My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

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dm200
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My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by dm200 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:04 pm

I have a checking account at a regional bank with many local offices. They have been very good, and I have a "no fee" senior account. Last year, to continue as "no fee" you either had to maintain a minimum balance of $1,000 OR have at least $500 direct deposit each month. So, I changed my Social security (many times the $500 requirement) benefit to be electronically deposited in that account. OK - for a while. I get my SS on the 4th Wed of each month. However, there are sometimes more than the one calendar month bank cycle for SS receipts on the 4th Wednesday. So, on those occasions, they charge a $10 fee. I requested a refund - and they gave it - twice I think. Now, it happened again -- and they point to the "letter" of the requirement and give me this crap that I violated the no fee policy and they must treat all customers "the same" - and will not refund the $10 fee!!

Any ideas or suggestions!

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HueyLD
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by HueyLD » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:07 pm

Find a credit union.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:10 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:07 pm
Find a credit union.
I've been with Digital Credit Union for over 30 years. Free checking is free. With $0.01, it's free. With no deposits, it's free. If I overdraft, I can email, chat, call or walk in and simply ask them to refund the overdraft fee and it's done. I get free notary and if I ever do need it, royal wax imprinted medallion signature guaranty brogham edition.

Why anyone uses a bank anymore is beyond me. It's so pre-80's.
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by wriley4409 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:17 pm

+1 on find a credit union

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nisiprius
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by nisiprius » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:17 pm

(Shrug) Really, a $1,000 minimum balance? One thousand dollars? It's your call, but I'd just comply with that requirement.

For about three decades now we've just tolerated our local bank's policy of a $10,000 minimum balance (total across all accounts). As a matter of fact we just keep $10,000 in one account (one of their Molybdenum Rhombus Century X-TremePlus savings accounts, currently paying 1.5%) to qualify for fee waivers. So, how much could I get online? 1.85%? 2.10%? Let's say I'm foregoing 0.6% in interest, or $60/year. Eh, we pay more than that for Amazon Prime. And we get half off the price of the safe deposit box.

And, yes, if you want to be sure to maintain a minimum balance of $1,000, you really have to keep a baseline of more than that to allow for human behavior being what it is.

I try to put up a fight, if I think a bank is stiffing me by playing hardball on fine print. But I don't put out a lot of effort for my right to stiff the bank by playing hardball on fine print.
Last edited by nisiprius on Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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dkb140
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by dkb140 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:19 pm

+1 on switching to a credit union.

Digital Credit Union also pays 5.12% on the first $1000 in their Primary Savings, so might as well park $1000 there.
https://www.dcu.org/personal-banking/sa ... -shar.html

TheDDC
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by TheDDC » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm

I just opened an account with a B&M bank for the first time in 20 years. My primary account is with a credit union. My credit union is like Vanguard - zero costs/low or no fees, but horrible IT hiccups as of late. I can stomach the IT weaknesses for zero costs up to a certain point. Only reason I went with the B&M was the $300 to open a checking account and having a local branch. What's your reason for staying with the B&M if I might ask?

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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm

If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.

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dm200
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by dm200 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:24 pm

dkb140 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:19 pm
+1 on switching to a credit union.

Digital Credit Union also pays 5.12% on the first $1000 in their Primary Savings, so might as well park $1000 there.
https://www.dcu.org/personal-banking/sa ... -shar.html
While I am a BIG credit union advocate, this regional bank if, other than this recent situation, really great -- super convenient -- and low/no fees.

In looking at the "letter" of the policy - it seems that, perhaps, the "statement cycle" (which is not the actual calendar month) I am on might be the catch here. Maybe they can switch me to a statement cycle that always includes the 4th Wed of every month.

cdu7
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by cdu7 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:25 pm

Why can't you just keep $1000 in there?

Broken Man 1999
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:25 pm

My credit union has much the same deal, free checking if a $500 deposit each month plus electronic statements. But my SS is deposited the third Wednesday, as is DW's. We won't ever (I don't think) have your issue.

