Are you one of those people who likes to keep cash on hand? Do you also hate getting kicked in the gut with ATM fees when you have no choice but to go to a bank that's not your own? Well, get ready to take a beating in the coming months, because a $2 or $3 ATM fee may soon seem like child's play. Oh yes, you best prepare yourself for ... the $5 ATM fee!
It makes my stomach churn just to type it, seriously. FIVE DOLLARS? That is a foot-long sub sandwich, after all! Here, Chase, please, take my whole LUNCH. Just so I can get my hands on ... my own cash?!
The reason that the big banks are currently trying their hand at robbing us every time we hit up an ATM? They're trying to make up for new federal rules that seek to limit consumer fees on debit cards and overdraft charges. Right -- that's how it works! Can't rob us in one way, so they'll try their hand at doing it in another!
Currently, Chase is "testing $5 ATM fees in Illinois and $4 in Texas" for people who use their ATMs, but who aren't Chase customers.
I just know there are people who will turn this into a "personal responsibility" issue and say, "DUH, you deserve to pay that kind of exorbitant fee if you're gonna be a lazy or spur-of-the-moment ATM user. Just drive the extra mile or whatever to your own bank, or get cash the old-fashioned way when you cash a check." But sorry, it's not always that easy.
Sometimes you have direct deposit from your job, so there's no way to get cash back. Sometimes you work 9-5, and your bank isn't open after hours, so it's nearly impossible to find yourself face-to-face with a teller who can hand over cash. Sometimes you're out and about and the only ATM nearby is Chase. (Because that bank's like a weed; there are Chase locations on every BLOCK near me!)
And so sometimes, you're going to end up having to pay $5 to take out $20. When many Americans are struggling to even have enough money in our bank accounts ... is that crazy or what!?!
The right is supposedly so concerned about the Fed getting "too involved" on Main Street, nickle and diming us with taxes for "big government programs," but where's the outrage about this? I guess when it comes to Wall Street crooks benefiting from our nickles and dimes, there's little to no brouhaha.
But you know what? Not everyone is going to take this change (ha ha) lying down. I have a feeling that Michael Moore isn't the only one who thinks white collar thieves should be locked up for the crimes they've committed and continue to commit against the American people. Remember that scene in Capitalism: A Love Story when he cornered off parts of Wall Street with crime scene tape? Ha ha. Can't get that image out of my mind when I think about these ATM fees! More than ever, when dealing with these big, out-of-control banks (as well as big, out-of-control oil companies who keep raising the price of gas) -- it really does make you feel like you're in a crime scene.
Thankfully we have the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to play advocate for the little guy, but when is the rest of Washington going to realize this has to stop? Stop picking on NPR, PBS, and Planned Parenthood, and start cutting the deficit by putting an END to bailouts and freebies for the big, criminal industries that are actually milking this country dry ... one ATM fee at a time!
Image via John Lewis/Flickr