Bank of America says, (Let us) keep the change

Bank of America has recently started running TV commercials for a program called Keep the Change. The premise: pay with your debit card, and they’ll round up all your purchases to the nearest dollar. The change from that transaction is then transferred to your savings account. It’s designed to force encourage buyers to save their money.

In reality, the bank is treating you like a child. Because so many Americans are wildly irresponsible with a piece of plastic in their hands, the bank has to do the job by taking your money away from you.

The bank shouldn’t be holding your hand, teaching you how to build financial security. We should be teaching this stuff in elementary school! And if you can’t hang on to your dough, don’t apply for a credit or debit card. Carry physical cash, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.

But the concept is great for the bank. They get to hang on to your money longer—most people don’t regularly dip into their savings accounts—and you give them more by depositing into your checking account so you can keep spending.

This is not a new program, but Bank of America has recently begun putting a lot of advertising money into this program. I guess all that change is adding up to a lot of money the company didn’t know what to do with.

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