I just have to believe this isn't something that should be an issue for your bank, as there have to be hundreds of thousands heaps of folks like you and I and a part of that large number would have the same issue. Your requirements for free checking are like many, many institutions, but I have never heard any of my friends having this issue. Many of us still use the MegaCorp CU, but some have drifted into the dark side, using banks.

I would elevate the issue to some higher ups, and maybe ask for help on some of those social media places banks like to use.

If no help there, you could use a TV consumer person to bring to light this silly issue (not you being silly) the bank has created.

Short of those activities, might be time to leave the bank. If you do have to leave, I would make a noisy exit via social media, letters to the Board of Directors, etc.

I will say, at this phase of our life, DW and I are not close to being a profit center for the CU. I doubt they would care one bit if we left.

Good luck!

Broken Man 1999
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Momus
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Momus » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:33 pm

cdu7 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:25 pm
Why can't you just keep $1000 in there?
Yea, $1000 is really nothing...

I kept $1500 at bofa checking account. At 2% rate, I am losing $30/yr in interest. But plenty of access around the country for convenience so I keep it.

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greg24
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by greg24 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:44 pm

How about you keep $1000 in the account?

cdu7
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by cdu7 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:45 pm

Momus wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:33 pm
cdu7 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:25 pm
Why can't you just keep $1000 in there?
Yea, $1000 is really nothing...

I kept $1500 at bofa checking account. At 2% rate, I am losing $30/yr in interest. But plenty of access around the country for convenience so I keep it.
I agree $1000 is a lot for many Americans, but I doubt it is an undue burden on a typical Boglehead retiree.

shess
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by shess » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:57 pm

My credit union also requires a monthly electronic deposit ... to bump from the free account to interest-bearing at .6%.

My experience over the years is that with a credit union, you have to deal with IT issues and a general feeling that it's amatuer hour sometimes. With a bank, you have to deal with people who's professional job is to separate you from your money with a byzantine fee structure and an incentive system to keep everyone on topic. What convinced me the last time around was when I started getting a monthly fee, as happened every few years, called to fix it, and when I asked what the requirements were for no-fee, I was told they couldn't fix it over the phone because my account was of a type that, I had to make a branch visit. So I again asked about how to get to no-fee (so I could plan ahead) and they simply said I'd have to visit a branch. So I visited a branch to close the account.

[EDIT: My account-closing anecdote being with a "real" bank.]
Last edited by shess on Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mmmodem
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by mmmodem » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:06 pm

Momus wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:33 pm
cdu7 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:25 pm
Why can't you just keep $1000 in there?
Yea, $1000 is really nothing...

I kept $1500 at bofa checking account. At 2% rate, I am losing $30/yr in interest. But plenty of access around the country for convenience so I keep it.
Ditto.
Chase requires $1500 as well. At 2%, essentially, we are paying $30 a year for the checking account. I chose to keep the local bank for the convenience. However, I do most of my banking with Alliant Credit Union online.

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celia
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by celia » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:10 pm

Our bank's minimum to avoid fees has been more than $1,000 for at least 20 years. We keep more than that in each account for OUR convenience. (We can be gone for several months and not have to worry about anything bouncing.) So when I want a free safe deposit box, cashier's check, notary, mailed statements, or someone to talk to, the new guy will look at our balances and not charge us for the piddly stuff.

So pick what's important to you.

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:25 pm
I would elevate the issue to some higher ups, and maybe ask for help on some of those social media places banks like to use.
I've occasionally brought something to the attention of the branch manager and he fixed/waived the fees. But why would they do that for someone who has less than $1,000 with them? That is more of a nuisance account for them.

Sometimes you need to stop and look at it from their perspective.
Last edited by celia on Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alexa9
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Alexa9 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:15 pm

+1 for credit union for cash deposits + Ally/Discover/Cap One Online Bank
Free is not free if you have to jump through hoops.

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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Raybo » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:22 pm

My B&M bank requires a $500 direct deposit to keep the account free. I have a recurring order at my on-line bank to send $500 to the B&M bank each month and then a week later take it back. This all happens with no input from me. The bank account has been free now for many years.
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runner3081
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by runner3081 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:28 pm

Chase has done this after going from WaMu.

