Tell Us Your Tales Of Switching Banks

November 5 may be Bank Transfer Day, but we know a lot of you have already been jumping from financial institution to financial institution since the Wachovias, WaMus and other banks went bust a few years ago.

So for those of us who have yet to play switcheroo with our bank accounts, we want to hear the details — the good and the bad — from those of you who have.

While you’re certainly free to answer any or all of the following questions in the comments, our cohorts at Consumers Union are looking to actually talk to people who want to share their stories. If you’re interested, shoot an e-mail to money@consumersunion.org with “bank switch” in the subject line.

So for people who have recently left their banks, we want to know:
How difficult was it for you to switch your accounts?

If you tried to switch but were unable to, what was the biggest barrier?

What lessons did you learn that other consumers would benefit from?

We also want to hear from people who have considered moving their money but opted not to. Was there one deciding factor (ex. it would have been a pain in the butt due to all the linked accounts and auto transactions) or a a range of issues?

Again, tell all in the comments or shoot an e-mail to money@consumersunion.org to share your story.

Comments

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  1. Power Imbalance says:

    When Compass announced an $8/mo fee about a year ago I dropped them and went to a credit union.

    • Grungo says:

      Hey there neighbor! I just did the exact same (although I got an extra year of free checking due to my account being grandfathered, or something like that).

  2. bendee says:

    Sign up for your new bank and have your debit card and/or checkbook in hand before dropping your old one. Any recurring bill payments from your old bank should be routed over as well, go over statements for the past 90 days at least (a year if you have the desire to) to ensure you aren’t forgetting any bills to switch over.

    • dangerp says:

      In addition to looking through my old statements, I actually left my old account with money in it for a period of time, to see if any automatic debits that I didn’t consider would hit it. Helped me catch a few that don’t hit my account very often.

    • Willow16 says:

      That’s what we did when switching from Wachovia/Wells Fargo to USAA last year. My husband was unemployed and it was automatically deposited into Wachovia. I opened a new checking account when he was negotiating his new job and the new job pay check was directly deposited to USAA. Since we only have our mortgage automatically withdrawn (it’s with USAA), that was an easy fix.

  3. deadandy says:

    I switched from Bank of America to a local credit union last week. Everything was fine as far as my checking and savings are concerned, but it took some forethought and planning. I had several autodebits to cancel, which I understand are the things that trip people up the most. Some people don’t seem to have a record of the various autodebits coming out of the accounts.

    One thing that surprised me is that the B of A associate indicated they would close my credit card account if I closed my checking and savings. The credit card is not secured or linked to the other accounts in any way, other than my name being on them. I admittedly was unprepared for this event and am still combing through my credit card paperwork to see if there is any provision that allows or disallows this.

    • rpt says:

      Wow! they close the credit card because you are closing your account. Did you find out if will this affect your credit score, as the bank is closing the credit card not you? I am asking this because I might be in a similar situation in the future.

      • smo0 says:

        I’ve known Citi to do this – its a threatening retention tactic.
        I don’t know of the legalities of this with the CARD ACT – but if it causes a negative impact on your credit score – I think the bureaus will play in your favor.

        • Jane_Gage says:

          I closed both my checking and savings account with BoA and they left my three cards with them alone. The website makes it sound like the powerrewards can only be redeemed for cash if you have an account with them, but the literature says otherwise. Also they told me any autodebits would reopen the account so I should “be sure.” I was.

    • Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

      We moved from BOA to a credit union in September. They didn’t close my cc, probably because it was one I had for years before BOA took it over from MBNA. Also, it’s in my name only, instead of the joint accounts we were closing.

    • Jon Parker says:

      When I switched to a CU from M&T, I made a list of all my autodebits except one: a $50 per pay period auto withdrawal to my savings. Sure enough, they reopened the account and flagged me with a $39 overdraft fee. I had to fight like hell to make them see that I was not going to pay an overdraft fee to pay my own money to myself.

    • frank64 says:

      I am sure they were bluffing. But it just shows how better off you to not have two accounts with BOA. I have never had a checking account, and they treat me real well with their credit card.

      That would piss me off, you could complain to someone, but a complaint might just get that person a “good try”.

      I am quite sure there is no law in the CC Act about doing it.

  4. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I will be switching Credit Unions because of a forced “switch” they made when my old CU was purchased by a massive, conglomerate CU. Actually, it’s a bank in credit union clothing.

    I was the member of my dad’s company’s CU from the time I was 8. It was sold when I was 21, but nothing changed but adding two new branches and having spiffy new signs. Then, it was sold to Security Service Federal Credit Union. Now, I have fees up the wazoo, my rates have been slashed, and they nickle-and-dime every chance they get. My “favorite” part is how I can’t even call my local branch anymore (and they have an unlisted number, so Google doesn’t help). I have to call their 800 number and get transferred multiple times just to get to a person in my hometown.

    Over 20 years and I’m hunting for something that can even come close to my old CU. I doubt it’s out there, but I can hope…

    • smo0 says:

      That actually just happened with my CU, except there are still no fees and everything is pretty much the same… but they were taken over.

  5. Chronopoulos says:

    I sent an email to the address in the post, and it just kicked back. Way to go?

    • Chris Morran says:

      Sorry about that. The e-mail has been corrected in the post to money@consumersunion.org

      • Ryan says:

        Unfortunately that new email address does not work either:

        Technical details of permanent failure:
        Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 554 554 5.7.1 : Client host rejected: Access denied (state 14).

      • Chronopoulos says:

        No biggie. Sent again. :P

      • Chronopoulos says:

        No biggie. Sent again. :P

        (I tried this once before and it didn’t seem to catch, so this might show up as a clone reply…)

  6. SteveHolt says:

    I dropped BofA last year in favor of a credit union. I had moved across the country from CA, where the account was opened, which made closing it a pain. Apparently, everything that California BofA’s do is totally separate from all the other BofA’s. When I finally got to the point where I was actually closing the account, the woman on the phone asked me why I was leaving. Her pathetic attempt at customer retention aside, I merely said I had signed up at a credit union. That really didn’t answer her question, but she let it go. She then said, “I hope you will keep us in mind for your future banking needs.” I said nothing. When I got off the phone, I made this face http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ldp3jukzHo1qb9a2wo1_500.png

  7. Coffee says:

    When I heard about the $5 debit card fee at Bank of America, I decided that this was the last straw. I would be taking my money to a credit union post-haste. Walking into the branch, I immediately felt a vibe about the place, like the fake plants’ plastic fronds were pointing at me, Benedict Arnold walking into the lions’ den, just like in the bible. As the dumpy security guard slouched toward me, I tried to avoid eye contact and keep my “I am one of the 99% who hate $5 debit card fees” sign between us so that he would get the hint and leave.

    “You can’t bring that in here, sir,” he said ominously.

    “What?” I said, preparing my speech on the First Amendment.

    “The badger. You can’t bring a badger into a bank.”

    “The founding fathers…wait…badger, you say?”

    “Yes. You need to take the badger outside.”

    At that point I just kind of left…I hadn’t prepped myself on this line of inquiry, and then I realized that I don’t bank at BofA, so in all, it was a wasted morning.

