Since college, I’ve had Bank of America checking and savings accounts (they gave me a $10 bonus for opening the savings account, so obviously it was worth it despite the miniscule interest rate!)
Well, one day when I logged into my account online, I was surprised to find a second savings account with $2.27 in it.
Huh? Not only did I not open a second savings account, but I was about to close my primary savings account because I use SmartyPig (and have no desire to earn 5 cents per year on every $100 I have in the account).
I looked into the account a bit more and found out that this account was my father’s account that had been designated for me many years ago. I guess they matched up the social security numbers and realized that I should have access to that account to.
OK, great, this account really was meant for me. But why is it showing up now? And is that $2.27 mine or my father’s?
I still can’t explain the timing, they’ve had my social security number for years, so they should hav matched up the two accounts years ago. However, they did get it right, this is technically my account so I should have access to it. Still, an explanation would have been nice.
So is this newfound money mine? The amount is neglibible, but what if there had been $10,000 in there? What if I had a falling out with my dad and suddenly had access to $10,000 that he didn’t want me to have (or even knew that I had access to!)?
We can each deposit and withdraw from the account, so we do share it. In the situation described above, I think whoever withdrew the account first would get to keep it and there’s nothing the other person could do about it because it’s technically a joint account.
As it turns out, this extra account is actually a big help. When we want to transfer money, it’s typically a hassle to do so between unlinked accounts. There is a $1,000 maxmimum transfer per day, so a $5,000 transfer can take a week. But this account allows me to move the entire amount into my savings account and for him to withdraw the same amount on his side, all in a matter of minutes.