Saturday, April 25, 2009

WaMu/Chase Bankers: Read the booklet!!

Today I received a booklet from Chase, outlining the changes to account rules, etc, for WaMu customers. Normally, I don't read these kinds of things, but I'm glad I read this one. A few items of interest:

1. Money market accounts now need a $1500 minimum balance to avoid monthly service fees;
2. There is now a "replacement fee" for cards. What I read didn't state what was covered and what wasn't (e.g. what about if the card is stolen? if the card wears out and the magnetic strip bites it?).

There are also a variety of other charges (e.g. "Non-ATM Cash Fee") that seem new. As far as I remember, the international transaction fee used to be 1.5% of the amount, and now it will be 3%. Hefty change, especially considering international conversions always seem to be done at a slightly higher rate anyway. It also looks like if you want to transfer money via an ATM (it doesn't specify whether in network or out, though presumably you can only do this in network (note: all my transfers are done online)), there is a fee for that.

Regarding the digital records they keep of cancelled checks, they clearly state that they reserve the right to discard the digital files at their own discretion, after an unstated period of time of their choosing. While I haven't actually written in a check in some time, I will need to get a copy of one check in particular. So if you have checks for things like rental/service/other deposits, certain types of payments that you need a paper trail of, then it behooves you to request copies of those now.

Even if you normally don't read these things, take the time to do so. There are tons of fee changes, and they will likely be unforgiving if you call them up in July protesting a fee that is outlined in this booklet.

1 comment:

Lepkugen said...

Interesting, I read much of the booklet too, just not all of it. I used to pay my mortgage (at another bank) by going to said bank and having them run a charge on my debit card (it was the easiest option between my fiance and my banking set up). When Chase took over all of a sudden there was a lovely 3% fee, which no one could explain, but after some research one branch manager was able to pinpoint and promised a reversal that never came. I loved WaMu and I'm sad that Chase seems to be all about the money. Ah well, such is the banking life. Great post, especially for those who have not read.