It’s that time of the year, set forth some new year resolutions, clean things out, and perhaps even go through that pile of mail that has been sitting there. That is exactly what I started to do when I came across a letter from JPMorgan Chase. Looks like they are now requiring you to use your debit card at least 5 times a month, OR a direct deposit of at least $500 per month. If you don’t do either of those, then they are going to charge you $72 a year for the privilege of having a checking account with them. Yikes! As of things are expensive enough as it is.
Now I have to pay a $72 a year fee for my checking account? Surely there must be some sort of mistake.
So I decided to visit my local branch that has always been so friendly and helpful, on 104th and Colorado, and I patiently wait to speak with a banker. He looks over the letter, nods his head and says, “Yeah, that’s what it says. $72 a year for your checking account.” I smile and ask him to kindly waive that or override that. He shakes his head and says he can’t. I am just going to have to pay $72 a year to use Chase JP Morgan. He then tells me that all the banks are going to that and there won’t be free checking anywhere. Where does this guy come from? I tell him that he is misinformed as Wells Fargo and Bellco Credit Union do not charge, nor does 1st Bank, which is right across the street. He just sort of shrugs and says because of the Equal Housing Act, he has to be fair to everyone. What does this have to do with housing? So I ask him if Chase wants to lost customers, as I am clearly NOT going to pay $72 a year. He just stared at me with a blank look on his face. I demanded back my license, debit card and the letter and informed him that I would be closing all my accounts with Chase as soon as I have redirected my direct deposits and I would be sure to tell EVERYONE to stay away from Chase. In fact, I would write a blog about it and then tweet it to everyone I know.
So that’s what I did. 🙂 On the whole scheme of things, could I have used my debit card 5 times a month? Maybe, but I was already a victim of identity theft, do I want to take that risk again and let my checking account get wiped out because someone swiped the strip? I don’t know about you, but $72 extra just to keep my money in a bank is absolutely ridiculous!