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Credit Union rapacity
Old 08-01-2018, 10:02 AM   #1
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Credit Union rapacity

Was just informed my credit union would start charging $5/month for checking. This even though interest rates are rising! They *swear* they are not making money from it. But I'm outraged. Although I don't keep an enormous amount in checking and associated savings, I keep enough, probably never less than $5,000, that I feel I should be free of fees.

I transferred into the credit union after shedding Wells Fargo during a previous Wells Fargo scandal. It isn't the most convenient, particularly now that I am retired, but I believed in the credit union model!

I think I will have to switch to something else. I refuse to pay a bank to use my own money to make money for themselves. Online bothers me, as I hate using my phone to take pictures of checks, but I wonder if there is an alternative.

I just don't want to think about my bank! I want to plunk money down and pay money out, without studying the whole situation.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:19 AM   #2
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Yes, there are always other places to put your money...


Banking is competitive enough that you can find one that will not charge you for checking... some industries are not and you have to live with what they charge...
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:39 AM   #3
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I would be gone SO fast if my bank started doing that!!! I think that is outrageous.

My (local, bricks and mortar) bank does the reverse, and pays me interest on my checking account as well as on my savings account. I haven't paid a fee of any kind for banking in over two decades.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:02 AM   #4
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I suspect it is a fairly small outfit? That could work in your favor especially since it seems that your norm is going to the branch. Maybe you can speak with someone to ask if there is some way to avoid the fee. Most places wont charge if you maintain a balance of XX or setup direct deposit. I dont blame you for being ticked off and wanting to leave. $5k is a healthy balance. I suspect they must be getting some pushback on this policy change.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:08 AM   #5
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I've always liked the concept of a credit union -- a bank owned by depositors. So, DW and I joined one and opened checking and money market accounts and deposited a CD.

After several years in, I have to say the walk-up service there is really lame. Plus, they keep sending me pitches for life insurance and car insurance that I don't want or need.

They have a branch at a local big box store that usually has one teller on duty and a long line of customers streaming out into the store. It reminds me of a Moscow bread line.

We do most of our day-to-day banking electronically, and overall the staff seems competent. But their deposit rates are nothing special, and I'm unaware of any member benefits that make banking there particularly attractive. If they slapped a monthly fee on checking, we'd be done with them for sure.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I would be gone SO fast if my bank started doing that!!! I think that is outrageous.

My (local, bricks and mortar) bank does the reverse, and pays me interest on my checking account as well as on my savings account. I haven't paid a fee of any kind for banking in over two decades.

Only 2 decades? Heck, I have never paid a fee to any bank in my life...
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
I've always liked the concept of a credit union -- a bank owned by depositors. So, DW and I joined one and opened checking and money market accounts and deposited a CD.

After several years in, I have to say the walk-up service there is really lame. Plus, they keep sending me pitches for life insurance and car insurance that I don't want or need.

They have a branch at a local big box store that usually has one teller on duty and a long line of customers streaming out into the store. It reminds me of a Moscow bread line.

We do most of our day-to-day banking electronically, and overall the staff seems competent. But their deposit rates are nothing special, and I'm unaware of any member benefits that make banking there particularly attractive. If they slapped a monthly fee on checking, we'd be done with them for sure.



I have been with a CU for over 40 years.... at first it was only for a savings account and cheap loans (back when interest rates were HIGH)... did get a CC from them at one point in time... I was going to move my checking when I had some problems with one of the mega banks and opened up a checking account..


BUT, the services they offer are just not up to a mega bank... so my checking account just sits... BTW, I do not have the CU CC anymore and I do NOT remember how I lost it!!! But it had no benefits like others do...


My DW opened up her checking there and uses them... no fee for any level balance and she puts her own money there...
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:24 AM   #8
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Look at DCU.org
Member for over 40 years.
I live 1600+ miles away from nearest branch and it has made no difference service wise.
One feature I really love is sub-accounts.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:31 AM   #9
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I gave up on my CU a few years ago when they made it overly complicated to avoid fees on a checking account. At the time Chase was offering $300 to open a checking account with no fees if you kept a $1500 minimum and had direct deposit of a pension/SS type payment. Chase has lots of B&M's in the Phoenix area so it's always convenient to stop at a branch no matter where I am.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:31 AM   #10
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Find a new credit union! Needing to charge for checking regardless of balance amount indicates a problem with their loans.



You want a community bank (not a commercial bank like Wells)/credit union that belongs to a large network of ATMs that don't charge a fee for withdrawels. That way you can make deposits at an ATM without needing a branch. You can do everything else (including bill pay) from your computer or with their mobile phone app. Just make sure you are earning on your deposits (checking/savings), and they have a limited fee schedule.


