smart spending

12 ways to show your bank some love

EDITOR'S NOTE: Humor columnist Jay MacDonald has been ruminating on bank fees (he has A LOT of time on his hands) and recently imagined this nightmarish note popping up in his inbox.

Jay MacDonaldFrom: Carl Cashflowe, president, CuddlyBankCorp
Re: New banking fees

Dear Cuddly Customers: Due to recent nitpicky federal regulations imposed by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, we anticipate a shortfall of $2.6 buhzillion for our CuddlyCard™ credit card program.

In order to continue to offer you our CuddlyCash™ personal loans, WarmFuzzy™ home mortgages, BigFatCDs™ and FriendlyFace™ tellers, we regretfully must institute the following new fees for our lobby, ATM and drive-thru customers.

Sorry for the discomfort :) Carl


Lobby cover charge: $1

Silly us! Here we already had those velvet ropes just like the hottest dance clubs and never even thought about a cover charge. What were we thinking?

CuddlyBank bear

Automatic door opener: 50 cents; free exit

We've crunched the numbers and it's still cheaper than a doorman. Besides, you don't want to open our high-traffic doors yourself, right? H1N1, MRSA, hello?

Chain-pen fee: 25 cents; unlimited use, single visit

All chain-pen fees go directly into our chain-pen fund so that we can continue to provide you with this cutting-edge, gender-neutral, identity-secure, manual-access symbol technology.

Deposit slips: 50 cents

Yes, we know you have free ones in the back of your checkbook. We're working on a fee for that.

Lobby music fee: $1

CuddlyBank lobby music is one of the best entertainment values in town. As a promotion, new customers receive a free download of "Islands in the Stream" by the Mystic Moods Orchestra.

Child-in-tow fee: $2 each child under 5

Surveys show that nothing short of a masked adult empties a bank lobby faster than a toddler on a crying jag. This bank fee recoups some of the product sales we lose when the little tikes arrive.

Coffee cup fee: $1

We at CuddlyBank are firmly committed to our HeyJoe!™ free coffee program. However, because we are equally committed to the environment, we offer this fee to our paper-cup users as a cap-and-trade solution to save the rain forests.

Sweetener surcharge: 25 cents per packet

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight. Nearly one-third are obese. Sadly, fat people die faster. We're just trying to help you remain a healthy CuddlyBank customer. You're welcome.

Chitchat charge: $1 per minute

We have an old expression in banking: Time is money. We enjoy seeing you and exchanging a few pleasantries, but if you want to show and tell us all about your goiter, it's going to cost extra.

ATM nuisance fee: $1

We lose a lot of ATM traffic to those ill-prepared, PIN-lacking, "What's-with-this-machine-anyway?"-griping line obstructers who insist on turning their ATM transaction into an endurance test for the rest of the queue. If our surveillance camera catches you being a nuisance, bingo, that's a buck added to your ATM transaction.

Drive-thru valet: $5

It's easy: You pull up, exit your vehicle, hand your transaction to our valet, and claim your vehicle and receipt at the exit. No more five-minute wrestling match with seatbelts, cell phones, screaming kids and barking dogs while your emissions melt the polar icecap.

Drive-thru pet treats: 50 cents

Pets and pet lovers enjoy our pet-friendly drive-thru, but come on; we're a bank, not a doggy deli. Frankly, Fluffy and Mr. Pinky are eating us out of business. Chip in, is all we're saying.

On a positive note, our sparkling CuddlyCare™ restrooms are still absolutely free*.

*But the paper products? Not so much.

If you have a comment or suggestion about this column, write to Bank Shots.

News alert Create a news alert for "smart spending"


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

Partner Center

Connect with us