Friday, October 11, 2013

Some Crazy Banking Info!!

I have several bank accounts and have changed banks over the years because of various reasons ... business accounts should be kept separate, more interest, better services and of course my favorite, "your service stinks so I'm pulling my money!!"  On this last trip to Alaska, I found out immediately that my Credit Union, Citibank and BofA accounts were pretty much useless due to lack of banking facilities.  Wells Fargo however, was EVERYwhere!!  Yes, I can (and did) use my ATM cards at Wells Fargo, but got charged $3.00 by WF and another $3.00 on my end.  As much as I travel, it's time to get a bank account that is accessible everywhere I go.

While in Washington, I had a couple of checks to deposit, so I stopped in at the grocery store WF and opened an account.  I would deal with the rest of the logistics (ATM card, checks etc) when I returned home.

When I stopped in at my local WF branch, wasn't I shocked when a young girl Amanda, greeted me at the door volunteering directions.  She took me directly to her desk and we got down to business.  I like their service already!!  THAT's when I found out what the Federal Government has been up to when it comes to banking.  First off, THEY set up the rules ... not the banks.  And the rules are pretty ridiculous!!  If I don't want to pay account fees, I have to have direct deposit or use my ATM 10 times a month.  If I want a savings account, I have to transfer a minimum of $25 to it every month.  If I want to use Bill Pay (which is a necessity when on the road) I'm allowed a small number of transactions before fees apply, but if I keep $3000 in checking, I can pay as many bills as I want.  REALLY???  This is pretty crazy.  Where did all these rules come from???  

When I complained loudly, Amanda said "the Feds made us do it"!!  All of my other five bank accounts have no such rules.  She was very nice explaining those accounts were opened BEFORE the new rules, and I am grandfathered in with the "old" rules.  Although I wanted to close out my other account, she suggested I not do that, in case I find myself getting charged by WF for whatever reason, I can always go back to the old account.

It's THIS kind of stuff that makes me soooo angry!!  Really ... I give you a big chunk of my money which you use to make more money for yourself... and yet you charge me for everything!!!  If it weren't for traveling and needing banking services, I'm pretty sure I would tell them where to go.  I have to say though, Amanda was so darn nice and provided such great service, that I'm willing to give it a try until I get a charge or two.  Then it's SO LONG WELLS FARGO CHARLIE!!

Maybe everyone already knows this about our banking system ... but I surely didn't.  If you have bank accounts that have been open for some years, don't close them!!  Any new accounts are now subject to the NEW rules!!


  1. Nancy, I know that you had trouble at times having Internet in Canada, and cell coverage was roaming. Did you look into getting a throw-away phone in Canada (pre-paid) or do they not offer those up there? We are either going to go to Alaska or across Canada in 2014, and we just can't be without cell phone all summer if we choose the latter. Will check back for an answer, thanks. -- Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

    1. Depending on your carrier, you can go online and add international calling for the month or two you will be there. When you return, go online again and take it off. I think mine was $50 a month extra. I chose to only add international "texting" for an extra $10 a month. The one that will get you in big trouble is "cellular data" (email, FB, etc) Be sure to go to "settings" and turn it off while in Canada. You can access email with your computer. If you don't have a good signal, find the local library. They all have free WiFi. I did not check for pre-paid phones, but I imagine they have them.

    2. Thanks Nancy. Have enjoyed your trip and love reading your blog. Grew up in Sacramento, but have not lived in California since '86. Had cousins and friends in Modesto/Turlock area, so I have been down your way a lot when I was younger. --Dave

  2. We have been with Rivermark Community Credit Union for ever it seems. When we travel, we have sharing branches if we we need a bank. I make all my deposits with my iPhone and use my debit card for transactions.

  3. I was going to open an account with Wells Fargo last winter. You can read about why I didn't at