In my community there are several credit unions with branches, but, they have ATMS all over, so I can do check deposits without walking into a branch. Everything else, I handle on my computer.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:36 AM   #11
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Belonged to five different credit unions at one time or another and was generally very happy with them. Never paid any kind of fee for anything.

Member of PenFed since 1983 and they have been mostly very reliable.

If I were the OP I would transfer to another CU immediately.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:41 AM   #12
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OP, if you are a Veteran, Chase gives them a FREE Premium checking account. I have one and pay absolutely NO FEES.
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:10 PM   #13
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Pellice: can I ask one question?

Are you getting printed statements?

Most banks and CUs now charge for printed statements. There are a few that don't, especially grandparented accounts.

Now, if the charge includes electronic only statements, then find another Credit Union.
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Old 08-01-2018, 12:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
I've always liked the concept of a credit union -- a bank owned by depositors. So, DW and I joined one...

...they keep sending me pitches for life insurance and car insurance that I don't want or need.
I joined the credit union at w*rk and it was fine for many years. They treated their members like owners.

Then they merged with another small CU to become a big CU and ever since then I, too, get these insurance offers all the time. Today, members aren't owners. We aren't even customers; we are inventory.

And it's not just credit unions who are selling your name. Donate to one charity, and be deluged by requests from other charities pursuing related goals. Buy a car or an appliance and you'll get offers for tire discounts and extended warranties. (I wonder how long it will take the internet spybots to scan this message and start showing me tire ads in the banner here at ER.org?)

I wish some companies would pay me for an address list of folks to whom they could send uninvited mailers. I could sell them a hard copy telephone directory.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:17 PM   #15
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Like the others, I'd find another bank or CU. The CU where I've had accounts for 40+ years pays a minuscule amount of interest in checking and a bit better in savings. The local bank where we keep a checking account because they have ATMs all over the place doesn't charge, but they don't pay anything either. I have my SS deposit made to that bank to get the free checking.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:36 PM   #16
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Have been with my CU for 40 yrs. have never paid to have a checking, or any other account. The comment about paper statements may be the key. keeping the relationship entirely electronic (perhaps a couple times a year at most I may have reason to visit a branch in person, perhaps to put a bunch of pennies through their change counter, or the odd stray check deposit) not only avoids fees but adds benefits, such as higher interest paid on balances.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:48 PM   #17
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IMHO, there are two major types of credit unions - those that act like they are a big bank and those that act like a member owned credit union. In the later group there are two more types - CUs that are aimed more at borrowers and CUs that are more aimed at savers.

One local CU near me has a fancy website, and lots of ads on billboards and the local buses showing happy people at their ATMs, buying new cars, getting their kitchen redone, etc. etc. etc. They offer a measly 0.4% interest in savings and their CD rates are about 1/2% less than the online banks. All they need is to install a few safe deposit boxes and they will nearly the same as the Big Megabank down the street.

I find that the online banks are just the best deal for savers. For things like auto and home improvement loans, the the local CUs seem to be very competitive from what I have heard. None of the CU's in my area seem devoted to savers.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pellice View Post
Was just informed my credit union would start charging $5/month for checking. This even though interest rates are rising! They *swear* they are not making money from it. But I'm outraged. Although I don't keep an enormous amount in checking and associated savings, I keep enough, probably never less than $5,000, that I feel I should be free of fees.

I transferred into the credit union after shedding Wells Fargo during a previous Wells Fargo scandal. It isn't the most convenient, particularly now that I am retired, but I believed in the credit union model!

I think I will have to switch to something else. I refuse to pay a bank to use my own money to make money for themselves. Online bothers me, as I hate using my phone to take pictures of checks, but I wonder if there is an alternative.

I just don't want to think about my bank! I want to plunk money down and pay money out, without studying the whole situation.
I doubt that the specific checking account you have is the only type they offer. At my CU, there is a checking account with a monthly fee. It offers some not-of-interest-to-me perks. I have a different type of checking account, offered to geezers, that has no minimums and pays a bit of interest along with a few perks such as free checks and ATM fee reimbursements. Ask your CU what they offer other than what you have.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:23 PM   #19
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$5 is high.

Mine charges $1/month, but only for checking accounts, to support a charitable foundation.

Like building housing for family members of those in the local residential Hospice.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:37 PM   #20
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I belong to two CU's and neither is rapacious. Both did start charging for paper statements a while back, and they also charge for the billpay service if you don't use it often enough. However, that is b/c their own costs have risen. They try to spare the cost to members as much as possible. The CU officers are members themselves; I was even recruited as a CU officer, but didn't want the responsibility. EDIT: Not a real, name-on-the-masthead officer, but a member-rep one. It still would have been a lot of volunteer work.
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