  8. veronykah says:

    When WaMu got eaten by Chase I had a firm resolve to leave Chase but was talked into a Business account with the stipulation that it would still be free (like my Wamu checking was) if I used my debit card 5x a month.
    Fast forward to now, I realize HAVING to use my debit card that much is annoying (I pay cash or use my Amex for everything) and am going to take advantage of Bank Transfer Day to join a credit union, finally.
    I really only need a bricks and mortar bank to deposit cash and checks once a month, so the extra drive to a credit union will be worth voting with my money by leaving Chase.

  9. Szleegs says:

    When 1st Bank tried nickel and diming me for every little thing, I switched to KeyBank. I really like Key, and I hope they don’t succumb to the big-bankery that’s happening now. I really don’t want to have to find a credit union.

    How difficult was it for you to switch your accounts?

    It wasn’t. I went to my new bank, wrote myself a check for the remaining balance in my old bank account. Took about 45 minutes to open a joint account for myself and my husband (with many perks: free checking, free unlimited checks, $6 ATM refund each month for using other banks ATMs, interest-bearing checking, rewards debit card with no fee the first year, $100 sign up bonus). Went to old bank and closed account. Took an evening in front of the tv to set up my online bill pay.

    What lessons did you learn that other consumers would benefit from?

    Ask about perks that might be available through your workplace. Know any time limits for trials (6 month free checks, 1 year free rewards card). We had 1 year on our rewards debit card before we were charged an annual fee, so we put it on our Google calendar and got regular debit cards when it expired.

    • bkeyport says:

      Keybank here took over Puget Sound Bank – and people left in droves because of the big bank A.H. thing. People here still don’t like the lack of drive ups etc.

  10. George4478 says:

    I switched from Wells Fargo/Wachovia when they instituted the $7/month download-to-Quicken fee. I was a Wachovia Crown member (keep $4k in your accounts and a loooong list of fees were waived) and watched a each month a new Terms and Conditions flyer came in the mail. Each one detailed the once-waived fees that were now my problem. The $4k account requirement was, however, never waived. The Quicken fee was the last straw.

    I opened an account at a local credit union that had started taking people living in my county, waited 2 direct deposit cycles to make sure everything was working right, and closed the pair of 25 year-old accounts. Wells Fargo gave me no problems, asked me several questions (“Did we do something to upset you” was their opener) and I told them exactly why I was leaving. All in all, it took less than an hour from when I walked into the building and got in line.

    They were polite, I was polite. I did not have protest signs or cameramen with me. I did not yell or chant. You will not find my account closing on YouTube.

    • energynotsaved says:

      I removed my primary accounts due to charges, but maintained a checking so I could transfer money into my daughter’s account. Oddly, they haven’t charged either one of us. I completely don’t get it. I never keep more than $400 in the account. My daughter goes rapidly through her money. When they start charging, I’ll move these last two over to my lovely credit union.

      • George4478 says:

        I pointed out to the account manager that I’d paid more in fees during the final 2 months the account was open than I’d paid in the previous 25 years combined.

        “We apologize for that.”

        “Uh, OK, I guess.”

    • brinkman says:

      That was the same reason I closed my account with Wachovia. The bank officer said “Every bank charges that fee!”

      When I mentioned that the bank I was switching to didn’t, he said, “Oh.”

  11. ClydeFrog says:

    When Chase started implementing a $12 a month fee on my checking account, I stuck it out for a few months because I was too lazy to switch. Finally, I made the switch to Cooper State Bank and couldn’t be happier. Their hours are more convenient, their tellers are extremely personable, and I don’t get nearly as much junk mail from them as I did from Chase. The only complaint I have is that I get dinged 25 cents for each debit card transaction I complete using my PIN, but now I just run my card as credit to avoid those fees.

  12. nishioka says:

    I switched to USAA from First National Bank in Omaha.

    It was sunshine and bunnies.

    I’ll never leave USAA.

    The end.

    • TBGBoodler says:

      Same here. We switched to USAA when Capital One bought our local Chevy Chase Bank. I still have the Chevy Chase account so I can do local banking, but just found out there’s a USAA branch opening at Pentagon City in Arlington.

    • CTrees says:

      My first acount was with Navy Federal Credit Union. I have not banked with anyone else, ever.

      Once, I had a problem where two accounts weren’t properly linked, causing an overdraft. Went into the local branch, explained what happened. Took them less than five minutes to fix, and I got no complaints from them about waiving the overdraft fee it caused.

      Sunshine and bunnies, indeed.

  13. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I just dropped ING after moving all my money over to USAA. It was easy to set up the USAA account (able to do it all online). I wrote a letter to ING and they required that I call them to cancel, but when I called, that was easy too. ING asked why and I said because I don’t want to do business with Capital One, which bought them.

    Earlier this year, I dropped my credit union of 10+ years in favor of PNC Bank. I had relocated on short notice to a new city and my credit union refused to allow me to take out more than $200 from my account when I needed the money to put down a deposit on an apartment. They suggested I go to a partner credit union in another city for a cashier’s check (even though, I later discovered, there was a partner credit union in the city where I was). It just never occurred to me that my credit union would restrict me in this way when I needed to access my money very badly. I walked frazzled into PNC and the staff there came up with ideas to help me (I ended up taking a cash advance on a credit card… not at all ideal, but it was what got me through the situation). I really appreciated the help I got from the PNC when I was not even a customer so I went in and opened an account with them. So far, it’s been great!

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      I don’t have any auto-debits as I don’t trust third parties having access to my accounts. This probably made the transitions a lot speedier than they otherwise might have been.

  14. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    I’ve never had to switch banks, aside from when my bank was acquired and I stayed with the acquiring bank. In 15 years I’ve never had a problem with my bank. It’s one of the biggest in the country, but I never see complaints about it here. PNC Bank.

  15. Robertinark says:

    Without having any automatic deposits or withdrawals, it’s very easy and your new bank or credit union will be glad to assist.

  16. Todd_F says:

    I was a customer of Bank of America for years. In 2008 they lowered my credit limit on my credit card and raised the interest rate to 20% from 12%. In 2009 they tried charging an additional $75 a year for my Amex.

    Sorry, BAC, you don’t get to charge me 20% interest AND $75 a year. You can tell me that they have the right to earn a profit, and I will tell you I have the right to walk away.

    I went with a credit union two years ago. They offer everything that a bank does, except my credit untion doesn’t randomly change the statement date in an effort to screw up my automatic bill pay so they can then charge a late fee and raise your interest rate to a default rate. My credit card is 9.9% fixed, no gimicks, no games. My car loan is 2.9%.

    These big banks are out of control. Take your money and run while you still can.

  17. Prawo Jazdy and the Velocity Trumpets says:

    I closed my account with 5/3 today and transferred my funds into a local credit union. They were incredibly helpful. I was expecting the worst and got the best treatment I have ever gotten from them at my local branch.

    I walked in and was greeted by a teller, I told them I wanted to close my account and they said “OK, come on up to the window and we’ll start the process.”

    So we began and before he pressed the close button, he asked if I had any pending transactions or checks. This set an alarm off in my head and I remembered that I had my gas bill going through at some point. He politely reminded me that if I close it now, the gas bill will come through, re-open the account and over draft. OF COURSE!

    So, I checked the bill on my phone and we left the exact amount in their for the bill to be processed which he said will probably happen right before midnight. He then gave me his card and said I can call him tomorrow and he will close the account so I do not need to come in. He also suggested I make sure all pending charges are not $1 holds. So he printed up an activity statement and saw that all were full charges.

    Why couldn’t they have been this helpful when I needed them during a minor issue I had with the cable company helping themselves to more than I agreed to?

