The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

At SLCCU, Free Means Free!

On May 2nd, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by 2 Comments

Things are relative.  You’ve heard that before.  “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind as the classic example of relativity.  Some people buy $5 ties from TJ Maxx, while others demand Nordstrom’s finest.  A “tie is a tie” might be the reaction of the cheapskate in question.  In other words, relative to importance, the price of the tie is far from the top of the list – the other guy, not so much.

Have you ever had someone give you a “one-off” answer to a question that seemed straightforward, or so you thought?  Yet, you come to find out that their quirky response is relative to what they know and is equally correct as yours.  As an example, a guy was asked how many days of the week begin with the letter “T?”  He responded, “two: today and tomorrow.”  Relative to your thinking it wasn’t the expected answer, but to him it was right.  Same guy was asked, “How many seconds in a year?”  Again, the answer was surprising and right.  He responded “twelve: each month has a second.”  Think about the notion of “everything is relative” and you gain an appreciation for the answer.

Or how about the people who have gained celebrity status because they are known for being well-known?  Relative to true stardom, they are nobody, right?  I mean, really, has Paris Hilton done anything other than be Paris Hilton?

Just about as crazy – apparently in the world of banking, the word “free” is relative.  To us at St. Louis Community Credit Union, “free” means “free.”  That means by definition that there is no charge.  “Free” as described by many bankers apparently is relative to what they want.  Some suggest that if you have an average balance requirement of $1,500 per month, then your account is “free.”  Really?  That doesn’t seem “free.”  That’s a lot of money that I can’t invest elsewhere.  That account balance is a lot of things, but certainly not “free.”

I also think those tricky, little restrictions they attach to “free” are absurd.  Relatively speaking, I think most people equate “small print” to something not being “free.”  To get a “free” t-shirt, I have to spend 10 minutes filling out an application for a credit card.  The time spent sort of disqualifies “free.”

Coming soon to St. Louis banks will be these little, tricky restrictions, or as I like to call them the “free but” offers.  Look for banks everywhere to have such deals as minimum direct deposit amounts; charges for paper statements; average balance requirements; minimum number of debit card transactions; limited check-writing; required ACH debits, etc., etc.  Otherwise, your “free” account costs $8.95 per month.

At St. Louis Community Credit Union, our member’s favorite checking account is free.  No “free but” – just free.  Relatively speaking, this is a much better deal.

2 Responses to “At SLCCU, Free Means Free!”

  • Tim says:

    I hate wearing a tie.

  • Blueyecon says:

    I Just extracted this from a information email I receive weekly….
    Bank of America to Change Checking FeesBank of America Corp. is changing the fee structure for some checking products. Later this month, the Charlotte company will raise the monthly fee on its MyAccess checking account to $12 from $8.95. Customers can avoid the fee if a direct deposit of at least $250 is made per statement cycle, or an average monthly balance of $1,500 is maintained. Previously, customers could waive the fee by making a direct deposit of any amount.

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