5 Reasons Why I Pay For My Bank Account
If you are a regular browser of personal finance blogs then you will have read a lot about why you should stop paying to access your money and why you should be opening a free bank account because of how much money you will save over the long term.
Well this might be an unpopular post among the financial gurus but here’s 5 reasons why I pay for my bank account:
1. I get to speak to a real person
I don’t mean this in an “I’m so lonely, customer service agents are my only friend” type of way. In today’s world if you need to speak to a company about your account then you will probably have to go online, open a support ticket and wait for a canned response. There is something genuinely nice about being able to walk into my branch, being smiled at and have a pool of customer service staff available to help me out. I feel like I am able to get my point across better when I have an open dialog with a person standing in front of me, and have my problem understood. Plus, I LIKE speaking to the staff at my bank.
2. Exceptions can be made
This is closely connected to point 1, but when you are speaking to a real person that doesn’t have to stick to their script they are more willing (and able) to go above and beyond. I feel much more able to connect to a person through a smile and a handshake than I will ever be able to do via instant messenger, email or a phone call! I actually built up good relationships with the staff at my local branch, and they were a key part in helping me get the right documentation for my Canadian permanent residency application. One of the advisors at the branch even wrote me a personalized letter attesting to my character.
3. They don’t ‘hold funds’ when I deposit
When I deposit a pay cheque at my local branch, the full amount is cleared instantly. I have still not found an online bank that can offer the same service. Yes, my employer is still fairly old fashioned and I am giving an actual cheque to take to the bank. I know that some free banks will clear up to a certain amount instantly, but I like to have instant access to my money.
4. They can afford to offer me ‘frills’
Because I am paying for their services, my bank can afford to provide me with the ‘frills’. The frills that I like at my local bank are the simple things like free coffees and the TV to watch while I wait. But also there’s the other frills like the fantastic mobile banking app, the prizes and competitions to win tickets to the Stanley Cup games (you might have figured out what bank it is by now), discounts on movie tickets and other exclusive deals… They even have drive-thru banks! (Only used it once, not sure how I feel about being that lazy… but still it’s nice that the option is there!)
5. The availability of their branches
I’m sure it’s expensive to run thousands of branches nationwide. But if part of my fee is for the convenience of being able to easily find a branch in any corner of the country that I’m in then it’s probably worth it. Friends have to incur the extra charges of taking money out from random ATMs, whereas I don’t think I’ve ever been more than a few minutes walk from a branch (or at the very least an ATM) of my bank.
So generally it’s fair to say that I am very happy paying for my current level of service at my bank account.
As full disclosure, this post was drafted about 2 months ago – and since then I have closed all my accounts at any institution that I had to pay for – and I now only have free bank accounts.
My next blog post will be about why I decided to make the switch, and how I feel about it now!
Do you still pay to access your own money? How do you justify the cost?
bank notes photo credit: Diego3336 via photopin cc
handshake photo credit: MyTudut via photopin cc
maple leafs hockey photo credit: wili_hybrid via photopin cc
desert island photo credit: ronsaunders47 via photopin cc