How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


Show Me the Money

What a day I’ve had at the bank today. Recently someone mentioned that at my bank there are no transaction charges on bank accounts belonging to any customer who has reached the age of sixty. The current account is then changed to a senior’s account to flag you as a ‘special’ person.

So it seems, if you speak up, good things happen. If you don’t the bank saves money. I have no idea if all banks have this policy or a similar one, but no-one seems to understand why I’ve been overlooked for so LONG (especially me). However, I believe it can always be said my age has gone unnoticed all this time cause I’m so darn good looking (for my age). Or the tellers don’t do math. Or, possibly it’s true that banks save money so long as everyone stays mum. I KNOW how magnanimous banks are, but  it could be just me. I’ve just gotten suspicious with age. Anyway, I think sixty is too young to be called a senior, isn’t it? Except for the discounts—if you ask.

I’d been in and out of my bank a lot in the past three years because I moved to a new house and then I had renovations done afterwards. To accomplish this, I eventually cleaned out my account in fits and starts. Moving larger sums of money, more than the usual day-to-day amounts, suddenly set off alarms and a bank employee scrutinized this sudden activity. I got a little ticked the first time I got the third degree, but soon realized that if an imposter was trying to clean out my bank account they’d hopefully get the same treatment, so I cooled my jets. Someone was looking out for ME for a change.  A bank. Imagine THAT. But no-one noticed my age.

The unexpected highlight of my day is that I’ll be getting back five years’ worth of transaction charges! I’m sure that won’t be to the penny—with rounding up here and there, averaging and whatnot—but I’ll be getting REAL money back. My charges have been eyeballed at around $8 per month (closer analysis to be done). Let’s count low at $6 per month x 12 months ($72) x 5 years ($360). I wonder if there’s going to be a catch to this somehow.

Another happy outcome of today’s meeting is I’m changing my Visa card to one with no yearly fees ($29) to a cash back Visa card (up to 1%, no cap) and no fees. This amount will be put into my account. I think it’ll be at the end of each year but I could be wrong. There was too much happening, too fast. Thought I was having a hot flash.

There’s a clincher though. I should charge EVERYthing on the card and then pay it off before payment is due to grow my dividend. Sounds to me like a sneaky way to encourage bad habits. Skip paying off the balance now and again and you’re stuck with  bigger payments with more interest in Visa’s pockets. The cash back interests me though so I’ll try it.

Another reward from this card is that I’ll get ‘security and extended warranty insurance’ on my purchases. I will get an additional year instead of just the one offered by the manufacturer (i.e: just as the one-year warranty of an electronic purchase is slipping away, voila, I’ll be protected for another year IF something happens). Sounds crazy but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Lesson learned:  Now that I’m a senior, I’ll brazenly speak up and ask about what perks might be ARE available to me. Anywhere.

This appointment has been an eye opener. I’d like to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience in the U.S. or Canada or has a worthwhile tip to share.