    Oh well… To late. My new Credit Union has more ATM’s within a 5 mile radius off all my usual places like home and work. Has better customer service and even has the rewards program that 5/3 got rid of when the government told them to stop charging merchants for swipes.

  18. Todd_F says:

    I was a customer of Bank of America for years. In 2008 they lowered my credit limit on my credit card and raised the interest rate to 20% from 12%. In 2009 they tried charging an additional $75 a year for my Amex.

    Sorry, BAC, you don’t get to charge me 20% interest AND $75 a year. You can tell me that they have the right to earn a profit, and I will tell you I have the right to walk away.

    I went with a credit union two years ago. They offer everything that a bank does, except my credit untion doesn’t randomly change the statement date in an effort to screw up my automatic bill pay so they can then charge a late fee and raise your interest rate to a default rate. My credit card is 9.9% fixed, no gimicks, no games. My car loan is 2.9%.

    These big banks are out of control. Take your money and run while you still can.

    • jesusofcool says:

      I live and work in Boston and I’m looking to get away from the big name banks. Any suggestions for credit unions? Most the ones around here seem to be restricted to employees of a major employer or are very limited in terms of ATM access. I travel often around the East Coast so I really need free ATM access wherever. Any suggestions?

      • frank64 says:

        Well, there is DCU. I don’t like that they don’t have a line of credit attached to the checking account.Look for smaller banks. I use Middlesex Savings Bank. They have free checking and the LOC I look for.

      • ghostbikes says:

        over the summer I switched to jeanne d’arc credit union and they are wooonderful. my boyfriend uses Metro CU. I recently found out that city of boston credit union has good rates too. I think with all three of those you are eligible for membership if you live, work, or attend school in boston. i should have switched sooner!

  19. Scooter McGee says:

    I tried to switch from Chase and my former employer’s bank (HSA) to Forum Credit Union this morning, checking and HSA. Unfortunately, they are showing some major incompetence when it comes to setting up the HSA transfer from my current bank to the CU. So far, I have been given four different answers on how to do a direct transfer. Looks like I will be keeping my accounts as-is for at least a few more days. Plan to go to the CU tomorrow and tell them what they can do with the accounts.

  20. John says:

    You can always count on certain posts, including those saying “Ima gonna take my money to a CU ASAP.” I have closed BOTH my CU accounts in the past 2 years because of excessive fees or general lack of ability to undertake standard banking (including deposit of foreign checks). One of my credit unions imposed, just after a quarterly statement, an inactivity fee, so by the time I got my next statement, they had taken 3 inactivity fees, resulting in dropping below the minimum balance, which resulted in 3 “below minimum balance fees.”

    Before running to a CU, it is vital that you review their fee schedule. You will be surprised how many have worse fees than the big banks (and, of course, far fewer access points).

    My 2 cents (based on real life experience).

    • LandruBek says:

      The good thing is, there are tons of CUs, so if you don’t like the one you’ve found, try the next city block. (With CUs, there really is something akin to the free market at work.)

  21. Hedgy2136 says:

    1. Switching was no problem. I opened a credit union account, changed my direct deposit and waited to make sure the deposit was made.

    2. N/A

    3. Don’t expect the bank to care that you are switching or why. They already know some will and offer no apologies for the decision they made.

    • bendee says:

      Caring I’d agree with, but they will generally like to know why – for internal metrics and such.

      • Hedgy2136 says:

        I was speaking in context of this whole debit card fee fiasco. My bank did not ask why. It was as if they already knew.

  22. SunsetKid says:

    Chase took over my account at WAMU and for a while honored the free checking and other benefits. The the honeymoon was over. I found a bank down the block (East West Bank) that offered free checking with no minimum balance. I went to Chase to close my checking account. The first person I spoke to told me that she too, as an employee, lost free checking. I told her about East West. I was then turned over to a more senior person who tried to convince me to stay. He would not (and could not) budge on free checking. Then came the threat. Chase will probably close down my safe deposit box. Then about two months after my account at East West opened, they announced minimum balance or checking account fees; however, I was exempt since there were no charge for people like me who are over 55. I just paid my safe deposit bill so the threat seems to be an empty one.

  23. smo0 says:

    How difficult was it for you to switch your accounts?

    Switching banks is probably the easiest and the hardest thing. I’ve had accounts with TCF, BofA and Citibank. The worst was BofA. Citibank was okay while I was employed there because employee accounts are not subject to fees, however, when I opened up a second account – I had a monthly fee because I didn’t have direct deposit going to that account – come to find out, the only way (even the employees) to avoid fees is to have direct deposit going to a Citi account. TCF, I don’t remember too much, I had them for about 2 years when I was in college. I didn’t have fees then. (this was 2002-2003)

    If you tried to switch but were unable to, what was the biggest barrier?

    The only barrier to switching to a credit union is being reported in check systems. I didn’t have anything outstanding but a friend of mine tried to switch and that held him back. Most credit unions don’t run credit reports on you – they just see if you’re a “check bouncer.” As would be logical with most banks, however, I do not agree with Check systems… they are worse than the credit bureaus and collection agencies combined. However, many banks do run credit reports on individuals (I know Citi does) and won’t give an account if you have a bad credit score. People call BS on this… I worked for Citi – I know what they do.

    What lessons did you learn that other consumers would benefit from?

    BofA will not credit fees, even if its their fault. I had issues with a “snowball” ordeal because of a check that had not been properly cleared (on BofA’s side) and it caused two transactions to put my account in negative… one transaction was for less than 5 dollars (there are laws to protect people from this sort of thing now, I gather) I had about $60 in fees. When everything was back to normal, the only amount in the negative was 50 something – all of which was their fees and those few dollars of my money went to those fees. I called them repeatedly about this – when they wouldn’t fix it, I closed my account. They sent me to collections agencies for that small amount of money which I refuse to pay… btw this was my second time having a BofA account. Definitely a “fool me twice” scenario.

    • smo0 says:

      Another foreseeable issue would be if you have any type of auto draft or auto pay…

      even check for account protection fees… even if you got them from your bank – they might still be auto billed by a 3rd party, cancel everything before switching.

  24. WildGibberish says:

    I switched from BOA several years ago due to a total lack of service and questionable business practices. To make the transition easier I first opened an account at my Credit Union and then migrated everything over the next month before giving BOA the final ax. That month I didn’t use the BOA account at all, and kept tabs to see if I missed anything recurring or automatic. At the end of the month the transition was complete. That month period made everything really simple and kept me from having any surprises from the bank. I’ve had friends who switch and I always recommend a 30 day or so transition period…plus, if for some reason the CU is worse than your bank (unlikely) then you will not have locked yourself out of your old account.

  25. tbax929 says:

    I have had a USAA account for several years but have always kept a “local” account for cash deposits, etc.

    Until about a year ago, that was B of A. Now, B of A had this great program called “Keep The Change” in which your debit card purchases were rounded up to the nearest dollar and the change was placed in a savings account. Sounds clever, right? The problem was that B of A was charging me $5 per month for the savings account.

    When I discovered this (I was, admittedly, not very diligent about checking the savings account because I only used it for the Keep The Change program; it wasn’t my regular savings account) I went to B of A to cancel all of my accounts.

    The bank manager person got really mad at me and said that instead of closing my accounts, I should have just called and had the charges reversed. They couldn’t reverse them permanently, so I’d have to call every single month – but I could. That sounded ridiculous to me. I only opened the savings account in order to use the Keep The Change program!

