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I've been a Bank of America customer for ~13 years and have maintained the same accounts during that period. I currently have a checking and savings account with them and have two credit cards (one low-limit "college card" I use infrequently at best, and one much higher-limit card I use for bills & cashback benefits). I've had good experiences with them and have kept all my personal accounts with them for the convenience of management.

I got a message tonight notifying me that my savings account alone has been sold to a much smaller local bank. The transfer of the account is to complete in mid-August. I've never dealt with an account transfer of this nature and I'd honestly prefer not to deal with accounts split across multiple institutions - there's too much worry about fees & transfer procedures for me to sleep well at night. I don't deal with the local branch and do all my banking online, so it doesn't bother me to be a couple hours' drive from the nearest office.

I reached out to BofA but their support reps have no clue how the sale works. At this point, my question is twofold:

1) Is there a standard procedure to these sorts of sales that lets me "opt out" or switch into a new savings account with BofA, or was I sold based on zip code and effectively blacklisted from savings accounts?

2) If the account is fin, what steps should I take in moving my business to another bank? How can I minimize damage to my credit from switching card providers? Am I just overreacting for nothing here?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Being paranoid about my credit and banking has served me well thus far, so maybe this is just a good opportunity to review my providers and choose better!

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Bank of America has been selling off their local branches to smaller banks in recent years. Here are a few news stories related to this:

Along with the branch buildings, the local customers' savings and checking accounts are sold to the new bank. It is interesting that you were told that your savings account is being sold, but that your checking account will remain with BofA. I guess it depends on the terms of the particular sale.

Here are your options, as I see it:

  1. Let the savings account move to the new bank, and see what the new terms are like. You might actually like the new bank. If you don't, you can shop around and close your account at the new bank after it has been created.

  2. Close your account now, before the move. If you have a different bank you'd like to move to, there is no need to wait.

  3. Since your checking account is apparently staying with BofA, you could move all your money from your savings account to your checking account, closing your savings account. Then after "mid August" when the local branch switches to the new bank and everyone else's savings account has moved, you can call up BofA and tell them you want to move some of the money from your checking account into a new savings account.

If you really have your heart set on staying with BofA, option 3 looks like a good, easy choice.

To address your other concerns:

  • Bank of America is a big credit card company, so I doubt that your credit card is being sold off. Your credit card account should stay as-is. Even if your savings account and checking account are at a different bank, there is no need to switch credit cards.

  • Your savings and checking accounts have nothing to do with your credit report or score, so there is no concern there. If you end up wanting to switch to a new credit card with a different bank, there are minor hits to your credit score involved with applying for a new card and closing your current card, but if I were you I would not worry about your credit score in this. Switch credit cards if you want a change, and keep your credit card if you don't.

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