Monday, January 10, 2005

Fees you could pay if you qualify for a Bank of America Visa:

If at any time (including the introductory period, if applicable), you miss two consecutive minimum payments; or within a six month billing cycle period you miss two minimum payments or are two times Over the Credit Limit; your Purchase, Cash Advance and Balance Transfer APR will be the Prime Rate plus 21.99% (minimum 25.99%)....

Late Payment Fees: $19 for balances less than $100, $29 for balances $100 to $1,000, $39 for balances greater than $1,000. Over the Credit Limit Fee (excluding Visa Signature): $35; Cash Advance Fee (including Overdraft Protection): 3% of each advance (min. $10). Total Foreign Currency Conversion adjustment: 3% of foreign transaction. Stop Payment Fee $29; Returned Payment Fee $29; Copy Charge: $3 per item; Research Fee: $15 per hour.

Good fortune that's about to rain down on Bank of America's outgoing chairman, Charles Gifford, according to yesterday's New York Times:

An amiable, dedicated manager with a decidedly mixed track record as chief executive, Mr. Gifford, 62, has managed to survive strategic misfires, one bungled merger and another merger that kept him in the top ranks of the bank but no longer in control.

For his ministrations, Mr. Gifford is promised a $16.36 million cash payment, up to an additional $8.67 million in "incentive payments" for work done over the last 13 months and $3.1 million a year for life. If he dies before his wife, she will receive $2.3 million a year, also for life.

That's not all. The bank guarantees him $50,000 a year in consulting fees, 120 hours of free flight time a year on the company's jet, and an office and a secretary, according to federal securities filings. All of this is on top of $38.4 million in company stock that he has accrued over his 38-year career.

Wait. There is more: Mr. Gifford, a Bostonian, has also been offered the right to buy 60 Red Sox tickets from the bank annually for the rest of his life.

Ain't this a great country?

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