Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Brisket and Banks

When I married my wife, I got a lot in the bargain. Like what, you ask? Well, for example, my father-in-law can smoke a superb corned beef brisket. I don't even want to think about how sad it would be if I'd never experienced that corned beef, sliced paper thin, piled high on homemade rye bread, with white wine sauerkraut . . .

Another example: because my father-in-law served in the Navy, his daughter is eligible for membership in USAA. And because I lucked out and married her, I'm included as well. We have a credit card with USAA, as well as our car insurance, renter's insurance, and life insurance. The last time an eager beaver insurance agent foisted a car insurance quote on me, I pitied the poor soul. He couldn't come anywhere close to USAA's rate. And I doubt that his company would turn it's profits into a credit on my account, like USAA does.

What prompts this paean is the fact that I just opened a letter explaining changes to our credit card account because of new federal regulations. The letter and the card agreement were lucid, straightforward, and to the point.

Contrast this with my bank (TCF), which silently began charging a $2.50 monthly fee this February. When I called to complain, they were willing to stop charging it. But--they warned--my online banking statements would now only go back 60 days instead of 18 months. What was once free was now a premium.

Though in fairness to TCF, I was always pleased that their name wasn't in the news over the last year and a half. So I guess they're doing something right.

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