Nostalgia is hot hot hot right now! No one wants to be alive today; we all want the ’90s, where thirtysomething was in re-runs on Lifetime, C + C Music Factory was a thing that really existed, I tried to make my best friendship thing with Monica Lewinsky happen (seriously, Monica, call me! It’s not too late!), and banks offered things like free checking like it was actually free.
But the free checking? Mon dieu, she is no more!
Come 10 November, that Everyday Checking Account you signed up for that didn’t cost you anything will now cost you something — unless you happen to be the type of person who can keep a $5,000 balance on a month-to-month basis (and contact me ASAP if this is you, because I have a LOT of questions about the choices you’re making in your life, vis a vis the choices — if you’ll allow me that term — I’m making in my life), or if you use direct deposit with them.
Why the loss of free checking? Banks aren’t making money hand-over-dollar-sign-shaped-fist the way they did back when guys who weren’t lumber jacks wore flannel on purpose. They’re also looking for ways to “encourage” (their word) stronger commitments to the banking institution. Also, of course, there’s the fact that new regulations have significantly cut the fees banks could charge merchants every time a customer swiped a card. With that avenue of income closed off to them, banks have worked out other ways to recoup their losses by wiping out freebies for their less-engaged consumers.
But seriously: if you have $5,000 just sitting in your checking account, I’m pretty sure I’m a long-lost relative. Let’s talk.