November 10, 2013

The $2 straw

Sometimes in life you have to take a stand. 

Like most Americans, heck, most people worldwide, I would assume, I have watched as my bank of 20+ years chipped away at the perks of our banking relationship. 

Once upon a time, there were fees to be expected if one bounced a check.  Then came the minimum balance fees and the ATM fees.  Fortunately the minimum balance thing wasn't a problem, and with the advent of point of sale debit purchases, cash doesn't require an ATM.  Now, each year I get a small booklet outlining all of the fees associated with the privilege of letting them hold my cash deposits. 

This past weekend, while traveling, my husband was sent into a grocery store to buy a couple of items and get some cash back.  This particular store had a cash back limit per transaction, so Mr. H panicked and, instead of grabbing a pack of gum and going back through the line for the rest of the cash he needed, he went to the in-store ATM.

This ATM charged a $4 fee, and, to add insult to injury, our bank charges a $1.50 foreign ATM fee.  Fortunately for the bank, Mr. H was taking the brunt of my anger for this bonehead event.  It cost $5.50 to get $60 cash.

This morning, I was opening the mail that had piled up over the last week.  Call me crazy, but I still like to get paper statements for banking and credit cards.  I like to see it in black and white.  I like to mark up the statement as I balance my check register.  I like to have something tangible to shake at my husband when I question an out-of -budget expenditure.

Tucked in with this month's statement was the announcement that, should I continue in my one-woman pursuit of environmental destruction of wanting a tree-killing paper statement, they would be charging me $2 a month. 

If I make the switch before November 30, they will give me $5.

I will be taking that $5.  And then I will be taking my business elsewhere.  I have accounts at two other institutions that will be happy to have our business.  They waive most fees for long-term customers and refund the fees charged by ATMs. 

Somewhere, in some board room, a group of people sat around and made the decision to discontinue paper statements, thinking that $2 wasn't such a big deal to those who still wanted the hard copies.  They didn't stop to think of the sum total impact of the actions they have taken.  It might only be $2, but it was the $2 straw that broke this camel's back.

4 comments:

CenTexTim said...

Check out USAA Banking. Reasonable fees and good service.

Mel said...

Any credit union is better than a bank unless you're using it for business. Use to be you had to work for a company or in the military (usaa).
They have partners with other CU's where you can get cash or withdrawals .
At least look into it. I agree with CTT.

Harper said...

It is a credit union that ticked me off.

My USAA account is one of the two other banks where I have accounts. I love USAA right up until I have cash to deposit. Not so convenient from 300 miles away. My plan is to make USAA my primary account with all Direct Deposits and auto-withdrawals, and keep a local bank account for cash deposits, cashier's checks, etc.

Mel said...

Check with USAA about account to account CU's/banks. I set one up for my Mom a few years between Shore to Shore cu (in Michigan)and Delta Community cu (in Southlake).
It takes a few days to set up the ach. Then you can transfer money online to and from both accounts. Good luck.