There is a 1.5K requirement and it is worth having a local bank for a small deposit holding.

Not an issue.

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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by jnet2000 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:42 pm

Like others have suggested, find a credit union, online bank or local bank that has free checking. I'd move if it bothered me that much.
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:48 pm

greg24 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:44 pm
How about you keep $1000 in the account?
WHAT!?!? And miss the opportunity for righteous indignation?

I agree that the direct deposit per month rule is stupid. So, vote with your feet, or keep $1000 in the account.
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Good Listener
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Good Listener » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:05 pm

I'm with many of the others. The bank is losing money on an account of the size to which you are referring. So maybe approach it with a smile and keep the balance at $1000 ?

mortfree
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by mortfree » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:12 pm

Absurd???

I’m not seeing that with your two choices.

Now if they required a certain number of transactions per month and a minimum balance and a direct deposit and a safety deposit box and a personal loan and a credit card that you actively use - just to get no fees.

Well, I think you see how “absurd” the $1000 balance really is.

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GoldStar
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by GoldStar » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:17 pm

They gave you two free passes at their policy and you are now faulting them as giving you "crap" because they won't give you a third free pass?
You are a probably a money-losing proposition for them at this point (if you can't even allow them to hold the $1000 minimum) so they will be happy to have you move on.

J295
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by J295 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:38 pm

Doesn’t seem absurd to me.

blevine
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by blevine » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:48 pm

Forgive me for not being there yet, but can't you select the day of the month for your check ?
If not can't you have some monthly transfer from your broker deposit on a different date ?
Or ask your bank to change your statement date ?

Seems like so many solutions, one of them should pan out...and if not keep more cash there.

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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by dknightd » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:09 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:04 pm
I have a checking account at a regional bank with many local offices. They have been very good, and I have a "no fee" senior account. Last year, to continue as "no fee" you either had to maintain a minimum balance of $1,000 OR have at least $500 direct deposit each month. So, I changed my Social security (many times the $500 requirement) benefit to be electronically deposited in that account. OK - for a while. I get my SS on the 4th Wed of each month. However, there are sometimes more than the one calendar month bank cycle for SS receipts on the 4th Wednesday. So, on those occasions, they charge a $10 fee. I requested a refund - and they gave it - twice I think. Now, it happened again -- and they point to the "letter" of the requirement and give me this crap that I violated the no fee policy and they must treat all customers "the same" - and will not refund the $10 fee!!

Any ideas or suggestions!
probably have to go to a new bank

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bottlecap
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by bottlecap » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:50 pm

Apparently drawing seniors' business to the bank isn't as profitable as they initially thought. Such policies are pretty standard.

You can't really expect them to apply the rules to everyone else but you, can you?

Find a better deal, I guess.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Katietsu » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:46 pm

Change the statement date so that this is not an issue. If they can not figure out how to do that, you need to decide if you still want to do business with them. With a little hassle, you could open a new account on say October 10. Then your direct deposit will always fall one per month.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:10 pm

Comply or move on.

No big deal for relative peanuts.

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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by AlphaLess » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:12 pm

This is a somewhat complicated plan. So if you find simpler ones, go with those.

In case cases, if you do an ACH push from another account, that might count as a direct deposit.
But that requires:
- another bank account,
- at least $500 above minimum required in that second account,
- ability to push $500 from that other account into your primary account,
- and then pull that money out (so that you can rinse and repeat).

Also, you will have a similar issue with this transaction (dates).
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rgs92
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by rgs92 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:10 pm

I would just use Ally.

alwayshedge
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by alwayshedge » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:44 pm

I don’t see what’s so absurd here. They have a policy and you are free to stop doing business with them if you don’t like it.

Retired2013
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Retired2013 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:56 am

I was joint with my mother on her checking account. Same situation in that the account needed a direct deposit each month of $500 or the fee was $15. When she passed away last year, all of her direct deposits ceased. I received a statement with the $15 fee which I took to the branch and they waived it but told me I need to make a deposit of at least $500 each month. My work around was to just setup a monthly automatic transfer of $501 from my checking at another bank into her/our/my account. You can then setup a monthly automatic transfer back.

