Posts Tagged 'fees'

WSJ: Banks roll out new fees

The Wall Street Journal reports that banks are finding inventive and creative ways to charge their customers more fees:

Credit-card companies already have been racing to slip new fees and practices into customer contracts ahead of the [Credit CARD Act]. Issuers are closing accounts, switching cards with fixed interest rates to variable rates and introducing cards that have an annual fee…The changes come against a backdrop of rising anger at the nation’s banks—having been largely supported by hundreds of billions of public bailout dollars in late 2008 and 2009.

This is mostly a result of the Credit CARD Act, passed and signed earlier this summer, which puts limits on bank credit card policies and puts a $50 billion hole in banks’ revenue.

Banks will attempt to fill that hole by charging new fees, or resurrecting long-neglected fees. So beware.

Exposed: American Express raises fees

amexfees

One of our employees here at the credit union received this letter from American Express informing them that – guess what? – AmEx is raising rates and fees.

Big surprise, right? We’ve seen this before.

AmEx calls it a “price change notification,” which translates as “you’re going to pay more to use an American Express card.” For example, our American 1 employee will pay prime rate plus 21.99% APR on any cash advances, which – as of today – equals 25.24%. Here at American 1, our cash advance rate is the same as our everyday Visa rate.

This letter is another example of big bank credit card companies raising their fees and interest rates to bail themselves out of the mess they got themselves into. And you pay the price for their mistakes.

For more information on big bank credit cards, visit our Top Secret Visa site.

The benefit of no-surcharge ATMs.

Bad news

Americans paid more than $4 billion in ATM fees last year. And big banks like Bank of America have raised their charges to $3 a pop.

Good news

American 1 offers no-surcharge ATMs at each of our more-than-40 locations. If you did get charged for using one of our ATMs, it’s your bank that charged you, not us.

Maybe they’re trying to send you a message…

Thanks+

The A1 sale crew

After our recent car sale and the advertising we put around it, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been tooting our own horn a bit. Modesty and humbleness have their place, and more businesses should try practicing it, but our point is to let you know – in spite of everything going on in our area – your credit union is doing just fine.

You may have seen the numbers in the ad: 8,000 new members last year, 1,800 new members so far this year, 9,000 people attending our free community events, $1.6 million dollars saved in ATM fees. These are big numbers.

Plus $1 million in auto loans at our spring sale, which means $1 million that will help local businesses (like the dealerships) and that, as Bruce over at The Car Company said, will be “reinvested in the local economy.”

The Car Company is a good example, because they sold almost 30 vehicles on Friday and Saturday. Ask any other dealer in town whether they can pull off those numbers over a weekend.

Historically, credit unions have helped out their communities when the community needs them the most. This is that time, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.

So thanks. Thanks for being a member, thanks for making our sales such a big hit, and thanks for helping us help out Jackson and Hillsdale and Battle Creek and Chelsea and all the other communities we call home.

ATM fees keep rising, but not at American 1

Depressing news from the New York Times on rising ATM fees. If you use someone else’s ATMs, that institution could charge you, on average, $1.78 – or higher. According to the Times:

Those extra charges add up: Americans paid almost $4.4 billion in A.T.M. fees last year, Bankrate estimated.

Isn’t it good to know that, even if you’re not an American 1 member, our ATMs will never charge a surcharge?

If you’re banking with someone else, however…