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February 4, 2014 / Todd Larsen

This Valentine’s Day: Ditch a Megabank Zero and Take Up With a Hero

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate the ones we love.  But what if your love is one-sided and you are on the losing end?  If you are giving your hard-earned dollars to a megabank – such as Citi, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo – you might want to look at ending your relationship soon.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to be in a relationship where your partner abuses the planet?  If not, you should be aware that Citi, Bank of America, and Chase are all major funders of coal mining and coal-fired power plants.
  • Do you want to be in a relationship where your partner rips you off?  If not, you should know that all the major banks and credit card issuers have been sued by federal and/or state authorities for abusive mortgage, credit cards, or other products.  And, big banks keep looking for ways to pile on fees.
  • Do you want to be with a partner that has a total disregard for others and takes no responsibility for its actions?  Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America were all involved in fomenting the mortgage crisis that crashed the economy in 2008. They gambled with our money and then made us bail them out.

It can be hard to leave a long-term relationship.  You get used to a bank and think that it will be a big hassle to change, or you’ll lose out on some key benefits you love.  But, consider this:

  • Responsible credit card issuers that use your funds to actually help build communities offer credit cards (Visa or Mastercard) with all the benefits you have come to expect – online billing, points that you can use for merchandise or travel, and acceptance worldwide.
  • Responsible community development banks and credit unions offer checking, savings, and certificate of deposit accounts with competitive rates and more and more offer online banking.
  • Responsible banks and credit unions offer accounts and credit cards with lower fees, and are more upfront with their customers about fees (they don’t try to sneak the fees in or trick you into signing up for “programs” you don’t need or want).

Ready to make a responsible bank or credit union your Valentine this year?  Go to www.breakupwithyourmegabank.org to find hundreds of great banks and credit unions nationwide.  And, go to www.takechargeofyourcard.org to find responsible credit cards.

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