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I've been with Bank of America for almost 10 years. They just told me that they are going to convert my free eBanking account to Bank of America Core Checking. Doing so I would have to pay $12/mo or keep $1500 in my account.

But I notice there is a new trend. A lot of banks are giving away free perks to open a new account. Usually the deal is to stay for 6 months and keep $1500 to avoid any monthly fees. I guess that's how they will make money. By investing my $1500 for 6 months.

Is it okay to jump around from bank to bank every 6 months. Is it going to affect my credit? Is this unethical or bad karma?

  • Why not just get more money, keep all the bank accounts open. Not sure the effect of closing the accounts might have on a credit score, but that is my first thought is a minor ding on credit. But it might not be a credit score this affect, I believe the banks keep a different score for your banking customer worthiness. You might notice in the future that a bank decides to turn away your business because you have a history of dropping accounts. Depends on the bank, some are predatory and only want your money if they think they can bilk you into the future. – Knuckle-Dragger Mar 17 '15 at 19:48
  • Note that you might be eligible for a "new account" only once per lifetime, it's likely you won't receive any benefits coming around a second time. – Nit Mar 18 '15 at 0:02
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    @Knuckle-Dragger: "Just get more money". Um.... – Lightness Races in Orbit Mar 18 '15 at 0:25
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Go ahead, switch banks (and checking accounts) as often as you like. It won't affect your credit score since any credit check will be a "soft pull" (unless you're establishing a credit card or loan -- or overdraft protection, then it could be a "hard pull" that could affect your credit score). Bad karma? Hardly. Unethical? Absolutely not. You don't owe them anything.

Practically speaking, it'd be easier just to switch once to a bank that has a fee structure you can live with -- as long as they don't change the rules on you.

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  • Agreed. Untill they resume giving away home appliances with each account opened -- and they're appliances you need -- it's a lot easier to find a bank (or credit union) you like and keep them. Remote banking is fairly easy these days; I still use accounts two states away on a regular basis. – keshlam Mar 18 '15 at 2:03
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It won't hurt your credit score, but it may hurt your ChexSystems score. ChexSystems is another consumer reporting agency that doesn't keep track of your debts, but of your bank accounts. Banks (most but not all) check ChexSystems before you open an account to see if you bounce checks, overdraft, make a lot of teller visits, lose ATM cards, etc. They use this to estimate your profitability.

Banks aren't allowed to discriminate against a protected class, but "unprofitable" is not a protected class.

BTW, most banks don't make much money on checking accounts; they view them as "get-you-in-the-door" inducements so they can sell you the things they really want to like mortgages and investments.

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  • Thnks, had forgotten the name of ChexSystems... – Knuckle-Dragger Mar 18 '15 at 21:46

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