Most banks are going to add small fees e.g. for debit card ($3/month in my case). Last time I went to my bank, I had this strange conversation:
- I asked documents about the various types of accounts that they offer, as they suggested that I switch to a more upscale type of account, where there would be no fees
- Instead of receiving the documents, I was forced to spend 15 minutes listening to a bank manager about the benefits of the upscale account. My hourly rate being $200/hour, I thus lost $50 worth of time.
- I learned that the gain with the upscale account would be $3/month, that is $36/year, less than the $50 in wasted time.
- If you don't have an average daily balance of $25,000 (for the upscale account), you have to pay a $30/month penalty. Since I'm very close to $25K and I want to keep the flexibility to go up or down, this upscale account is of no interest to me.
- Eventually, after their 15-minute speech, I got the brochure that I requested.I read the brochure, and it turns out that the best solution (with lowest fees) is by downgrading to a student account (student are assumed to be poor, so the bank has very little fees and low minimum balance requirements for student accounts).
- Because interest rates are so very low (thus making the upscale account unattractive), it turns out that the best solution is not to upgrade to an upscale account, but instead to downgrade to the most basic account that they offer - despite the fact that my daily balance is 50 times above the requirements for a student account!
Another question: where/how do bank recruit bank managers? What kind of degrees do they have? Aren't they supposed to be analytic people with some financial acumen? In the 15-minute conversation, I told them that my most urgent issue is not a $3/month fee for a debit card, but instead the $500/month charges to process credit cards for my business account. I asked them if they could help with that, and they had no idea what I was talking about, and of course no solution.