaper to do business and voting with your feet.
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