American AAdvantage members who earn miles with Bank Direct will now have to pay a $12 monthly fee. The fee will be charged to all mileage checking accounts starting in January 2012 and the fee cannot be waived by signing up for direct deposit, maintaining a minimum balance or opening a savings account. Customers must close their account by Jan. 31, 2012 to avoid the fee. If you want to continue earning miles with Bank Direct, you will have to pay the fee. Customers earn 100 miles per month for every $1,000 in a mileage checking account, up to $200,000, and 25 miles per $1,000 on balances over $200,000.
After hearing about the new fee, some milepoint members with Bank Direct accounts said they would be closing their accounts instead of paying the fee but others are considering whether or not to move to another bank. Milepoint member swag says, “I’ll definitely be looking for a new one, but may keep Bank Direct, since I have enough of a balance that even $144/year is worth it for the miles I’ll earn.”