One more reason to ditch your big bank
James Kwak on rent-seeking behavior:
I did a little first-hand testing of various ways to pay for stuff. The first weekend I was there, the exchange rate was 1,907 Colombian pesos to the dollar. The rate for exchanging dollars on the street was 1850 (well, in the shopping mall — it might have been a little better on the street itself), or about a 3% fee. The net rate for using an American Express card (that is, the price in pesos divided by the number that showed up on my bill) was about 1840 — about 3.5% (although that is partially offset by my 1.25% cash back). But when I used the debit card from my local bank (PeoplesBank), I got a rate of 1906-1907 — that is, no fee whatsoever — whether I stuck it in an ATM to get cash or used it like a credit card to buy something.
I used to use my Bank of America debit card to get cash out of foreign ATMs, and I recall that every time I used it I would see three lines on my bank statement — one for the cash and two for the fees. So that’s yet another reason to ditch your big bank.
It's all about the fees, baby!
Take the fees away from your enemy. Ditch the big bank. Get rid of cable. Turn off your teebee.