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Bank changes

I’ve had the same bank account for close to ten years, ever since Olivet started requiring direct deposit for student employees. It’s a regional bank, mainly focused in the Chicago area. When I moved to Chicago, it became more of a hassle as the branch locations tended to be either downtown or in more expensive neighborhoods, but my frequent trips to Hyde Park required a stop downtown, meaning I usually had easy access to a branch. Since my visits to Hyde Park have tapered off, however, it’s become more and more of a pain in the ass, and obviously moving to Kalamazoo will only compound the problem.

If I’m going to switch banks, it seems like I should go for a national bank, since I currently have no idea where I will end up in the long term. All of the major national banks are about equally represented in Kalamazoo, with equal degrees of (in)convenience. I’m thinking of going with Chase, since it has the most ATM locations in Chicago and has those cool ATMs that automatically scan your checks for deposit. I have a credit card through Bank of America currently, but I’m reluctant to support them further since they have destroyed so many great streetcorners with their excessive number of branches. As for Citibank, I just get the impression that I shouldn’t be encouraging them in any way.

Does anyone have any insights to share?


July 27, 2009 - Posted by | economics


  1. when i was in Denver i asked for the BoA ATM and they said they don’t have the BoA and told me to go to the Wells Fargo

    Comment by read | July 27, 2009

  2. Wells Fargo isn’t an option in the midwest.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 27, 2009

  3. I’ve been a US Bank depositor since before before they were US Bank (opened my acct in ’93). They’ve always treated me pretty well.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | July 27, 2009

  4. Have you considered going with a credit union? There’s usually plenty in every city (you can do a quick search at – I’ve banked with CU for some time, much better than usual banks, very local and very attentive (and better rates) and now they have a deal with 7/11 of all places (and other places, I gather) where you can use there “CU Service Centers” at various locations – see

    Comment by Mikhail Emelianov | July 27, 2009

  5. Is Citi’s behavior actually much worse than that of the other megabanks? There was significant anti-Citi sentiment in HP, but I got the impression that had more to do with the lefties efforts to kick them off campus than with their singular awfultude.

    Comment by transportinburma | July 27, 2009

  6. I do actually have some warm feelings toward Citi now that I think of it, as their ATM in the Reynolds Club basement was the only one I’ve found that takes other banks’ deposits (very helpful for when I waited too late to pick up the loan check to make it back downtown, or else had evening plans in HP).

    I’m not really thinking of bad behavior as such — if Goldman Sachs took consumer deposits and had a good ATM network, I would go with them hands down.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | July 27, 2009

  7. I don’t have any advice to give, but boy did I used to hate Washington Mutual. I never banked there, but they bought out Home Savings & Loan, another bank I never patronised, but whose lovely art deco buildings I used to admire. There were a lot of them around Los Angeles. Their facades each featured different mosaics and sculptural elements depicting idealized domestic arrangements. I thought they were very elegant.

    Then Washington Mutual bought HS&L, tore down the clean, serifed brass name plates, and slapped in their place the blocky blue and goldenrod Washington Mutual logos. WaMu sounds like a dumb animal sound. It’s dumber even than BofA, which is for sure pretty dumb, but at least (as far as I know) that’s just a print nickname, not one that people actually verbalize. The WM logos looked so ugly, and they clashed with the buildings. Washington Mutual also bought Ahmanson Ranch up near Malibu, which was formerly owned by Home Savings and kept as an undeveloped wildlife area. WM threatened to turn it into like tract housing or an office park or something. Fortunately they were smote by the hand of a righteous God before they could put their hideous plan into action.

    I bank at Bank of America, because I am a slave to convenience. There are literally three branches within a four block radius of my home, which means that no matter where I am headed, I can use the ATM without having to cross the street. In a couple years they’ll probably build a branch in my living room, and in each stall of the office bathroom. They have the nifty fast check-scanning thing, too.

    Comment by jms | July 27, 2009

  8. As Brechy famously pronounced, “Which is the greater crime, to rob a bank, or to corporate-takeover a pretty one?”

    Between the missus and me, we have accounts at the credit union, the WaMu, and the BofA. The WaMu (soon to be Chase) is pretty easygoing with fees and such.

    Comment by Wrongshore | July 27, 2009

  9. i liked the singer, BoA

    Comment by read | July 27, 2009

  10. i liked the singer, BoA

    I’ve had “Milky Way” stuck in my head since I saw your comment at #1 this morning.

    I’m going to go watch the video now.

    Comment by jms | July 27, 2009

  11. she studied in Sapporo iirc, so very talented beautiful young girl, she was then 15-16 i guess, i liked her first or second hit, can’t recall what song it was and couldn’t find, her myspace is very heavy to open, or perhaps it’s my notebook, so i couldn’t check the songs out

    Comment by read | July 27, 2009

  12. I’ve got no complaints about Chase, which I’ve used for 5 years. I don’t remember how it was in Chicago, but I love that in Phoenix, they have ATMs in all of the Walgreens and CVSs as well.

    Comment by Rebekah | July 27, 2009

  13. I have national city, but I sort of hate it. I just don’t want to go through the hassle of a switch. I have too many online accounts connected to it that I would have to change. I also hate citi because of the way they treated me 2 months ago. I lost my job and was late on a payment for the first time in the four years I have had the card. My balance was nearly at the limit. I got a late fee followed by an overdraft fee and suddenly my minimum payment jumped from $65, to over $300. I obviously couldn’t pay it since I had just lost my job, but they refused to compromise at all on the fees. I now owe them over $500 because, though I have a new job, I haven’t been paid yet, thus can’t make the payment. Citi fucking sucks!

    Comment by Dave | July 27, 2009

  14. read, was it a Japanese or a Korean song? I only know the Korean albums.

    Comment by jms | July 28, 2009

  15. Those were in Japanese, but I thought all her songs are bilingual
    I’ll try the work pc to open her page if it’s not blocked it should be faster
    to see the chronological order of her song releases

    Comment by Read | July 28, 2009

  16. All of the big banks are evil; there is no good reason to have affection for any of them. Each will charge usurious fees whenever they can get away with it. Credit unions are a least moderately less malign, and you are actually an owner. I myself regret the passing of feathered BoAs.

    Comment by grackle | July 28, 2009

  17. My recent experience with Chase and its customer service has been unpleasant to the extent of me closing the account in disgust. If you find no tolerance policies acceptable with regards to penalty fees, by all means proceed with Chase.

    Comment by Ryan | July 30, 2009

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