How to Switch Banks (and how US Bank is saying that my friend owes $1,800 in overdraft fees)

I know many people are considering switching banks because of all of the new fees and everything else that’s going on.  My friend is also thinking about switching from US Bank because they just told her and she owes $1,800 in overdraft fees.  She told me that her and her BF have NEVER over-drafted in their lives and she’s trying to fight it but the bank said that in order to help her she would need to pay $6 a month for each statement for the past couple of years in order for them to analyze her statements.  I don’t understand why she has to pay this, when they are the ones who need to analyze it? Isn’t that crazy? She’s tried talking to so many people but no one will help. Any ideas for her? She also is going to switch after this whole debacle, but they already took the $1,800 out of her bank, so she wants to wait until she clears that up. I feel like this should be illegal.

Anyways, here are steps to switch banks from Five Cent Nickel:

  1. Make up your mind and find a new bank.  Really think about this chance and how it will affect you, and also what you like about the bank you are now considering.  Make a pros and cons list.
  2. Change your direct deposits. Contact whoever at your work handles this and switch it. Then for the next couple of pay period, make sure you watch this closely.
  3. Re-establish your other accounts that link up to your old account.  This can be savings, Paypal, bills, and so on. Check any auto-debits, insurance premiums, and so on also.
  4. Get new checks.
  5. Sit and wait. Make sure all of your payments and anything else linking up with your new account is working.
  6. Close your old account. I would wait a little bit before closing your old account. The article says a few months, and I think that’s a good amount of time.  You want to make sure that you didn’t forget anything.

Do you have any other tips for someone wanting to switch?

What are your Banking Options?

Many banks are charging fees, as I’ve noted in my two blog posts about Citibank and BofA. Here’s how you can Exercise Your Banking Options, courtesy of Daily Worth.

  1.  You might be able to stay where you are on certain conditions. Find out what this is.  You might have to add direct deposit, maintain a minimum balance, or so on. You might be able to ask also.
  2. Do as I have done, and join a credit union!
  3. “Consider a pre-paid debit card.”  I don’t know if I agree with Daily Worth on this, but then again I’ve never had or even considered a pre-paid debit card.
  4. “Try an online bank. Ally Bank, PerkStreet Financial, ING Direct, SmartyPig—some newer institutions may offer better deals, and you may not need to leave your current bank to take advantage of a free debit card.”

What are you going to do if your bank starts adding fees? 

Also check out Learnvest’s article about all the fees that numerous banks are about to charge, here.

 

  • Stay where you are, but get a better deal. Your bank may offer better terms if you link accounts, add direct deposit, or agree to certain minimum balances, says Noreen Perrotta, editor of Consumer Reports Money Adviser. But to get a better deal, you have to ask.
  • Join a credit union or a small, local bank. Smaller institutions aren’t affected in the same way by new banking regulations, and thus they’re less likely to impose sneaky new fees, says Brian Riley, senior research director at TowerGroup, a financial research and advisory firm.
  • Consider a pre-paid debit card. There are several types, says Riley: payroll debit cards (offered by an employer), general purpose, refillable cards (like the Green Dot card) and government benefit cards. These can pack fees too, warns Perrotta. Be careful.
  • Try an online bank. Ally Bank, PerkStreet Financial, ING Direct, SmartyPig—some newer institutions may offer better deals, and you may not need to leave your current bank to take advantage of a free debit card.

 

More Bank Fees

If you didn’t notice or read yet, Citibank announced new fees for their banking. This goes hand-in-hand with my other post, about Bank of America’s $5 Debit Card Fee.

“Starting in December, customers who hold its mid-level Citibank Account will be charged $20 a month if they fail to maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 in their combined accounts. Previously, account holders had to carry a minimum balance of $6,000. At the same time, customers who have the bank’s EZ Checking account will start being charged $15 a month if they don’t carry a minimum balance of $6,000. Citi (C) says it is phasing out the EZ Checking package, which currently carries no monthly fee, and is instead offering customers either the Citibank Account or its Basic Banking account, which also carries a fee.”

At this time, I’m very happy that I belong to a credit union, because I feel that fees are going to come out of the wazoo now for everything.

Bank of America’s $5 debit card fee

I bet most of you have heard by now that Bank of America is going to implement a $5 fee for debit cards. If not, read the whole article here.

“Bank of America will start charging debit-card users $5 a month to pay for purchases. The move comes as the cards increasingly replace cash and as banks look for ways to offset the loss of revenue from a new rule that will limit how much they can collect from merchants.”

I was actually about to switch to BofA since it’s at the end of my street, because my credit union is so far away (ok it’s really only 20 minutes, but it’s out of my way whenever I need to go).  And now I’m glad I didn’t because if they implemented this, then the list can go on forever and forever of what other fees they might add.

Also, there was a study that found that  “45 percent of checking accounts are now free with no strings attached, down from 65 percent last year and 76 percent in 2009.” I honestly had no clue that anyone even paid for checking accounts still! I never have paid.

“The study also found that the total average cost for using an ATM rose to $3.81, from $3.74, the year before. The average overdraft fee inched up to $30.83, from $30.47.”

  •  My credit union charges to use other ATMs, and the charge is around $7, so I NEVER use an ATM, I never really need cash and when I do, I just go to Walgreens and buy a pack of gum or something that I need, and withdraw cash at the same time.

What do you think of this change?  I heard that many more banks will probably follow due to the government limited the amount of money that banks can collect from retailers soon.

Would you change the way that you paid in order to get out of the $5 charge every time? I know I would.