I have a credit card with Bank of America, and every month I need to make a payment on that credit card. For argument’s sake, we’ll call the payment an apple.
My billing cycle with Bank of America goes from the first of the month to the first of the month, so my scheduled payment with them first comes up on the 5th of the month. Now dealing with this bank in the past has been like a dance where your partner’s doing the tango and you’re doing the lambada.
So in the past, I’ve paid two apples to Bank of America at the beginning of my notice of the billing cycle – the moment when I see how many apples I owe, and I’ll have my current bank, Rainy Day Bank and Trust, electronically deposit the funds. It takes a day or two for it to clear, which always bugs me – I believe that in the day or two that Bank of America holds my payment before applying it to my account, they can generate another day or two of interest. Nickels and dimes, kids. They get you with nickels and dimes.
All right, so I’ve got this figured out. It’s the 4th of the month. I know that my bill will update on the 5th, so if I make a payment on the 4th, it will automatically cancel out what I’m owed on the 5th when my payment eventually posts. I go to the Bank of America in downtown Albany, with a couple of apples of payment in my hand.
Oh. Bank of America closed their in-person banking in that location, due to COVID-19.
No worries, they have one of those ATM’s that can take cash. Okay, in go the apples.
The next morning, I checked my Bank of America statement online.
It told me that I owed them two apples.
Then I noticed that they actually credited my payment on the 4th – THE EXACT SAME MOMENT I PAID THEM. No lag. So instead of being current, I now needed to pay them two more apples to cover my minimum balance.
That’s dirty pool, Bank of America.
Okay, so mental note. Bank of America’s ATM’s are instantaneous. Got it.
A few days later, on the 11th, I pulled into the Bank of America near the Latham Circle. I had three apples in my pocket, which would cover the minimum due and a little4 extra principle. In goes the money. Out comes the receipt.
The next day, I checked my Bank of America statement online.
The payment I made on the 11th? It was listed as “pending” on the 12th. It did not clear until the 13th.
So we have a couple of issues here.
- Bank of America has a mixture of “fast ATM’s” and “slow ATM’s” throughout the Capital District, which will either process your cash payment immediately or make it lag for a day or two. I will have to go through every Bank of America ATM in the Albany / Schenectady / Troy area and test each one of them (put an apple slice in) and see how long it takes each one to process the payment, chronicle all the differences in a spreadsheet, and go from there.
- Bank of America is fucking with my finances, juggling my payment to get me to pay them more apples.
Honestly, I’m leaning towards the second choice.
Remember, banks can do some shady shit with your money. For example, let’s say your account is thin on funds, and although payday is coming soon, you write four checks to cover bills. You believe you have just enough money to cover everything. Then you notice that somehow, the bank arranges your payments so that the largest one overdrafts your account (with a $35 overdraft fee) and then the other checks are posted against your insufficient account, dropping more $35 overdraft fees on your back. I’ve had this happen in the past, when I had someone else take care of my finances. It’s also one of the main reasons why that person is no longer in my life. DO NOT FUCK WITH CHUCK’S FINANCES.
So, yeah, I’m kinda OCD when it comes to paying my bills. It’s a quirk, I live with it.
But I’m not going to play this “fast ATM, slow ATM” game with Bank of America. So I called their customer service. 35 minutes of hold music. Then I reached a customer service representative.
And after receiving oodles of doublespeak about interest rates and when things are posted and whatnot, she essentially told me that payments made before 6:15 P.M. at an ATM on the 1st are posted on the 2nd and credited on the 3rd. Oh yeah, those are “business days,” so if the 1st happens on the weekend, yada yada yada. YMMV.
I said that if that was the case, then why was my payment on the 4th credited and posted that same exact day, causing it to not lag over into my new “minimum due” billing cycle.
Yeah, this is doubleplusungood. More banking doublespeak. Or maybe it’s true Duckspeak. I swear, I’m three minutes away from putting my money in Federal Mattress Savings and Loan, or its branch offices Pillowcase Federal Credit Union, or Coffee Can in a Backyard Hole Bank and Trust.
Eventually, I gave up. Essentially, I have to do it this way. I’ll keep two minimum “payments of apples” available. One payment to land on the 4th at what I believe is a slow ATM (which will cover over into the 5th), and a backup payment to post on the 5th (just in case the slow ATM quickens up).
Hey, Bank of America. I know you’ve got Google alerts out there, and you’ll probably see this blog. Listen up. Either take my money and credit it when you receive it, or let me know which ATM’s are powered by Usain Bolt and which ones aren’t.
Because when I pay you the apples I owe you, I expect them to be turned into apple pie immediately upon receipt. Or that I know it will take two days to make the recipe.
And maybe I need to explain this to Big Brother in the words of the lumpen proletariat that I am.
DO NOT FUCK WITH CHUCK’S FINANCES.
Thank you for attending my TED talk. 😀