Chase To Lower Debit Card Limit? New Bank Needed!

Posted on March 13, 2011 11 Comments

It’s no secret that I’m a reluctant customer of Chase Bank. I was an enthusiastic customer of Washington Mutual; I liked the way its employees did business, the way it treated me like a valued customer despite my teensy savings, and especially loved its free checking and policy on ATM fees.  When Chase bought WaMu I was immediately turned off. My first visit to a local Chase revealed a stuffy, pretentious, old-school attitude, and I felt pretty ignored/invisible when I was inside the branch. As a Chase customer, I immediately started incurring ATM fees that WaMu never charged. I’ve never actually had a conversation with anyone at Chase in my local market — in fact, the company usually communicates by snail mail and usually only to share bad news. For instance, a few months ago they announced new checking fees (but never personalized the message to tell me whether or not the new fees applied to me). And yesterday, I read this article in the Chicago Tribune saying that Chase may start limiting debit card purchases to $100. $100?!

Of course, other banks are considering following suit. Talk about alienating your customers! I use my debit card for everything – including monthly automatic bill pay for a few accounts that definitely charge more than $100 per month. And now the banks want us to use credit for that. Credit?!  Just when America was learning to ween ourselves off our credit cards!

The sad thing is that this move is being considered in response to federal regulations designed to stop unsavory business practices among banks, namely that they charge too much per transaction from merchants. And I’m generally in favor of more regulation for the banking industry but in this case the unintended consequence is bad for consumers. I much prefer carrying my card to carrying cash (cash makes me nervous to carry).

While this news isn’t exclusive to Chase, if they go through with this it will be the tipping point for me to switch banks. And it wouldn’t be the first time. The reason I initially started banking with WaMu was because my old bank, Minnesota-based TCF was having trouble keeping my account information straight. Once, they took $100 out of my account randomly and wouldn’t give it back. Another time they credited my account with some else’s deposit. Obviously not the kind of people I want to bank with. So I got out of there.  And I won’t hesitate to do it again.

So what’s a good bank to consider? Here’s what I’m looking for: free checking with no limit on what I need to keep in my account. Free savings. No ATM fees, none. Pipe dream? Perhaps. But I won’t know until I start looking. I like ING, and I noticed there are a few ATMs near me. Does anybody reading have feedback on ING? If so I’d love to hear it.

Category: Money


11 Responses to “Chase To Lower Debit Card Limit? New Bank Needed!”

  1. Lauralou
    March 14th, 2011 @ 3:53 am

    Try a credit union. I’ve been with mine for almost my entire life! I’ve strayed to big name banks, but always kept my CU account open to come back to. Best customer service ever! No fees for checking or savings, free to go inside the bank, local branches, etc. I also have ING for hands-off savings and like it with the exception of how long they take to credit my ING account after they take the money out of my CU.

    Good luck with your search!

  2. World Spinner
    March 14th, 2011 @ 3:53 am

    Chase To Lower Debit Card Limit? New Bank Needed! : The Budgeting Babe…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  3. LM
    March 14th, 2011 @ 4:10 am

    If you or your partner’s parents are in any way affiliated with the military, you may qualify for a USAA account. I use them for my free checking (basically just my free ATM account) and insurance. I was hesitant to use an online-only checking account, but it was the only one I could find with free ATM use and no minimum balance requirement. I use ING for savings, but their fee structure for checking scared me away.

    USAA has smartphone-enabled check deposits, which is awesome if you have a fancy phone like that. I don’t, so I have a local checking account in town (Minneapolis – Bremer Bank) so I can make deposits and cash checks in person, get rolls of quarters, etc. I use that account to transfer money into my USAA account. I have joint checking account with my husband at Wells Fargo, too, and they are actually quite good.

  4. kh
    March 14th, 2011 @ 4:16 am

    I second the credit union recommendation. I have been with dozens of banks, and then I moved to a credit union and I’ve been with them 4 years now and still love them. Mine is Navy Federal (which you have to be related to someone who is a member or be in the armed services) but there are so many CUs now that you can usually find one where you fit the membership criteria.

  5. Chase To Lower Debit Card Limit? New Bank Needed! : The Budgeting Babe
    March 14th, 2011 @ 4:30 am

    [...] Chase To Lower Debit Card Limit? New Bank Needed! : The Budgeting Babe Posted on Mar 13, 2011 3 Comments [...]

  6. The Budgeting Babe
    March 14th, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    Thanks all. Someone on Twitter said Ally Bank is good. Let me know if you’re familiar with it.

  7. jP
    March 14th, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    I’ve had the exact same experience. Started at Wamu, VERY HAPPY and then fell into Chase. I recently closed my Chase account, just didn’t feel comfortable there anymore. I opened an ING checking account since I’ve had saving there for close to 7 years now. I love their bill pay system and I send my rent checks through there every month. They even pay for the stamp! I can also transfer from checking to savings and visa versa within seconds. The only downfall with ING’s checking is that depositing checks is not easy. They say you can mail your checks to their branch but I haven’t done that yet as I’m a bit skeptical about mailing a check to a random address. Here in chicago, there’s an internet cafe and I hope they open more. Even though they can keep fees to a minimum because they live online, it’s nice to know they have a physical base you can visit.

  8. tanja
    March 14th, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    I have ING checking and savings I use it here and there but not all the time, when I used it I had no issues.
    Credit union is way to go I hear, I’m guilty of banking with Bank of America but I have never ever had a problem with them and have had them for 12+ years, I never walk in to the bank all my deposits are direct or via ATM.
    I also use the online banking with online portfolio (same as and LOVE IT.
    has few glitches but they are not major.

  9. Anonymous
    March 15th, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    StateFarm Bank…atm fees unlimited reimbursement with 1 monthly ach transaction.

  10. Missie
    March 16th, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    Credit unions are usually a good bet, so I second the notion that you see if there’s a reputable credit union you can join.

    And this is where, once again, I’m so very, very, VERY happy with my small town, local bank that I’ve been doing business with for 15 years. I have personal and business accounts with them.

    Unlike other banks in the area — including branches of big firm banks — my bank has only had errors 3 times in the past 15 years. None of them significant and all due to changing computer systems.

    The new accounts manager (who has since retired) who first opened my account, and then my mom’s, used to hug me whenever she saw me out and about outside the bank.

    But don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re lax or casual — while friendly, they’re quite strict about maintaining privacy, confirming identity if they don’t recognize you by sight, and regardless, verifying your proper access to info on an account before providing it (meaning, the teller will likely recognize me when I come in the bank, and will also likely recognize my mom’s name, but the teller won’t provide me with any specific info at all about my mom’s account until s/he double-checks their system to make sure that I am, indeed, permitted to sign for and make inquiries on my mom’s account).

    I wish you luck in your search and hope you find a bank that makes you at least half as happy as mine does.

  11. @amarantac
    March 18th, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

    ugh, my bank (BBVA Compass) is changing my account to charge me fees. umm, no thank you. So I’m looking for a new bank too! kind of sad to close an account I’ve had for almost 20 years!!

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