Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Preparation: Using a National Bank

English: Chase Bank branch (Athens, Ohio, USA)
English: Chase Bank branch (Athens, Ohio, USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been with my local bank for decades. I love them, but they are located only in Ohio. When I started to drive back and forth to California, I needed a bank there. I was familiar with Washington Mutual in California and one year while I was there, I noticed its name was being changed to Chase. When I returned to Ohio, I was sitting at a traffic light and noticed a Chase bank on the corner. It was the perfect solution.

I opened this account so I could use it no matter where I traveled in the United States. That saves money on ATM fees. If there is not an actual bank location in a city, Chase has ATMs at Walgreens, CVS and Target. An added bonus was to put my daughter on the account. Whenever money is needed, she can access the account quickly. (This is a perfect solution for those with children in college!)

This is not my main account...yet. Its sole purpose is to hold money for my trips. I use it to pay for hotels, gas, food and entertainment while traveling. No automatic payments come out of it. That way if I have a problem with the security of the account, it affects only that small amount of money and not all my money.

I make a point of visiting inside a Chase Bank at least once a year, so a bank representative knows me and can update me on any services Chase has. Then I put the branch phone number on my cell with the first name of the Chase employee and the last name of Chase. Recently I spoke to Alison at my local branch and so her number will be under Alison Chase. If I have a problem on the road, I will call her. In California my contact is Evelyn Chase at the branch near Burbank. The area code of the phone number tells me which branch I am contacting. If the employee leaves the particular branch, I will still have contact with someone. I do this with my local bank as well. This personal touch means a lot when there is a stressful financial situation while I am traveling.

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