Just before the estate was settled, I wrote a check for the balance and closed the account. Stupid, but that's what they make you do. Create transactions just to avoid the fees.

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bottlecap
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by bottlecap » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:22 am

Somehow we all got into this idea that banking show be free.

Then when the bank sets guidelines as to how much money you need to keep in an account to avoid charges (and so that they don’t lose money providing you an account), we then deem it "stupid."

Any other business that had a product that was losing money would discontinue the product or charge more for it if feasible. It’s hard to understand the mentality that not agreeing to lose money is stupid. Wouldn’t it be more stupid to go out of business?

Would any of you take the time and money to provide me with a free checking account that I kept an average of less than $500 in? All while complying with banking rules, regulations, and record keeping?

JT

Retired2013
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Retired2013 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:52 am

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:22 am
Somehow we all got into this idea that banking show be free.

Then when the bank sets guidelines as to how much money you need to keep in an account to avoid charges (and so that they don’t lose money providing you an account), we then deem it "stupid."

Any other business that had a product that was losing money would discontinue the product or charge more for it if feasible. It’s hard to understand the mentality that not agreeing to lose money is stupid. Wouldn’t it be more stupid to go out of business?

Would any of you take the time and money to provide me with a free checking account that I kept an average of less than $500 in? All while complying with banking rules, regulations, and record keeping?

JT
Requiring a customer to make a deposit every month of $500 is different than requiring them to keep a balance of $xx per month. Did the bank make anything by my making a deposit for $501 and then immediately sending those funds back were they came from? No. Two electronic transactions. However, the same bank required a minimum balance of $300 for a savings account. OK, no problem.

The bank makes money by taking the total of all those checking accounts balances earning 0% and investing at the Fed window in overnight paper. The Treasury Dept. in a bank is actually a profit center.

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bottlecap
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by bottlecap » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:47 am

Retired2013 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:52 am
bottlecap wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:22 am
Somehow we all got into this idea that banking show be free.

Then when the bank sets guidelines as to how much money you need to keep in an account to avoid charges (and so that they don’t lose money providing you an account), we then deem it "stupid."

Any other business that had a product that was losing money would discontinue the product or charge more for it if feasible. It’s hard to understand the mentality that not agreeing to lose money is stupid. Wouldn’t it be more stupid to go out of business?

Would any of you take the time and money to provide me with a free checking account that I kept an average of less than $500 in? All while complying with banking rules, regulations, and record keeping?

JT
Requiring a customer to make a deposit every month of $500 is different than requiring them to keep a balance of $xx per month. Did the bank make anything by my making a deposit for $501 and then immediately sending those funds back were they came from? No. Two electronic transactions. However, the same bank required a minimum balance of $300 for a savings account. OK, no problem.

The bank makes money by taking the total of all those checking accounts balances earning 0% and investing at the Fed window in overnight paper. The Treasury Dept. in a bank is actually a profit center.
So you are saying that a bank has no purpose whatsoever to require customers to transfer money to the bank?

You are saying that Banks have this policy solely to annoy and drive away customers?

That cannot be. This bank is not the only one with this policy. My bank has it as well. Do they not understand banking? Are they all out to drive away customers?

Obviously not. Just necause you and I may not understand exactly how the policy benefits the bank, doesn't mean that it is stupid.

JT

michaeljc70
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.

I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.

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sunny_socal
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:09 am

I posted a while back about BofA for a similar issue. They used to have a 'free' checking account and then changed the policy and now require something like $1500 balance.

So I keep $1500 in there. The benefit to me is a "free" lock box. I'm sure they'll eventually get rid of that as well, but for the time being it's very nice :mrgreen:

barnaclebob
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:21 am

If you don't want to move, just keep $1000 there.

Retired2013
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Retired2013 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:11 am

[/quote]

So you are saying that a bank has no purpose whatsoever to require customers to transfer money to the bank?

