Can someone please explain to me why people are still using Citibank, Bank of America, and any other large multi-national corporation bank in America?

Last week’s news brought with it stories that said Bank of America was going to start charging a $5 a month debit card fee, even if you’re using your card as a credit card. That was followed by an announcement by Citibank that they were going to start charging $15 a month for checking accounts if you couldn’t keep at least $6,000 in it. You have to know that Wells Fargo & J P Morgan Chase won’t be far behind.

Are the days of free checking about to go away? I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that I bank at a much smaller chain that’s still in multiple states and that I still have free checking for my personal account, and I get charged $2 a month for my business account unless I do 5 transactions. I do need to learn what consists of transactions though, since I have had to pay them, but at $2 I’m not crying about it.

Most smaller banks still offer free checking of some kind, or at least won’t penalize you for using your card the way they’ve expected you to use it. It seems the big banks are trying to push consumers back into getting lots of credit cards again so they can generate revenue and make themselves relevant. After all, over the last couple of years the use of credit cards has declined drastically and people have spent more of their money paying off debt rather than buying a lot of stuff they didn’t need. I never really believed the massed could learn fiscal responsibility until I saw this. Of course, with unemployment still high it probably reduced the amount of income people had to begin with.

And you can bet that Visa and Mastercard aren’t upset with this move since they’ve been losing major profits. This benefits big business, but doesn’t benefit consumers; don’t believe the hype. This is the type of thing that got us into financial difficulties in the first place.

I’ve never had an account at one of these big banks, and the only reason I had an account at HSBC, which I gave up in 2004 after they instituted new fees, was because they had taken over the corporation that took over the corporation that took over the corporation that took over the bank that my original account was with back in 1975. Yes, I can be quite loyal at times, but there’s always a breaking point.

So, convince me; why would anyone still be using a conglomerate bank for their checking and savings accounts?

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