Category: Fees & charges

Are you paying the Chase Gold Account fee (former WaMu customers)

Apparently Chase tacked on a recurring monthly fee on some accounts transitioned from Washington Mutual for additional benefits.  The problem is, they appear to have done this without customers actually signing up for the package.  Here is how one customer describes it:

This is what they say my Gold account $7 fee is about:

The fee in the amount of $7.00 dated March 14, 2011 is for your Plus Package program in your account. This account feature was applied to your account prior to Chase conversion (from WaMu). This Plus Package program allows you to have non- financial benefits which include the following:

– Accidental death insurance ($10,000.00)
– Card protection service
– $5 discount on Deluxe personal check orders (one box per order)
– Hotel / travel discounts
– Prescription drug program
– Shopping discounts
– Unlimited no fee cashier?s checks, money orders and travelers cheques and fee discount on travelers cheques for two
– Vision plan

Based on another comment we got, some customers may not actually be getting the benefits of this program that they were automatically (and without permission) signed up for.

Is this the new bank profit ethics, making money from signing people up for things they don’t want and didn’t ask for?

Chase debit rewards are history

Chase has been mailing customers letters informing them that as of July 19th, debit card reward programs will be discontinued claiming it is because of debit card interchange fee limitations imposed by the upcoming new federal rules.

Most shocking about that statement is that Chase is actually preemptively informing customers about a change.

Make sure they don’t keep charging you the $25 annual fee after the program has been discontinued.

Update:  A Chase customer posted these exerpts from the letter she received:

We are writing to notify you about some upcoming changes to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program that we are making as as a result of the recent changes in the law.

Congress recently enacted a new law know as The Durbin Amendment that significantly impacts debit cards. As a result of this law, we will be changing our debit rewards program. After July 19, 2011 you will no longer earn points on purchases you make with your Chase Ultimate Rewards Debit Card.

So they are directly blaming the law in the letter to customers, possibly hoping to generate some political pressure.

How to get a check cashed for free at Chase (for non-customers)

Chase charges non-customers $5 or more to cash a check drawn on Chase Ban in the branch.  Here’s how one creative non-customer got one cashed for free.

My previous employer used Chase. One day I took my paycheck into the branch from which the check was written. They wanted to charge me $5 to cash that check. It’s my money, or at the very least, my employers money. Why should Chase get a cut?

I asked to speak to the branch manager to see if he would waive the policy. I mentioned that Walmart would cash the check for only $3. I asked how it was possible for Walmart to cash a Chase check at less cost than Chase, the bank (and branch) from which the check originated? The manager actually told me he didn’t know and didn’t care, and that perhaps I should go to Walmart and ask them!

He then said that if I opened a Chase account, I could get my check cashed for free. I thought about this for a moment, and said sure!

I opened a Chase acct. with $100 from the cashed check, and left. I went to a nearby store and grabbed a soda, then walked back into Chase (no more than 10 minutes later) and closed my account. I made a point of thanking the branch manager for the free check cashing service, and promised to tell all my friends and family about my experiences with Chase.

Thank YOU for the opportunity to repeat my story here today.

Chase jacking up ATM fees

According to the Wall Street Journal (ATM Fees Heading Higher, 3/16/11) Chase is testing higher fees for non-customers who use their ATM’s.  Chase currently charges $3 for an out-of-network user (that is in addition to whatever that customers bank will charge them) and is testing $4 and $5 ATM withdrawal charges in several states to see what the market will bear.

Keep it up Chase, your just giving lawmakers more reason to consider regulating ATM fees as well as debit swipe fees and overdraft programs.

Is Chase killing off Leisure Rewards program

Our post some time ago on the points changes (read, devaluation) for the Chase Leisure Rewards program has generated quite a few comments, including one containing this helpful information:

Ok, here’s the really important thing: He said the program is ending in July. I asked if I needed to cash out my points before them. He said no. I didn’t believe him; I’m going to redeem them before July. He told me that if I want to keep earning points I should use my Chase Freedom Mastercard. I told him that I’m not going to go further into debt just to win points. He didn’t know what to say to that.

More clarification is necessary on whether they are killing off the entire program or just for some cards (i.e. debit cards).

Use those points or lose them.

Chase testing higher fees in select markets

According to the Wall Street Journal (Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Experiment With Higher Checking Fees, 2/19/11) Chase is testing new and higher fee regimes in select markets. These test are being done on new accounts only

We can only presume they are trying to find the point at which customers push back too much.

The nation’s largest banks are testing how much their customers are willing to pay for checking-account services that used to be free.

Bank of America Corp. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the two biggest banks as measured by assets, have begun trying new fees in pilot tests from Hayward, Wis., to Newnan, Ga.

They include an account that charges a $3 monthly fee for debit cards. Another account designed for electronic-only banking charges customers a $12 monthly fee if customers go to a teller for assistance. In the test programs, some bare-bones checking accounts also now carry base fees ranging from $6 to $9 a month.

The new fees, which are limited to accounts for new and prospective customers in the pilot programs, can typically be waived if customers meet certain criteria.

The pilot testing is the latest indication of the push to boost fees as banks scramble to make up billions of dollars of revenue expected to be lost from new federal restrictions on debit cards.

Chase seems to gong further than other banks in their test of new fees

Chase, which has launched the tests in some of its smaller markets such as northern Wisconsin and Atlanta, is one of the first banks to explore monthly fees on debit cards.

Until now, debit cards have usually been a free part of a basic checking account. One new account Chase is testing includes a $3 monthly fee if the customer wants a debit card. It is aimed at less-affluent customers who don’t keep a lot of money in the bank.

“My anticipation is that we will change these tests over time and might introduce some others,” said Charles Scharf, who runs J.P. Morgan’s retail operations and describes the law as “a terrible mistake for consumers, small banks and small merchants.”

How Chase plans to get around debit swipe fee limit

Congress is fast working towards approving legislation that will limit fees merchants pay for debit card transactions at 12 cents per transaction.  How does Chase plan to get around this?  ABC News reports that they are considering a cap on how much can be purchased.

While the story doesn’t mention it, I suspect this would be to force people to do multiple transactions where they might previously have done just one, thereby increasing the amount of swipe fees the banks can legally charge the merchants.

BofA settles overdraft suit; Is Chase next?

It has been well documented that Chase has a firm hand in manipulating deposits and credits to maximize overdraft fees, so this settlement by Bank of America against a suit filed in 2000 for similar behavior, in which Chase is also a defendant, has us wondering if Chase is next?  BofA settled for $410 million.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has agreed to pay $410 million to settle lawsuits accusing it of charging customers with excessive overdraft fees, court documents show.

The largest U.S. bank by assets is among the more than two dozen U.S., Canadian and European lenders named as defendants in the class-action litigation, which in 2009 consolidated lawsuits filed across the country.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) are among the other defendants named in the case, court records show.

WordPress Themes