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When To Switch Banks

Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 10:04 AM

When to switch banks: For profit (including fees), and profit only (quote from myself - Rhett).

ATM: I keep BofA for availability of ATMs everywhere.

Interest rate: I have numerous RCAs for high interest rate.

Cyber security: I stay away from small banks for concerns of cyber security (e.g., ID theft).

Rewards: Cash is all I care about; no other stuff.  I keep BofA for 2.24% HELOC ($200K).

Overdraft protection: No worries for RCAs (large balance all the time); free line-of-credit automatic protection for BofA is great.

Well, do I hate BofA as many do?  No, they have the best offers for me (1% NEA savings, low-rate HELOC, within walking distance branch, free LOC overdraft protection, no fees with $10K toal balance of multiple accounts of my family, best customer service -- much better than Chase, Citi, others combined).  Sorry for the free commercials:D
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
1. Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 1:11 PM
I have had personal BOA checking accounts (individual as well as ones shared with my senior relatives for ease in managing their affairs) for over 21 years as and have always been treated well.  Their Privileges card gives me 1% cashback on all purchases (effectively 1.5% if I redeem the cashback into my BOA checking account).  It is a far cry from the now-defunct Schwab 2% cashback credit card - a moment of silence, please - but quite good for my "default" card.   BOA also briefly held the mortgage on a property I owned, and there were no problems. 

I have been doing business with Chase for the last 5 years, and there has been only a small error on one of my accounts, which they fixed promptly when brought to their attention.  They also  apologized and issued me a refund immediately.  Their Chase Freedom is fee-free, and gives 1.1% cashback if you have a Chase checking account, plus it has a rotating quarterly 5% bonus program.   Their other cards also offer great options for me.

While these institutions may be the epitome of evil to some readers, they've never given me a reason to switch. 

Capital One, on the other hand, is a different story.  After 15 years of doing business with them, I now maintain the relationship with only a very modest account because I use a safe-deposit box at a now-distant-to-me branch location as a backup site for copies of documents that are stored at a more convenient local institution.   My issues with Cap One involve poor customer service, violating confidentiality of transactions, and an apparent lack of organization.  There are never more than 1 or 2 customers when I visit the branch, which is in a high-traffic area, so I may not be alone in my opinion.

My bottom line:  I don't switch unless there is an advantage (financial or convenience) to my doing so. 
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,473 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,402