I've seen a lot of blog articles over the years praising certain banks and offering handy affiliate links that allow readers to open accounts, and bloggers to be paid commissions. I have nothing against bloggers making money, and I'm certainly open to earning more of it. However, you will not find any affiliate links in this post, nor will I be paid for writing it.
Years ago I wrote an article about how we came to be customers of Metairie Bank. Basically I felt that our prior bank, Chase, stole $6.00 from my son. He did not have a bank account (or any money) but had received checks as graduation gifts. I had him endorse the checks to me, take them to my bank (Chase) deposit them in my account and then cash a check I had written to him. Since he did not have an account, they charged him $ 6.00 to cash his mother's check, drawn on their bank.
This week I found yet another reason to be pleased that we chose to move our money and banking business to a relatively small local bank, Metairie Bank and Trust. We have several large bills that are due only once or twice a year and we've had to pull money from savings to help pay for some of them this year. I've read several bloggers who have suggested creating separate bank accounts for bills like that, and contributing to those accounts monthly, so, via the website, I opened a new savings account to cover such bills.
When the bank statement came, I found that I had been charged a $15 service charge, and since I had never seen a service charge on my other savings account, I called the bank to find out what I did wrong. The clerk who answered the phone could not help me but put me through to the officer in charge of my accounts. I left a voicemail message and she called me back within a couple of hours.
When I told her what the problem was, she explained why the service charge had been assessed--there was a minimum balance requirement that I had not met. I told her I'd accept responsibility for not reading the fine print, but that I needed to close that account before that charge hit again. She said that wouldn't be necessary and asked me what I expected the minimum balance to be and how many transactions per month I expected. When I told her, she changed the type of account--no more than six transactions per month (more than I need) and no minimum balance and no fee.
I then asked her if I was going to be charged for a paper statement, like I was on my Girl Scout account and on the account for my Dad's estate. I told her that with those accounts, I was willing to pay for the paper because it wasn't my money, but that I'd be ok with online only for the savings account. Again, she said that wasn't necessary, and then went through all my accounts with me and changed them to accounts that met my needs and didn't charge ANY fees.
My whole family banks at Metairie Bank. They offer free teen accounts which require the teen to get parental permission for large debit card withdrawals.They are everything I want in a bank and I hope they are in business for a long time because I have no desire to go back to doing business with a behemoth like Chase. While Metairie Bank probably isn't in your area, I'll bet there is a small local bank that offers better service than the "big boys" do; give them a chance. You may be as happy as I am.