You are saying that Banks have this policy solely to annoy and drive away customers?

That cannot be. This bank is not the only one with this policy. My bank has it as well. Do they not understand banking? Are they all out to drive away customers?

Obviously not. Just necause you and I may not understand exactly how the policy benefits the bank, doesn't mean that it is stupid.

JT
[/quote]

IMO the requirement to make a deposit each month is for the smaller regional banks. I find the larger banks have a larger minimum balance. Why?

I worked for a large commercial bank (28 yrs) and a regional community bank (50 - 75 branches)(7 yrs Bank Operations). During the last waive of local mergers and acquisitions, the regional bank tried to set checking accounts at a $500 minimum balance. The poor and customers that live paycheck to paycheck screamed. They couldn't have $500 sitting in a checking account. The other banks / credit unions placed ads for no minimum balance checking at their bank / credit union. Competition was on for new customers. Who sets the checking account requirements and fees? Marketing. The bank switched to direct deposit or $500 deposit per month to compete.

Now when a customer overdraws their account ($35-$50 fee), and the customer has a negative balance, guess what gets paid first on the next deposit? The negative balance. If the bank has a minimum balance account, the fee is usually there for the bank to take.

Also, one of my monthly duties was to review the fees accounts, many more fees than just these two. Yes the fees are huge in total. It was easy to review because there should only be credits to each fee account. If the account had a debit(reversal of fee), I had to review to see why the fee was being reversed. If the branch manager was in the practice of waiving fees, I was required to write a report to senior management.

Now if you are poor, and can't keep $500 in a checking account, you aren't going to have another checking account at another institution so you can't just transfer between accounts.

How about $5 per month for having a HSA with the bank paying 0.10% Yes the bank had a HD Medical Benefit that required us to open the HSA with them. No they didn't waive the fee for employees. They did make a nice contribution quarterly. After two years, Marketing changed the fee to $0.00. Why? They couldn't get local employers to use them for the HSA accounts with the fee.

I personally have my checking at my former large employer bank. It has a requirement of a $1,500 minimum balance or direct deposit each month. Since I am retired and not collecting social security or pension, I don't have any deposit that can be automated. I just make sure I have at least $2k in the checking account. No problem!

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dm200
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Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:16 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am
Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.
I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.
As the policy was explained to me, I could avoid the fee by having over $500 electronically deposited every month. I do that with my Social Security (many times the $500) on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Since (apparently) more than 30 days elapse between SS deposits in some months - the bank's computer calculations charge me the fee. Each and ever calendar month - my SS is direct deposited. Since the 4th Wed of the month is the SS policy for my birthday, there is nothing I can do to change the day it is received by my bank.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3746
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:20 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:16 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am
Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.
I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.
As the policy was explained to me, I could avoid the fee by having over $500 electronically deposited every month. I do that with my Social Security (many times the $500) on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Since (apparently) more than 30 days elapse between SS deposits in some months - the bank's computer calculations charge me the fee. Each and ever calendar month - my SS is direct deposited. Since the 4th Wed of the month is the SS policy for my birthday, there is nothing I can do to change the day it is received by my bank.
I understand. I believe the problem is they aren't using a calendar month. Maybe they can change your statement cycle if that is what it is based on.

shell921
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:13 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by shell921 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:29 am

I have had savings and checking accounts and a safe deposit box at US Bank for 27+ years. No fee on the checking if you kept $1000 balance.
$25 a year fee for the safe deposit box until a few years ago they increased the fee to $45 but said since I was a "senior" I could still pay $25.
This past year I got a letter saying the box fee was going up to $45 for seniors! And I had to keep a $2000 balance in checking ! AND I am now paying a $2.00 a month fee for paper checking account statements. I want to keep the safe deposit box - otherwise i would kiss US Bank goodbye. :|

I also belong to a credit union and must keep a $2500 balance in my checking account there to avoid a fee.