    So I went to a credit union for my local banking. Here’s the part you have to pay attention to: the first CU I went to was TERRIBLE. Their online system was incredibly antiquated; deposits took forever to post; they only had a few branches. It was like banking in the 1970s or something. People on here go on and on about how awesome CUs are, and some of them are. But some of them are as bad, if not worse, than big banks. You have to do your research.

    So I closed that account and opened one with a different CU. They still don’t have the slick website, features, and ATMs on every corner that B of A could offer, but they also don’t charge me for the privilege of them making money off of my money. I ended up using them for a car loan when I bought a new car this year and also opened up a Visa card with them.

    My mortgage is with a big bank; I had no control over that. It’s been sold twice already, and at one point was with B of A. Now US Banks owns it. So I haven’t completely stopped using big banks, but I’ve done what I can.

    • energynotsaved says:

      My credit union is a bit out of touch, too. The web page is clunky. But, even tho they hold checks, they clear them when they clear! Stunned silence! (I sent my kid a check. The check cleared my account on Friday, but wasn’t credited to his account until Tuesday at 5.)

      However, they are open Saturdays until noon. They are nice. They are free.

      I have mortgage with a big bank, but nothing I can do about that….

      • tbax929 says:

        It’s been my (brief) experience that if you want the high-tech stuff you have to go with a larger CU, but those are the ones that seem to have the problem.

        The portion of my check that direct deposits into my USAA account is there before my actual payday. If payday falls on a Monday, my deposit shows up Thursday or Friday. With my credit union, it shows up Monday after 8 a.m. It’s fine because I don’t live check to check anymore, but that would have been a deal-breaker for me when I was younger and more broke!

  26. Rebecca K-S says:

    I closed my bank account, took the check to the credit union, and opened my new checking account. Pretty good story. I tell it all the time.

  27. custommadescare says:

    So, I’m in the process of switching to a CU. It’s one I’ve been at for years, so I’m not worried about that.

    What I am worried is that I have a savings in ING. I want to close that account since the buyout, but I want to find another option to put that money in.

    I was going to use Ally, but I had a very bad experience when I was trying to open an account and it soured me on giving them my cash.

    So, fellow readers, does anyone know of another ING-ish bank where I can keep accessible savings at a decent, albeit fluctuating, interest rate?

    Thanks!
    cms

    • Confoosed says:

      Hi cms,

      When Capital One acquired ING, [nope..don't like CO] I pulled my funds out and opened an account with Discover Bank. [I have had a Discover CC since the 90's] Very easy process. I have easy access to my $$ and I am getting a full 1% interest. Yippee!

      http://www.discoverbank.com/

      Hope this helps!

    • parv says:

      I am thinking of opening an account with Charles Schwab.

  28. awesome anna says:

    I’m torn because personally I haven’t had a problem with Chase. I was previously a WAMU customer, but there are no min balance fees…??? Idk what some people are talking about. Perhaps I’m following one of the guidelines to get it waived? I have direct deposit and I have an auto debit from my savings to my checking once a month. Zero fees… It’s hard for me to find a reason to leave when there are very few CU in AZ that are near my area and most have the same exact fees as the banks.

    • MercuryPDX says:

      I am in the same boat as you are. Chase ate up quite a few places and now hold my checking, savings, Retirement, Mortgage and Home Equity Line of credit. I have so much going on with them that I don’t pay fees.

      I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad. I’m taking this as an opportunity to go over my bill pay/transfers/etc., which has already paid off. Two companies that were Direct Debit, now accept credit cards, so I’ve switched those.

      We have quite a few CUs to choose from, but (from the ones I qualify for) I’ve narrowed it down to four: IQ CU, People’s Community CU, Twinstar CU and Columbia CU.

    • Dr. Shrinker says:

      Chase will waive fees if you have a certain amount direct deposited every month. Unfortunately, I had a business account with them and they just decided to start charging $20/month with no notice whatsoever (I actually read all the little inserts in my statement. There were NO announcements of this!)

      I moved to a smaller, but still big bank (US Bank). So far, I’m pretty happy and they remain free of any charges unless I overdraw or something. Plus, there’s a branch in my local grocery store that’s open on Sundays. I’m paranoid now, though, and I pore over my statement every month looking for new fees…

  29. aja175 says:

    I walked thru a group of protestors into a BofA branch, calmly waited in line, requested the teller give me the balance of my account and close it. She was very friendly, I commented about how the group outside is doing it wrong, she agreed. Within a half hour my account was closed.

  30. suez says:

    Today I created a new checking/savings account with USAA. I’m beginning the switching all the auto-pay stuff over, but it’s a slog because I have to track each account number down. As soon as my next paycheck auto-deposits into the new account, I’ll be transfering everything over and closing the BOA accounts I’ve had for over 15 years. We’ll see how it goes.

  31. SenorAnderson says:

    My wife (then fiancee) switched from Chase to my credit union last winter due to fees that shouldn’t have been. She had to go to a branch twice because she had a pending bill-pay. The first time they were polite about it. The 2nd time (at a different branch) the manager seemed to take personal offense that my fiancee wouldn’t want to use one of their checking accounts. Opening the account at the credit union took 20 minutes and we each got $50.

  32. bethrankin says:

    It was incredibly easy. The Bank of America folks had my account shut down and money in my hand within 5 minutes, never even asking why I was leaving or attempting to keep my business. I moved the money over that afternoon to a local credit union. When I ordered checks from them, it cost only $20 and they showed up five days later. Five days!

    The biggest difficulty is moving around my direct deposits and auto bill-pays, but all I had to do was hand my HR lady a voided check and sign two forms. She told me I was one of many, many people at our not-too-large newspaper to come in to alter their deposit info in the last couple weeks.

    All I can say is stop using your old bank’s debit card a few days before you close the account, otherwise you’ll have to pony up the cash after. (I had one $7 transaction go through a few days after I closed my BofA account)

  33. IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

    finalizing my chase ditch as soon as my autopay finishes processing, already got a 2nd CU account FOR FREE …. WITH INTEREST …. ON CHECKING!!!!

  34. human_shield says:

    Have not yet switched from Wells Fargo. No fees are impacting my accounts yet. However I certainly hope not to. It would take a lot of my time to recreate all the bill pay accounts. Plus my credit card is with them and I enjoy the ease of making payments directly rather than creating a bill pay and having a check sent (which takes at least 2-3 days).

    Plus I love their online account manager. The Money Map categorizes spending that helps me complete my spending report each month, so it saves me a lot of time. I’m a debit-credit only guy, none of that untraceable green stuff. I’ve had credit unions before and their online systems are usually pretty sad.

  35. Slatts says:

    My strategy was to get the new account open first, then get all of the info entered into the new bank’s online bill pay site so that it’s ready to go, then change the direct deposit via my employer. Finally, transfer the remainder of the old bank’s account to the new bank.

    I switched from Chase to USAA a few months back. With my direct deposits, I actually qualified for continued free checking, but some of Chase’s other fees were annoying. Meanwhile, USAA is almost too good to be true. For example, there are not low balace fees, period. They don’t charge a fee for transferring $$ from savings to checking when an overdraft occurs, and get this: they don’t even charge a fee for transfers from a USAA credit card when it kicks in for overdraft protection (other than the straight interest on the cash advance — the standard interest, not some special cash advance rate). Also, my direct deposits from work clear one day sooner. What was Chase doing with my paycheck for the extra day for all those years?

