I recently got an offer in the mail from Wells Fargo for a free $50 bonus for opening a checking account with them. Normally, I don’t even read all the ads I get in my mailbox because there’s so much fine print that it’s hardly worth the effort to follow through with any of them. This one, however just hit me at the right time. I’m fed up with my current local bank and was just looking for an excuse to switch.
I have a number of accounts with USAA Federal Savings Bank. This is my primary bank that I’ve used for just about everything from insurance to credit cards since I was in college. With a military requirement to get membership, I’ve just yet to see a comparison in quality of service and value combined. I use this for direct deposit for our jobs. This bank is based out of Texas though, with no local branches.
I have a secondary account with USAA that I use for all web income and PayPal transactions. I keep this account pretty low for the most part, and it’s the only account I’ll hook up to any outside organizations. I never let any company have direct ties to my primary checking account because I want to be in complete control of my money.
I also have a local bank account wherever I live as well. This account I use to hold my emergency fund, and I cash/deposit checks here as well. I can transfer whatever balance I have over my $2000 emergency fund to my USAA account that I use to pay bills via the bank website very easily.
Then I have the ING account, which I primarily opened for the $25 bonus. Though I’ll also start using it for saving toward big-ticket items once I have my debts lowered.
Any other accounts I have will be short term at best. I’ve closed all of my unused accounts to simplify my life.
So, here’s my bank accounts:
- USAA - Primary Checking: Both jobs direct deposits, used to pay bills
- USAA - Secondary Checking: Web income sources linked here, PayPal, etc.
- Local account - Checking: Keep emergency fund here, cash checks, etc.
- ING account - Savings: Free bonus, referral income, sub-accounts for saving toward goals.
Why I’m Fed Up With My Current Local Account
I’m sick to death of the little $1/month fee for just using a check card. I hate the fact that if I go below $0 for a day, the "overdraft protection" system they have still charges me $25 for every single transaction that happens during that day no matter the amount. (so if I write a $100 check, and have four $1 debits for whatever reason in a single day, when my account balance is $90…they’ll take the $100 first, triggering a $25 charge followed by four MORE $25 charges for the little dollar transactions.
I have to fight them tooth and nail to take the charges off when this happens even though my deposit was SUPPOSED to be there already. (They keep pending deposits a number of days before they let you actually use the funds.) I get them to take off the monthly check card fees, but every year they start SHOWING BACK UP!
Enough already! *pulls hair*
The Wells Fargo Deal
The deal is pretty basic. If I open an account with at least $100, I’ll get $50 added to my account after 30-45 days. It’s only for a basic checking account, and it can’t be used for any existing accounts. Only one per household…and that’s the gist of it.
No monthly/annual fees. There’s Wells Fargo ATMs EVERYWHERE in this country that I know of. I don’t plan on using this for much more than cashing checks and housing my emergency fund anyhow. So why not?
The deal is only good until April 15th, so I’m gonna just do it this week. Once that’s done I’ll transition all of my money over to the new account and finally be done with the local bank.
I’m ready for the frustrations to end!
Anyone else have the urge to move accounts? What put you over the edge and made you want to switch?