Momus
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Momus » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:49 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:16 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am
Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.
I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.
As the policy was explained to me, I could avoid the fee by having over $500 electronically deposited every month. I do that with my Social Security (many times the $500) on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Since (apparently) more than 30 days elapse between SS deposits in some months - the bank's computer calculations charge me the fee. Each and ever calendar month - my SS is direct deposited. Since the 4th Wed of the month is the SS policy for my birthday, there is nothing I can do to change the day it is received by my bank.
Open a savings account Ally bank 1.85% interest (free to open, no minimum balance). ACH $500 back and forth on the 1st (push) and the 7th (pull). This way you don't have to leave $1000 there, and only having $500 lose interest for 7 days X 12 months. Set it on auto. Done.

Retired2013
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:53 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Retired2013 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:06 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:16 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am
Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.
I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.
As the policy was explained to me, I could avoid the fee by having over $500 electronically deposited every month. I do that with my Social Security (many times the $500) on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Since (apparently) more than 30 days elapse between SS deposits in some months - the bank's computer calculations charge me the fee. Each and ever calendar month - my SS is direct deposited. Since the 4th Wed of the month is the SS policy for my birthday, there is nothing I can do to change the day it is received by my bank.
We don't believe it has anything to do with the 30 day calculations. Does your statement cut off around the 4th Wednesday of the month? Just before or after your SS is posted? The month that you are being charged, does your statement show a SS deposit? Does the statement before or after the fee show two SS deposits on the same statement? If yes, see if the bank can change the date the statement will print to around the 15th of the month. I believe they can do this without having to close the checking account and opening a new one but each system is different.

If not, I recommend an automatic transfer of $501 from another bank (Alley?) around the 10th of each month into the account. Then have another automatic transfer for the same amount back to the original bank. Wash entry on the same date, but the system has that you satisfied the requirement if your SS didn't (I know it's greater than $500).

Hikes_With_Dogs
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:55 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am
Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.

I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.

??

I always vote with my feet and my money, whether they are following their own policies or not. This is a very standard route that banks take, but not an unavoidable one. There are alternatives. So, pick an alternative.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3746
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:05 pm

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:55 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am
Hikes_With_Dogs wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:22 pm
If I was unhappy with the service I was receiving, I'd close my accounts and move to a different bank.
I'm not sure why you'd be unhappy that the bank is following their own policies thinking they should make exceptions for you.

I don't think this policy is absurd. I think it is actually very common on checking accounts to avoid fees.

??

I always vote with my feet and my money, whether they are following their own policies or not. This is a very standard route that banks take, but not an unavoidable one. There are alternatives. So, pick an alternative.
If you are going to go to a different bank and expect them to make exceptions to their policies for you you will probably not be happy there either. As I said, this policy is common with different banks using different limits, types of balances, etc. When you open an account you should be familiar with the fees and how it all works. Blaming the bank because you don't understand the account is ridiculous in my opinion. They're not there to give you everything for free.

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 3727
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: My bank and absurd policy for "no fee"

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:13 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:09 am
I posted a while back about BofA for a similar issue. They used to have a 'free' checking account and then changed the policy and now require something like $1500 balance.

So I keep $1500 in there. The benefit to me is a "free" lock box. I'm sure they'll eventually get rid of that as well, but for the time being it's very nice :mrgreen:
I have free everything at BoA (plus a host of other benefits) simply by holding at least $100K in Vanguard ETFs at my associated Merrill Edge brokerage account. No minimum balances in my checking account, no requirement to do direct deposit, can use *any* ATM without charge (BoA reimburses me for the ATM host bank´s fee), free safe deposit bank, a bunch of free trades on Merrill Edge (far more than I would ever want to use), great credit card bonuses, good billpay services, and convenient brick and mortar branches pretty much everywhere I go in case I need in person assistance (e.g., notary, signature guarantees, foreign currency, etc.) When my late husband and I had a business, they also did our business account, with a very reasonably priced payroll processing service that met our needs well, filing all the required federal and state employer tax paperwork for us. Our local branch was super helpful in dealing with a huge number of small details after my husband´s death, and I opened (and subsequently closed) an account for the estate there.

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