    I know I sound like a USAA fanboy, which may be the finacial equivalent of the annoying Apple fanboy, so here’s the downside: unless you live in a big military town such as San Diego or Norfolk, there are no branches. They do offer photographic deposit of checks through smartphones and PC’s/scanners, but they limit this feature to former military (i.e. “full”) members, which works for me, but non-former-military folks will need a second account, perhaps at a CU, to make deposits (the only alternative is to snail mail your checks to USAA — no thanks).

    • Stevestr80020 says:

      You can also deposit checks at a participating The UPS Store which makes USAA a lot more attractive for non-military like me.

  36. French_Toast says:

    When my mom decided to drop her bank, she closed all the children’s accounts too. The children’s accounts were created when we were born with $10, and another $10 deposited every birthday.

    My brother who was 10 at the time had less than $50 dollars in it. Dirtbags at Zion’s Bank had stolen half my brother’s money.

  37. Out For Delivery says:

    Chase gave me the option of leaving the bank with about $2000 in cash or being charged $5 to get a check written.

    “You’re charging me to close my account?!” — they were minutes away from calling security but I was just fucking with them.

    I picked the cash, made an overly dramatic big deal about it at the counter in front of the whole bank, and have never set foot of Chase property ever since.

  38. BennieHannah says:

    My dad was the CEO of a hometown bank bought out by a Big Name. We’d been with the bank for twenty-five-plus years and rode out the transition. When our daughter went away to college, we opened a joint account for her so that I could easily transfer money and also spy upon her spending.

    Anywhoo — come to find out the “convenient” network teller in her college cafeteria lobby charged a buck for each withdrawal, and then, when she (inevitably) withdrew more than she had they stacked the withdrawals from largest to smallest so as to incur the BIGGEST SCORE for the bank! Not that I blame them. They’re a business after all. But we quickly withdrew all of our accounts (checking, savings, money market and IRA) and moved to the credit union. Which we should have done years ago, if we hadn’t been so emotionally attached to “our” bank.

  39. steve says:

    You’re trying an Health Savings Account rollover, or you happen to use a bank named HSA?

    If you’re doing an HSA rollover, yeah, no one knows how to do these yet, because very few people have ever had to do one. I rolled over into US Bank after chase started monthly fees– still no fees at US Bank!– and even though the banker and I explicitly noted that the account was being opened as a rollover account, some dingbat still tagged my rollover as an excess contribution for that year. The poor banker made good on it, but you could tell he was getting peeved at his own bureaucracy.

  40. trencherman says:

    It was fairly easy. I opened an account at a credit union. Then I requested that my paychecks be deposted there, rather than bank of america (this took about 2 months). When that happened, I shut down my account with BoA. It would have been tricker if I had already had bills automatically deducted from my account, but I hadn’t gotten to that point yet. As I remember, the most difficult part of the process was composing an appropriately nasty and derisive letter to BoA letting them know I was firing them, without going over the top and landing myself in jail.

    BoA is the worst.

  41. Liberty Law says:

    Last month I got a letter from Citibank stating that unless I kept at least $6k in my bank account at all times I would have to pay $15 a month for the privilege of letting Citibank hold me money. There was no exception made for having direct deposit or using online banking or some of the other exceptions that were typically allowed. I should mention however, that the $6k requirement is spread across all Citi accounts (so if you have a mortgage with them, that meets the $6k requirement).
    So, I switched to my local credit union. I qualified for membership just by living in the city, there was no employment requirement or anything like that. And in order to waive the $5 a month fee for a checking account, I simply have to average $150.00 in my account monthly… Much better deal. And they were really nice.
    When I walked into Citibank to close my account the teller asked me why I was leaving. I politely explained I was not happy with the fees and the teller closed out my account. I was one of several people present closing their accounts. Appears that Citi was prepared for that because they had a popcorn cart set up and the friendliest customer service I have ever received in my life at Citibank.

    • Dr. Shrinker says:

      I have a jumbo mortgage and a small HELOC with Citibank and they STILL charged me for the checking and savings accounts I had with them. $20 EACH! (How did you get $15?) I only had the checking account because it saved me 1/4% on my HELOC to direct pay from it…that small amount of discount was eaten up by the $20 fee, so I said goodbye to those bastards last month.

  42. yourbffjill says:

    When I opened an account with Wells Fargo I kept the card of the woman who opened my checking and savings accounts for me. When I wanted to switch to a bank with a higher interest rate (back when online banks were offering 5%) I asked her what I could do to make sure I wouldn’t incur any fees during the transition after my direct deposit switched to my new bank. To my surprise she offered to waive all fees on my account for three months which would give me enough time to verify that my direct deposit and bill pay was totally switched over.

    I have no idea whether this was a total fluke or not. But I guess my suggestion would be to go to your regular contact at your bank, if you’re lucky enough to have one?

  43. energynotsaved says:

    After Wells Fargo ate my bank, I figured it didn’t matter–until they started charging me $10 a month to maintain a 1$0K money market account at their bank. I’m now at a credit union. And no, the money market was a short term blessing. It is long gone. Yet, my credit union charges me nothing for having a savings account and they pay me for my money market!

  44. Dano says:

    I left Bank of America long ago. They had told me with my multiple accounts I would never pay a service fee, but each month I had to complain to get them to remove “accidental” fees.

    Now I am with a credit union that PAYS ME to use their debit card. Usually I get paid $0.10 per debit card transaction, currently it is $0.15 per transaction.
    http://moneyland.time.com/2011/10/06/credit-union-paying-customers-to-use-their-debit-card/#ixzz1a0nDdQKp

  45. ancientone567 says:

    My bank just got bought out by Union Bank. I hope they don’t screw with things too bad as I have my car loan with them.

  46. SwaggeringCuban says:

    When Chase introduced their $10 month fee for checking accounts I switched to a “college checking” account which is free. Then they started charging me for that “accidentally” so I went and switched to a credit union.

  47. mcgyver210 says:

    We stayed with BOFA thru many mergers but when we had a problem with Identity theft they didn’t do anything like they advertised IMO. So we said from that day forward we would only deal with smaller banks & if they started getting big we would leave ASAP.

    So we have multiple smaller banks now & can move before they get too big.

  48. bread angel says:

    I changed from B of A to my credit union several years ago. To be on the safe side, give it about a month to complete it. First, set up the credit union account, then make sure all direct deposits are changed and then make sure all automatic bill pays are changed. When you are comfortable that the credit union has all of your accounts in order, then close your big bank account. It was painless for me and I am sooo happy.

  49. MikeVx says:

    I just finished changing one of my Debit card accounts from Key Bank to Perkstreet. The low-transaction-count fee was the last straw. Those pinheads had also reported me to Chexsystems because their web site was coded by an idiot. In the end I had to wait for the record to expire because Key could not get me out even though they agreed it was an error on the banks part.

  50. PSUSkier says:

    I walked into one building that used to be my bank of choice, walked out of it with a bag of money (the kind with the $ symbol on it of course) to a new building that shortly thereafter became my bank.

  51. mcmunchkin says:

    I”m almost done switching to USAA from B of A. It wasn’t difficult at all. It just takes time. It takes a few business days for each step of the process: Opening the accounts, verifying the accounts, switching each connected bill, etc. I still have both accounts because I still have outstanding checks written from the old account.

