Have You Been “Cutting Out Coupons” for Your Bank Services?

Happy New Year! Have You Used that Credit/Debit Card or Written a Check in 2011 Yet?


What is happening at your bank in 2011?


Cut Out Those “Banking Coupons” and Save!

The beginning of a New Year is always a time of financial considerations for the military family! We have traveled to family Christmas and other celebrations, purchased presents and just received our bank statements for December. Then we realize that tax filing is right around the corner and start getting a small sweat going. On top of that we are frequently expecting orders for the PCS in the spring or summer. As we take stock of our personal financial situation we should be aware of several changes that are occurring in the banking industry! I tend to be a newswatcher but there have been major changes in the use of credit cards, debit cards and checking that are important for you – The Military Consumer!

Since I am not an expert, I asked one about some of the changes expected in 2011 which will impact you! Mr. Andy Collins, a military brat who has been involved in military banking for many years at several banks, agreed to take some time for an interview with MilitaryAvenue from his busy day as the Assistant Vice President at USAA Federal Savings Bank. Andy has been with USAA for 6 months and said there is “nothing at all like this place” referring to the customer support that USAA provides.

Are you aware of the fees that you are currently paying for your checking account? With new regulatory guidance for banks created by Congress expect some changes soon. The “Durbin Amendment” named for Senator Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, changed how much banks could charge for credit card and debit card use. The estimate is that the banks face a change loss of $13 Billion from this new guidance which they will need to make up. Many are now adding checking fees and other “fine print fees” for their services in the future. Some may not only raise checking fees but add service fees such as teller fees, additional ATM fees, fees for mailing monthly printed reports and others. So it may be time to do some research on your bank and how much you are paying in fees.

Doing the right research and comparing fees and services may save you up to $600 a year! I sure would like to add that to my checking account on December 31st and I know you would too! I found a great article on MilitaryAvenue, titled, “Five Bank Fees You Should Stop Paying” which you can use to see the difference between banks! Compare their Ts and Cs (Terms and Conditions), watch for opt in/out fees, overdraft fees, checking account fees and other fine print before opening an account! Or if looking for a new bank, compare your current bank with any banks you are considering. Look for transparency in the bank! Checkout their website! Do they offer upfront expectations like this? USAA Advantages. Be an informed consumer! Banks need your business, make sure you are making the right choices! Think of it as cutting out banking coupons! You want to save 10 cents or a dollar on that product so why not save 10 cents or a dollar or more on that check, bank service or ATM fee?

I enjoyed talking to Andy and he was very helpful! He explained that his eagerness to share with you by explaining that USAA is “committed to the military” and educating you on fees and bank comparing is critical to the financial well being of the military community! Thank you Andy for your time!

Do you have any dollar saving coupon ideas for your banking? Tell us about them with your comments!

Photo Credit: New members of the military community MilitaryAvenuebyColonel KonFriday, January 07, 2011Military Life:,,

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