Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Are You Doing on November 5th?

In case you haven't heard, November 5th is "Bank Transfer Day".  This day (which you can read more about here) was determined--by whom I don't know--as the day that everyone who is a customer of big, offending banks is encouraged to transfer their money out of these banks and into credit unions or local banks.  I would join in but I already did this long ago. 
At first I had accounts at a credit union and at Washington Mutual.  Then Washington Mutual was taken over by Chase.  Then my free savings and checking accounts were going to be assessed a monthly fee at which time I calmly went into the bank, spoke to the manager, and told her I wanted to close my accounts after more than two decades at her bank.  I told her that if the bank ever decided to rescind the fee, she should give me a call and I would reconsider opening another account at her bank.  Needless to say, she never called and I have never had another account at a big bank.  Now my money happily resides in two local credit unions where I get great customer service and completely free banking services.
FYI, the reason I keep checking and savings accounts in two separate credit unions is because I travel a lot and since I don't use credit cards (only ATM cards/debit cards linked to my bank accounts which can be used just like credit cards) this is a redundancy in case one bank decides to put a fraud hold on my account and I can't use their bank card (it happened once years ago because I had forgot to alert the banks that I would be using my bank card outside of the US).
In case you need another reason to do this, check out this article.


  1. My situation was nearly identical to yours. I was with WaMu for 16 years, tolerated Chase until they announced fees (plus their customer service sucked), and opened accounts at a local credit union -- where they treat me like a princess, without fees of any kind! My husband opened his own accounts there, as did my 2 adult daughters and 2 of their friends. So Chase lost out on at least 6 people's business to the credit union. Serves them right!

  2. Good looking out CN, here is a link to a web site that helps people find a local credit union, and what the requirements are: http://creditunionaccess.com/

    You can also find help from others from sites like MetaFilter.

    A word of advise though; Keep cash in your home or apartment. Anywhere from $1-5k. If the banks get scared they will limit your daily withdrawls to a certain amount a day, and credit cards could possibly become useless for a bit. Since the country does not have that much actual "printed cash" on hand, you will have much more leeway if forced to barter. Cash would remain king for a few months.