  52. brownhb says:

    First of all: that picture was taken at the University of Arizona! I use those ATMs on a regular basis.

    I opened an account at my local CU (literally across the street) and I’m going to take this weekend to fix all my direct deposits and autopays through Bank of America. I’ll keep a minimum amount in BoA because I have a nice credit card through them. But everything else is going to my CU. Excited!

    My worst banking story has to do with Chase. When I first struck out on my own after college, I got a Chase credit card (my first!) and had a checking account with them. I was paying three different companies identity theft protection because I didn’t know any better to opt out. I was living off of almost nothing and paying nearly $35/month on a credit card that had around a $100 balance at any time. So I finally got in to finding the actual numbers for customer service (3 different companies, not Chase). I talk to one woman who seems nice to start, but then suddenly delves into a nearly ten minute long tirade about all the horrible things that can happen without identity protection. She starts with the usual, credit cards, SS number, etc. And then she’s telling me that someone could steal my identity and get an AIDS test, and test positive for AIDS, and then somehow my employers would find out I had AIDS and fire me. I kid you not! I finally grew a pair and got off the phone with her. But it was kind of insane the dramatic tactics they would go to to scare you.

  53. AntiNeutral says:

    I switched my personal bank account from BofA to US BANK after an incident of ATM card fraud. I felt that not only was BofA poorly equipped or poorly incentivized to deal with such card abuse, but also that they ( presumably like other banks) do a poor job of informing the public of the risks associated with certain bank practices.

    You know those TV ads that assure you that you are covered for any fraudulent transactions when you use your card? That’s not always true. It happened to me and I lost almost $3000.00 from my checking and savings accounts. Here is what BofA does NOT tell you, and what I learned:

    1) if you discover any card abuse, the bank’s first posture will be to try to go back even further to find another instance of any type of fraud. If they can find one, and it’s greater than 60 days back, then your current abuse is not covered. In my case, an innocent-looking “E-Bill Pay….. $39.00” charge did not stand out as “fraud”. When it was later discovered to have been fraudulent, the bank merely said “sorry, that was over 60 days ago , so these people that have cleaned out your bank accounts in the last 2 weeks are going to get away with it”. They did not care about my loss or any crime being committed. Learn the “60 Days FORWARD” rule.

    2) LINKING your checking & savings account has a risk that is never mentioned. If your checking account is cleaned out, the bank will then continue to pay through your linked savings account. It is convenient for moving funds around, but for the best protection, UNLINK your savings account from your ATM card.

    3) The criminals are more motivated and advanced than the banks. In my case, a bank “fraud department” person told me, “these criminals are smart, they know how to sneak these small charges through”. I inquired if they knew this, why couldn’t their Fraud Detection dept. inform me of such activity on my account. I was later told that this person should never have told me that. Of course. Just because your bank has a Fraud Detection unit does not mean that it actually detects fraud and even if it is detected, the bank is under no obligation to pass this information along to you. In my case, BofA thought nothing unusual of a purchase being made with my card in Southern California and Ireland on the same day. Making the whole experience worse, the local branch manager, himself, was unaware of the 60 DAY FORWARD RULE and seemed embarrassed that there were other aspects he knew nothing about.

    4) Card abuse/fraud is not something that happens to rich people. My meager amounts were still a ripe target. Especially in this economy, if you have $100.00 in the bank, I can assure you that somewhere, there is a criminal who will be happy to steal it from you.

    5) I know this is controversial, but this is not illegal. The single, best thing you can do to protect yourself and your ATM linked accounts from being jacked, is to periodically “lose or misplace” your card and ask for a new one. This should be done , IMO, commensurate with your card use, risks and exposure to fraud. Banks & credit institutions don’t like to do this because it costs them money to change it over to a new number, but it WILL keep you safer than having not done it. Credit reporting agencies may even take a few points off your credit score if you change numbers but of course, the criminals know this so they are equally aware that banks like to keep you anchored to one number. This only helps the bad guys. Research any downside risks but it is a highly effective, common-sense approach to personal protection, because banks tend to only look after a select group of their largest customers.

    6) read, learn, visit web sites like this one….Google search terms like “consumer protection”, and see what comes up. Don’t just visit government sites as they share an unfortunate trait with the big banks; they have Visa/MasterCard & others involved in their decision making. Also, learn that “consumer privacy” is directly related to “consumer protection” and demand more of each from your elected officials.

    7) Go back to cash whenever possible. Most merchants love cash & might even offer you a better price for using it. You have the added incentive of not having the transaction recorded for all time eternal and having your whereabouts and buying habits tracked and later sold by the bank for a little extra profit off of you. Cash really, once again, is king.

    Whatever you think you know about how your bank protects your money, I can tell you that you do not know everything. Ask them. When they squirm, just remember they often don’t understand it all themselves. Learn from someone who lost thousands as BofA sat idly by, and charged me overdraft fees of several hundred dollars for THEIR trouble during all of this. YOU must be your own best security.

  54. bkeyport says:

    I had a flawless experience – part of that had to do with the fact that I was smart and made sure to do it at a point that I had plenty of money, and went to a CU that cuts the card right there. No automated payments helps too – only one I have now is my car loan, but that’s to get away from a big evil bank.

  55. AntiNorm says:

    I switched away from Wachovia a few months ago, because Wells Fargo is dreaming if they think they’re getting my money. There’s really only one CU in my area, so I looked into them first. Turns out they have an arbitration clause in their online account agreement, so they were a no go. I then looked at about 4-5 other banks, and weighed that and a few other factors to figure out who would get my business.

    As vilified as BoA is around here, they ended up getting my business. That’s right — I switched to BoA, because they beat my local CU in terms of customer service. No problems yet, because I actually read the paperwork before I signed anything and gave them my money.

  56. KyBash says:

    I switched everything after my credit union screwed up and wouldn’t reimburse me for the loss or even admit their mistake.

    Getting the mortgage moved was the biggest hassle, having to refinance at a bank, having to go into the CU three times to sign the same papers, etc.

    Everything was fine until a few months later. I got an overdraft notice from them because of a recurring payment which I had canceled. I thought was a dead issue because it was a monthly payment, and the CU hadn’t tried to pay it recently. I sent them a nasty letter and told them to contact me through my lawyer. They tried to have the amount deducted from my paycheck. Fortunately, I had, on the advice of others who’d had problems with the credit union, formally withdrawn my authorization for the payroll dept. to allow the credit union to take any more money.

    Since then I’ve done all my banking at regional and smallish national banks, and I’ve had no unresolved problems.

  57. parv says:

    I have closed the ING account with partly sums of ~US$ 600. Thing is I have never moved much money from my credit union account for two reasons: no or very minor difference in interests rate (savings account at ING, money manager at credit union); too long of money transfer period from ING.

    Now I am thinking of opening account with Charles Schwab and/or perhaps with Vanguard. Opening a savings account with Charles Schwab does not need much thinking; I think I am overly cautious in investing in stocks & bonds via Vanguard.

  58. Chris says:

    Switching was easy as pie. I applied for membership to a (non-local) CU, waited for my welcome kit with online sign-in information, linked my CU with my old bank and setup a transfer of funds from my old bank to the CU.

    I now have a high (well, these days it would be considered high) interest savings AND checking account, free online bill pay, free debit card transactions, and access to numerous surcharge-free ATMs at convenient locations (i.e. Target, Costco, etc.). Should I ever need access to a local branch, there are other local CUs around that I can stop in and access my account at because my CU participates in shared branching.

