20 Secrets Your Bank Teller Won’t Tell You
We talked to bank tellers, branch managers, and other banking officials to find out more about the place where you keep your money.
It takes us three days to post checks to your account
Just because you deposited a check today doesn’t mean you can start living it up tomorrow. (And why should we hurry? If you bounce a check, we collect around $30.) Surprised? Here are 23 more secrets a financial advisor won’t tell you.
Make sure you have the right loss and theft protection
If you’re using your ATM card for debit transactions, ask your bank what kind of protection it offers if the card is stolen or lost. Thousands of dollars could be pulled from your checking account and, in many cases, you wouldn’t be nearly as protected as you would be with a stolen credit card. Don’t miss these 10 times swiping your debit card puts your money at risk.
Beware of the universal default clause
Before you sign up for a bank-issued credit card, ask if it has a “universal default clause”—also known as “the ultimate poison clause in credit cards.” If it does, run for the nearest exit. It allows the bank to look through all your credit accounts, and if it sees that you’re late paying a bill on another card, it gets to jack up the interest rate on its card. If you’ve had a bad credit history, use these 11 ways to improve your credit score.
…is pretty safe, but it could be better, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. They studied 214 financial-institution websites in 2008 and found design flaws in 76 percent of them, including banks redirecting users to less-secure sites. Check out these 8 credit cards you should never open.
Call or visit in person to resolve a problem
Filling out online forms will usually get you the by-the-book reply, but a rep will often forgive a fee over the phone so we can all just get on with our lives.
We know you hate itemized penalties
A consumer’s brain registers an immediate “Ouch!” whenever he’s hit with an itemized penalty, such as a bounced-check fee, so most people keep a much higher balance in their checking accounts than necessary, says personal-finance writer Jason Zweig. “Banks make a ton of money off this mental quirk since they would have to pay interest on the money if we left it in our savings accounts, where it belongs.” Don’t miss these other money habits you should master by the time you’re 40.
You probably don’t need to pay fees
You can get practically any fee waived if you ask, especially if you’re a longtime customer. Don’t miss these 20 hidden fees you had no idea you were actually paying.