I opened my first checking account with Washington Mutual when I was 16 years old . I loved the bank and loved having a debit card in high school (it made me feel cool, even though I really wasn’t). Fast forward, eight years later. WaMu goes under, gets bought out by Chase, and the whole world comes to an end… almost.
I recently received a letter from Chase indicating they would be making some changes to my checking account. I usually get letters like this every few months, but the changes are almost always minor things I don’t care about. This letter was different…
As of February 8th, 2011 those who have a Chase Checking account will be charged a $10.00 monthly service fee.
Hold the phone?! Let me get this right. You are going to charge me $120 a year to access my own money? Heck No Techno! That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
If you want to avoid paying the monthly fee, you have to meet one of the following criteria…
- have at least one direct deposit of $500.00 (or more)
- or keep a balance of $1,500.00 (or more) in your checking account
- or keep an average balance of $5,000.00 or more across multiple chase accounts (checking, savings, investments, etc).
- or pay at least $25.00/month “in other qualifying account fees (not including the $10 monthly service fee).”
Could I meet Chase’s demands and avoid the $10/month checking account fee? Of course. But I’m a man of principle (and stubbornness) and I refuse to negotiate with financial terrorists. That’s right….terrorists!
My solution to the problem is quite simple. Change banks. Girl Ninja and I are now proud customers of Wells Fargo. It’s probably the second best decision I’ve made (the first best was starting this blog, the third best was marrying Girl Ninja…kidding…kind of).