We’ve already written here about how Bank of America is going to start charging its customers a five dollar fee every month when they use their debit card, but now that the news has had time to stew in people’s minds, the reactions of consumers have ranged from mildly annoyed to furious. Luckily there are several solutions to the Bank of America fee problem that have come to light as a result of this outlash against big banks, but even with some excellent alternatives some people still aren’t switching banks.
The New York Times is reporting that though most people are not happy with the Bank of America fees and would like to switch banks, many of them are not switching because of the time investment that they have made into Bank of America. Many consumers have tied up all their direct deposits in Bank of America, and feel that the hassle of switching isn’t worth it. It can be pretty time consuming to make sure you have gotten all of your direct deposits taken off of your old account and put on your new account, but I know from experience that it’s worth it! I recently changed my bank over from Bank of America and though it may seem like a daunting task, the process really isn’t all that difficult.
Banks are counting on the fact that many people will not want to move over all of their direct deposits to make sure they keep customers in. But switching banks really only a few clicks away. If you are reading this article right now you probably have internet access. All you have to do is know which of your accounts are pulled from your Bank of America account automatically and go to the websites for those accounts. Nearly all services that offer automatic withdrawals will allow you to un-enroll from those services online. You can then re-enroll in those services with your new account just as easily as you un-enrolled from them.
Direct deposits like checks from work are a little trickier to switch over, but not so much that it isn’t worth it. Most companies will have an accounting or human resources employee that is available to handle these sorts of questions. Sometimes it can be as simple as telling this employee that you need to switch and telling them the new account number. Other companies may require you to fill out a form. Either way, usually this requires minimal involvement on your part and can be resolved in a matter of minutes or only a few days at the latest.
But if you really do feel like the hassle is too much to handle, congress agrees and is trying to help. Representative Brad Miller introduced a bill this month to make it easier for customers to switch banks. Brad Miller is from right here in North Carolina, and his bill will help consumers to switch banks with minimal effort. “If you decide another bank is better, you should be able to change, just like you’d take your business from Wal-Mart to Target,” he said.
And if you do finally decide to make the switch, many banks are capitalizing on the anger that customers are feeling toward big banks by offering excellent checking services to customers who are willing to switch. Companies like PerkStreet, a bank that exists entirely online and has no physical branches, are offering up to two percent cash back to consumers who use their debit cards as well as other perks. The bank is able to offer excellent rewards because it does not spend any money on physical branches and instead offers online and telephone customer service. Another example is the Bethpage Federal Credit Union, which unfortunately for us here in N.C. is only available in Long Island, is guaranteeing anyone who signs up for a new checking account that they will be allowed absolutely fee-free checking for life. The only fee that will ever be assessed to one of these accounts is an overdraft fee which amounts to only ten dollars, a fraction of the cost of many of the big banks’ overdraft fees. Hopefully many other credit unions and local banks will see that Bethpage has doubled the amount of new checking accounts that have been opened in the past month and will follow suit, bringing this excellent idea to North Carolina even.
Don’t pay a big bank for the privilege of using your own money! Show big banks that they can’t charge people these fees and expect to keep their customers by switching banks. You will be glad that you did when you have that extra five dollars in your pocket every month. You can use that extra money to help get your credit score where it needs to be, or save it for a new auto loan. If you would like more information about how we at Scott McCorkle’s Credit Capitol can help you get an auto loan please visit our contact us page or call 866-442-0871.