Look Inside Umpqua Bank

It’s been awhile since I talked about banks. A couple of weeks ago, I took some pics of the inside lobby of the Umpqua branch I usually bank at. They’re up on Capitol Hill, on Broadway by All Pilgrims Church.

First, they have three wireless stations. I couldn’t take a picture, because all three were in use, and I didn’t want to invade people’s privacy. But you can just come in, sit down, and use the wireless at my bank. I don’t think you have to have an account there to do it either.

And when you stop by the bank, you can have some coffee or tea.

Have a cup!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, just a few feet down from the coffee bar is the golden “bat phone”. I don’t know what they really call it. It’s gold color, and you can reach anyone in a department by picking up the receiver and pressing a single button. And I do mean anyone. Seriously. Pressing 8 will connect you to the bank president.

I haven’t tried it yet. Behold the bat phone for yourself:

Call Us!

 

 

Really, Call Us!

So that’s a quick look inside my new bank. Coffee, wireless, and their very own bat phone. 🙂 Remember, they also give me chocolate every time I deposit money. What’s not to like?

I know I left Well’s Fargo for moral reasons, but the coolness factor at my bank is also worth it. If you haven’t moved to a new bank yet, I highly recommend Umpqua. If you are worried about not having unlimited access to ATMs, ask yourself: how often you get cash at ATMs? If you’re like me, you get more of your cash back at registers during daily activities.

Seriously. It’s time to realize that money is much more accessible than it used to be. ATMs are not the key to cash anymore: your pin number is. Our money moves faster than we do, and no one should charge us to hold onto it. These are things it’s taken me years to learn, and there’s so much more I don’t understand.

Do yourself a favor. Experiment with your mobility. Open a secondary, online only bank account. Switch to a credit union or local bank. Try something to shake up the idea that “bricks and machines” are vital to financial existence. It’s scary, but worth it.

Umpqua Branches Update

Ok, I didn’t look hard enough. My bank has WAY more than two branches. They’re all over Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Northern California. In Seattle alone they have about 15 branches, around one branch in each neighborhood.

Check it out for yourself: http://www.umpquabank.com/locator/new/

Starting May 4th: Wells Fargo fee waivers now even harder to get

I got a message in my inbox from Wells Fargo the other day. Starting May 4th, transferring money back and forth between linked accounts will no longer be an easy way to waive their $10 monthly fee. Now you have to either have more money, or juggle things around like this:
“You can waive the current $10 monthly service fee when you have three additional linked accounts or services (such as a Wells Fargo debit card, savings account, online banking or direct deposit) and one of the following:

  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, OR
  • Maintain a qualifying monthly direct deposit of $500 or more1, OR
  • Maintain a monthly automatic loan payment from this Package checking account to a Wells Fargo home equity/personal loan or line of credit, or Wells Fargo Home Mortgage® loan”         (Source: my Wells Fargo message inbox)

I’m not staying. As soon as my May “Qualifying Direct Deposit” (SSDI) drops in, I’ll be closing my Wells account for good. Of course, there’s another big reason to get out that I just found out about last week.

Wells Fargo is the second largest stockholder in a private prison company called GEO Group. Now, full disclosure, I worked for six months at a private juvenile prison in Missouri. Even though they pretended to care about the kids and rehabilitating, it was still an awful place. And the private adult prisons are worse.

So next week I better go back up to BECU again and see if they’ll let me open an account. Because it’s not just about the fees. I could waive those with my direct deposit. I cannot let my money support private prisons, especially since I know better.

If you want to read the full fee message, it’s below the fold. I’ve included for an FYI, and because I know there are other folks like me who skim stuff and throw it out. This one’s important. Thanks to the customer service folks who put it back for me. 🙂

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