Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Banking Odyssey

Not that is of interest to anybody besides himself, but FLG is in the process of changing his banking relationships.

His current primary checking account is with Capital One. Years ago, FLG had a Capital One credit card, and his experience was so piss poor he vowed never to have an account with Capital One again. He only has the account because CapOne purchased Chevy Chase Bank, where FLG used to work and had an account for years. FLG has been too damn lazy to change. In fact, he vowed to change accounts three years ago.

He doesn't go into branches often, but when he does he hates being pitched additional products. It really bugs him. He just wants to deposit a check. If he wanted a savings account, then he'd ask to open a savings account. This selling happened when he was with Chevy Chase, but it seems worse now. Maybe that's just perception, but whatever. FLG decided after a recent trip that enough was enough. He'd switch his accounts soon.

The first place FLG thought of transferring was to ING Direct. As he said, he doesn't have a big need to go into branches and he's had an account there for 8-9 years. Loves them. Already has a savings and checking account all setup. Even a brokerage account. Recommended ING to friends highly for years. Well, guess what? Captial One bought them too. That put a crimp in FLG's plan.

So, FLG then remembered how much he liked his credit union when he was a student in Boulder. Well, he's eligible for a credit union at Georgetown, which is even run by the students. But it only has one location and the services are all, unsurprisingly, geared toward students. Might be fine for just a plain old checking account, but FLG wasn't sure he wanted to be locked in. So, he started looking around more. Turns out, his community college alumni status makes him eligible for a larger credit union with somewhat more convenient locations. So, he's signing up with them and transfer his checking business and some savings over from CapOne.

But then what to do about ING? FLG likes having the option to transfer funds to the direct banks for higher interest when he needs to. He's been happy with ING for years, so even though they've been taken over, he might leave well enough alone until they do something that pisses him off. And then he'll switch either to HSBC's online bank or Ally. Then again, the checking account offered at Ally is so damn good he might have to switch over pronto.


William Brafford said...

When my old bank got bought out after the big troubles, they kept pitching me a weird automatic transfer account: move a dollar to a savings account every time you use a debit card. I thought about it -- read the whole brochure, even -- and decided I didn't want it. And then they kept asking me to sign up for it for months. I got really sick of declining, though of course I kept it up. I'm sure the tellers hate that they have to keep asking.

FLG said...

Not sure they hate asking exactly.

The way it works is that the tellers get a bonus when they get you to sign up for stuff. So, it's $10 for a savings account, $5 for a check card, X for the automatic transfer account, and so on and so forth.

If I ask you and it annoys you, well, no big deal. If I ask you and you say yes, then $5 for me.

William Brafford said...

I didn't know there was a teller bonus involved. When I worked at a chain bookstore, they just posted the stats on percentage of customers who signed up for or used the rewards program, and got on your case if the rewards were low. Assumed this was a similar sort of thing. Now I don't feel sorry for the tellers anymore.

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