    I have nothing but good things to say about ditching my bank in favor of my CU. I wish I had done it much sooner!

  59. Jeff says: "WTF could you have been thinking?" says:

    Wow. Its hard for me to pull the plug on my Comerica accounts. Through an agreement with my employer, Direct Deposit of my payroll gets me free checking, free Visa debit, 6 refunds of ATM fees, online bill pay, and probably stuff I don’t use or even know I have.
    We use our Credit Union for just that. Credit. We keep a small savings account there for small emergencies and have a $1000 Visa card for real emergencies. Got a 4.99% loan for my Harley and thats it.

  60. vangogh71 says:

    I worked for one of the big banks in Canada for the past 15 years. In August I decided it was time for a change and joined the Assiniboine Credit Union here in Winnipeg, Canada. Already I feel I am doing more for my members but I also feel so much more connected to my community. It is great to join an organization that fits my philosophical beliefs better and that is committed both to Socially Responsible Investing and providing service to those individuals and communities the banks have deemed expendable.

  61. raZZo99 says:

    Just cosed my Chase acct for a USAA free checking acct. Don’t know if it will end up being a smart move, but I have grown to despise Chase. Anyone have good things to say about USAA?

  62. zibby says:

    Can’t complain about Chemical.

  63. Zerkaboid says:

    My switch from SunTrust to PNC was painless and netted me $100. First I switched over our direct deposits, ordered checks (first batch was free), and then linked my phone, cable, credit cards, etc. to the new account. I have a pretty structured bill paying system and I made sure to make the switch just after all of August bills had cleared.

    Then my wife and I went to a local branch, told them we’re closing our account due to new fees, got a cashiers check and went across the street to deposit it at the local PNC branch.

    And as part of opening a new checking account with PNC and hitting certain requirements I got a $100 bonus. Also I’ve really been enjoying their online calendar money management system, it’s almost exactly what I’ve done on paper for years now.

    They’ll probably implement a $5 fee soon so a credit union is up next.

  64. cruiseyone says:

    I bailed from WaMu/Chase after it became evident they were only after larger bank fees and offered absolutely no customer service. I would also say they weren’t afraid to offend WaMu customers who had been utilizing a free account. They wanted all of us to leave.

    I went down the street to a wonderful, friendly, free credit union and I’m pleased to say, I haven’t had a single problem.

    Since I left Chase, I’ve received numerous mailings offering me a free $100 (or more) to open a new account. I just laugh and secretly thank them for giving me the boot.

    No one gets free money. When more people start using their local credit union, and the banks start losing a lot of money, perhaps their fees will become more reasonable.

  65. ktbeta says:

    The only trouble I had was an initial hold on my deposit with the new bank. Fortunately I was at the beginning of a new credit card billing period so I just used my card for a week and then paid it off when my bank funds became available again.

    The only things tied to my bank account are my credit card, student loan, and paycheck, so there wasn’t much I had to change around.

  66. SoCalGNX says:

    Chase decided that my monthly rent check that came in from my management company as income each month was not considered “direct deposit”. When I went to close the account, I was held up forever by a branch manager who wanted to know what the amount of other direct deposit funding was that I have going to another account at a credit union. I told her it was none of her business.

  67. maruawe says:

    some people that have been going into the same bank location for years probably tell you who owns the bank now.

    A friend of mine has bank four books from the same location with four separate letterheads….
    I finally talked him into working with my credit union when the bank was sold for the fifth time in three years

  68. somegraphx says:

    I just opened an account at USAA. They were GREAT!!! My story isn’t as sexy as stomping into a branch, but we were with ING, so that isn’t really possible. I’m actually not unhappy with ING but don’t like that it’s now owned by Capital One. I actually don’t unlike Capital One personally–I have a business credit card with them, but I do want to leave all the big banks.

    USAA has some great family programs–we set up a checking account for our teen that our savings account covers for overdraft–we’ll test how THAT goes.

    But I really like the FREE pre-paid credit card for my daughter. She’s not as responsible as my son, so no checking for her, but being able to let her manage her money through the credit card seems like a great option.

    The fact we can manage these from our checking account and add money electronically is awesome because we never have cash to give them for chores. Now we can just log on and add it to their accounts.

    The ONE issue I have with USAA is that unless you have the military account, you cannot use the deposit@mobile or deposit@home! GRR. They do however allow you to make deposits at UPS stores and I don’t have that many checks that I deal with anymore. I just like the convenience of photographing the check and being done with it.

    So in one hour, I got 3 savings accounts (two for kids), 2 checking accounts, a pre-paid credit card for the girl, and a credit card for me and my spouse and the CSR rep was AWESOME.

    My bigger issue is my BOA mortgage. I cannot get a mortgage with USAA because none of my military family was ever a member there (darn it). However, I think we’re going to go to a local brick and mortar bank in our small town and open a small checking account and move the mortgage there. I’d actually prefer to keep my mortgage separate from my checking account anyway.

  69. rawrali says:

    I recently switched from one credit union to another due to a move. My process was fairly painless, although my old credit union did hold up the process a bit. Because of the amount of the check that I had written myself, my new credit union said that they had to put a week-long hold to ensure that the check cleared, but that they would call my old credit union after about 3 days and the money would likely be released into my account at that point. Well, my old credit union would not give them ANY information regarding the check. In some ways, I liked this, as they were looking out for my security, but on the other hand, I don’t currently have a credit card, and nearly all of my money was being held up during that time period. It was definitely an inconvenience.

    My new credit union has better rates (2.51% APY checking account up to $25k and I refinanced my car loan at 2.74% – compare to .25% APY savings account and 4.75% car loan at the old CU) and a way more sophisticated online banking system. The car loan rates are even lower now but it wouldn’t make sense for me to refinance again. They refund any ATM fees that I may incur, and they offer bonuses for using your debit card at certain locations. No fees whatsoever and more free checks than I will probably ever need. In addition, having nearly all of my money in my checking account means that I never need to worry about overdrafting.

    The only time my old CU really angered me was when I bought my car. It was a new car, but a 2008 model year bought in mid 2009 – it had just sat on the showroom floor all that time. My CU would not give me the new car rate, they saddled me with the 2008 used car rate which was significantly higher. I fought it but eventually gave up when they wouldn’t budge.

  70. MrHeartOfGold says:

    I changed my bank (away from CITIZENS BANK) to a new bank for the most
    insignificant of reasons (well, it wasn’t insignificant to me). And that was that
    CITIZENS told me that they would stop sending me a paper statement every
    month in the mail. They had been jerking me around for years, changing this and
    that, all the while whittling away their good customer service, and and the demise
    of the mailed paper statement was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They lost
    me after being a customer there for 20+ years.

    I found a new bank — one that doesn’t feel like a 50 cent stamp for paper statements
    is a price too high to pay for my business.

  71. Firevine says:

    RBC Centura for whatever reason, held over five deposits in a row, that were cash and local paychecks, for almost a week each. This led to a LOT of NSF fees. Went to the branch closest to my home, and while they were always rude there, they basically blew me off and told me to go to the branch where I opened the account in the next town over. It’s not far, so it was no huge deal, and by this point, I had become accustom to the branch closer to home being run by utterly useless people. Even there though, they said “We have no idea what happened. Now pay the NSF fees.” I said thee nay! I went cash only for a while, since check cashing fees at the gas station were cheaper than checking fees at RBC. Paid bills with money orders though, so I guess that evened out. Got one of those prepaid debit cards later, but fees for that were ridiculous. Lucked out though, and I suppose RBC doesn’t, or didn’t at the time use Chexsystems, and opened up an account at Delta Community CU. Completely awesome. They have complementary coffee and cookies. I am a simple man with simple pleasures.

