Friday, February 27, 2009

Hidden Wachovia Perk

I wish Wachovia made things easier for its account holders. I called this morning with a question (as I am wont to do) and the girl mentioned I qualify for free Crown Banking. I wasn't especially excited - through the years my checking account has gone through many names while delivering the exact same service.

She started prattling on about "perks". Most were laughable - who wants a gold colored card anymore? Its all about PLATINUM BABY! Free checks - I'm still working through my decade old box of checks! Then she hit my greed spot.

Free Safety Deposit Box.

I've always covetted one but don't have anything irreplacable. My car deed is in my brother's safe but everything else can be stuck in a folder until the next time I move.

The rep said I qualify because I own cds which I thought was weird since I've been buying those things for almost a year and no one mentioned any side benefits. Further website digging revealed how you too can qualify for free Crown Checking (normally a $20 monthly fee):

- $5,000 in combined checking, savings, and/or money market accounts or
- $4,000 in combined checking, savings, and/or money market accounts if you have Direct Deposit
- $10,000 in combined CDs, deposit IRAs, line of credit (line amount), credit card line, and/or outstanding installment loan balances

This is all fine and dandy but as my cds mature I'm closing them and sending the cash to Emigrant Direct. This will leave me with $3000 in the emergency fund money market and whatever I need to pay bills in checking.

Although these perks are making me reconsider the "don't give Wachovia money, they suck at interest" philosophy:

- Free Premium Savings or money market account (yawn)
- Free Crown checks (yawn)
- Free identity theft and fraud protection with iWatchSM (yawn)
- Free safe deposit box (SWEET!)
- Two free withdrawals at non-Wachovia ATMs (SWEET!)
- Free overdraft transfers (yawn)
- Free domestic incoming wires (yawn)
- Free official checks, money orders, traveler's checks and notary services (SWEET!)
- Interest-earning checking account with interest compounded daily (SWEET!)
- Discounts on home equity line/loans (SWEET!)

Actually, I wonder if Way2Save counts towards the combined savings accounts requirement. I'm almost up to $1000 there already.