It takes us three days to post checks to your account
Icatnews/ShutterstockJust 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
Stokkete/ShutterstockIf 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
K. Geijer/ShutterstockBefore 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.
WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock...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.
Not everyone is allowed to do a teller's job
Africa Studio/ShutterstockYes, we know the line is long and only one teller window is open, but no, the guy in the cubicle can’t come over to help out.
Call or visit in person to resolve a problem
mimagephotography/ShutterstockFilling 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
WAYHOME studio/ShutterstockA 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.
A bank has the right to pay itself back
Andrey Arkusha/ShutterstockAny fees or overdraft loans that you owe can be deducted from your next deposit.
You probably don't need to pay fees
SFIO CRACHO/ShutterstockYou 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.
Our tellers routinely press you into opening new accounts
Mooshny/ShutterstockTheir jobs depend on it. Banks hire “mystery” customers who secretly test whether a teller is cross-selling services.