    Cash, and local paychecks that had never bounced. Why these got held over for five to six business days each, when prior to this, they had been credited to my account within two business days, I have no idea. I’m better off in the end for it though.

  72. cheezfri says:

    I got sick of BofA’s high fees so I switched to a credit union. Lower fees, but very few ATMs and poor electronic bill pay. I finally switched back to BofA. All I really had worried about was overdraft fees, which are totally my fault anyway and I just need to watch my balance. I thought about leaving BofA because of the new debit fee, but considering I use my debit card maybe hundreds of times per month, that’s only a couple of cents per transaction. Either that or I will get most of my paycheck direct deposited to a special, fee free debit card (I work for a major credit card company and they offer this option), use that for everyday spending, and have the rest of my check go to the bank for electronic bill pay and ATM withdrawals (all still free, for now.)

    I must say, I know BofA is supposed to be this big evil corporation, but they have ATMs just about everywhere and my local branch staff has been nothing but super nice to me and helped me with all kinds of stuff.

  73. nearly_blind says:

    I hope people now understand that providing your checking account or debit card to a biller, e.g. ATT, gym, etc. for autopay is not wise. If you have to use autopay (e.g. to get a big discount) then use a credit card instead. If you’re switching your bank, I would wait at least 2 months before I closed by original account and moving ALL my money. In other words if you’re switching from BoA, open your credit union new account, switch/cancel all your autopays with your billers, but leave your BoA account open for 2 months with enough balance to cover the at least half your autopays you think your changed/canceled. If you have several autopays setup its very likely at least one will still charge your old account even if you canceled/changed it.
    Even if you never plan on switching banks, letting your biller automatically debit your bank account or debit card is never a good idea. With the main reason being that half the time when you cancel or change your service, you’ll be debited one extra time and waste hours trying to get your money back.

    • Antigone says:

      I totally agree. We have one auto debit because unfortunately they won’t let us pay that bill any other way. It really pisses me off. When I canceled our cable/internet when we moved they auto debited for another month a few days later and it took several calls and a month to get my money back.

    • Antigone says:

      I totally agree. We have one auto debit because unfortunately they won’t let us pay that bill any other way. It really pisses me off. When I canceled our cable/internet when we moved they auto debited for another month a few days later and it took several calls and a month to get my money back.

  74. duncanblackthorne says:

    I tried to switch banks, but got arrested when I went into the bank to close the old accounts. They refused to serve me, then locked the front doors until the police arrived to arrest me — for trespassing! I was told that “You can’t be a customer AND wear that button that says ‘I am the 99%'”.

  75. Greggen says:

    I just finished switching to a credit union. Had to make a couple attempts.

    Problems
    -My 2nd mortgage was paid out of one of the bank accounts, and they are switching systems, so I can stop the automatic payment from my bank, but will be unable to start a new one until sometime next year. I can do billpay at my CU, but they charge $6 a month unless you do 3 billpays (think I will pay the mortgage 1/3 at a time, 3 times a month with billpay)
    -Bank refused to close one of my accounts due to a pending transaction (I had withdrawn $100 two days before) and it would take 2 more days to clear?!? This took 45 minutes as the bank opened 30 minutes late.
    -Two days later, I closed two checking accounts, teller gave me a form to sign, was upset that I wanted to read it. It was only for office use she said. When I was done, they handed me cash and two transaction slips and I asked for proof I closed the accounts, she said the slips were the proof. After arguing a little, demanding a manager, she checked, and gave me the top part of the form I signed, stamped ‘account closed’ When I logged in to online banking it shows both accounts closed. This took about 20 minutes.

    Lessons learned
    -Make sure all transactions are clear before closing, stop autopays, get proof so monthly fees are not added later.

  76. SeattleSeven says:

    I went into Citibank to close my account and all I got was these lousy handcuffs.

  77. rten says:

    Switching was easy and voting with your dollars is highly effective.

    Has your mega bank ever given up finding ways to push you around and constantly changing the rules?

    The slight inconvenience is worth it. Stop it once and for all, get a credit union or local bank.

  78. amuro98 says:

    The day after I heard Wamu had been bought by Chase I went to my local Wamu to close my account.

    The teller asked why I was closing the account. I told him I didn’t want to do business with Chase. He replied ‘I don’t blame you.’ At least the people at the local branch go to keep their job as there wasn’t a Chase branch nearby.

    I opened an account at a local credit union. I told the teller I had just left Wamu. He informed me I was the 5th or 6th new account he had done that day – on a Saturday! – for former Wamu customers.

  79. meaniepants says:

    I dropped BOA after I finally couldn’t take anymore of the government bailout. I had five different accounts with them, including personal accounts and a CD. I walked in one day and told the customer service rep exactly why I was unhappy and wanted to withdraw my money. As she processed my forms, she was apologizing and agreeing with me, to a point. I took my cashiers’ checks over to St. Louis Community Credit Union and never looked back. I love my CU. They are as friendly as can be, have a very navigable website, and give me no problems. I’ve been with them almost two years, and don’t regret it. A couple of hours out of your life can make a difference.

  80. Lanafied says:

    I had an account with TCF for many years, but once they instituted a $5 fee every month because I didn’t have a direct deposit set up with them anymore, I made the switch. After reading about USAA from your site for years and asking my military boyfriend for advice, I signed up for a USAA checking account and have LOVED them ever since. Since I’m not in the military, I don’t get all the same perks that he does but what I do get is amazing customer service, no ATM fees, and my direct deposit paychecks clear a day early.

  81. bruin14 says:

    I’m in the midst of switching from B of A to NFCU (Navy Federal Credit Union). I have had a NFCU account since the early 80’s but hadn’t used it in years. My checking account at NFCU has had 2 cents in it since about 1997 and I had left about $100 in my savings account. I have occasionally used my NFCU Visa card and purchased CD’s from them. I could stay at B of A without fees because of my account balances, but my (young) adult children couldn’t. So between five people we will be closing a total of 11 or 12 accounts. I had opened a B of A account originally because NFCU didn’t have a physical office in my city, now they do.

    I try to use American Express for most purchases, they have great customer service and I can use their point system to purchase or upgrade when I travel. I also never carry balance on credit cards.

    NFCU doesn’t charge fees for debit card use, has great customer service, and beats commercial banks on every rate.

  82. bruin14 says:

    I’m in the midst of switching from B of A to NFCU (Navy Federal Credit Union). I have had a NFCU account since the early 80’s but hadn’t used it in years. My checking account at NFCU has had 2 cents in it since about 1997 and I had left about $100 in my savings account. I have occasionally used my NFCU Visa card and purchased CD’s from them. I could stay at B of A without fees because of my account balances, but my (young) adult children couldn’t. So between five people we will be closing a total of 11 or 12 accounts. I had opened a B of A account originally because NFCU didn’t have a physical office in my city, now they do.

    I try to use American Express for most purchases, they have great customer service and I can use their point system to purchase or upgrade when I travel. I also never carry balance on credit cards.

    NFCU doesn’t charge fees for debit card use, has great customer service, and beats commercial banks on every rate.