Friday, November 13, 2015

Switching banks 8-(

There is never a convenient time to switch banks.  It does not help that I have little experience in the venture.

I am in the process of "firing" the bank that has handled my accounts since I was in high school.  That is more than forty years.  I am also firing my credit card holder of more than two decades.


The bank is easier to explain.  They were absorbed by a larger bank.  Then that was gobbled up by an even larger bank.  The number of branches was reduced.  The closest branch is about 12 miles from my house.  It is in a part of Lansing where I rarely go.  That was not a problem when every ATM took deposits for competing banks.  Since the war on terror, I must now drive a single purpose, 24 mile round trip to deposit cash.  I can mail checks....the cash needs to be hand delivered..

I moved my account to the bank I drive by four times every day.  Ann, the branch manager was very gracious.

Switching all of the auto-pay bills is a pain.  One of them told me that it takes twenty days for them to transact the change.  I think they must have very slow electrons in their computers.  The  helpful lady on the phone suggested that I could send a paper check and they could apply any overage to the next month's bill.  Unfortunately, I don't have enough liquidity to double-pay all of my bills.

Speaking of liquidity

A few months ago my credit card company sent me new cards with little explanation.  I cut them up and pitched them.  I assumed (a word that will get you into trouble) that they were complimentary "extras or convenience cards.

The last thing I need is to have more cards floating around.

Well, they were the new federally mandated "chip" cards.

Attempts to contact my credit card company kept getting batted around and eventually ported to a phone number.  I dislike phones.

Earlier this week, my non-chip card with an expiration date of 2018 was de-activated by that company.  That and left me dead in the water.

I shopped around and found a card through a local bank that offers 1% lower APR, cash back and 12 months of no interest.  Adios old card.

In fact, it was the need to change the card that triggered the bank change.  I dreaded rooting around through websites and changing auto-pay files.  It looks like many of these businesses depend on "friction" to keep people from shopping alternatives.  Why would a major life insurance company with total assets over $800,000,000,000 not have a "Search" function on their payment site?

Forced to grub around in those websites, there appeared to be no better time to make some changes in my banking.

The downside?

I have a liquidity problem.  The new card has a much lower limit than the old card and the transfer maxed it out.

That leaves me scritching-n-scratching.  I will undoubtedly tap my "Emergency fund".  I want to do that in the most minimal way possible.  That means that I need to know precisely when/where the extra liquidity needs to be injected.

You can blame me when the economy goes into the tank.

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