Hey everyone, thanks for joining me for this week’s Monday Money. Just in case you’re new to the column, my name is Joshua Rodriguez. In this column, I discuss anything and everything I can come up with that will help you manage and save money. OK, enough of the formality, it’s time to get into the fun stuff. Today, we’re going to be looking into whether or not it’s a good idea to move into the platinum level with your checking account.
A Little Back Story
So, yesterday I went to the bank because I was being charged a service fee and wanted to see some other options. One of the options was to upgrade to a platinum account. However, to do so, I had to have and maintain a balance of $15,000.00 or more. Now, I could probably scrape together the balance, but I’ve decided not to. Before I made this decision, I had to weigh the pros and cons. Here’s the questions I asked myself to do that.
What Would I Need To Do To Come Up With The Minimum Balance?
Currently, I have just over that amount in total funds. This means savings, investments, checking, ect… So, in order for me to go platinum, I’d have to deplete my savings account, all of my investments, and my cash chunk that I have on the side in case the world decides to come to an end. If I did that, it could cost me a ton! “Why?”, you ask.
I have very little in checking and I like it that way. I earn no interest in checking. So, I like to have my money where it can work for me. I’ve got a bit in savings, but that’s a very low interest rate. I guess I wouldn’t be losing much by transferring it out and going with another option. Now, here’s the real kicker…
The majority of my money is tied up in investments. And, to be honest, I like it that way. I can’t touch it for one, and for another, my investments are currently yielding an APY around 9%. That changes day by day, but that’s the average. So, if I take the money that I’ve got tied up in investments and transfer it to a new checking account, sure I’d make the minimum, but how much money is that going to cost me. By my estimations, and this is a very rough estimate, it would cost me a little over $1,000 in the first year. OUCH, I could do a lot with a grand!
What Do I Get From Switching To Platinum?
OK, so there are a few perks to going platinum with my bank. So, it’s probably best that I do a quick list of bullet points for ya. Here goes nothing…
- Platinum Color Card – OK, so I know this isn’t huge, but come on, who doesn’t want a platinum card in their wallet? Gotta love status symbols.
- No Monthly Fee – That is, if I keep the minimum balance, but in all actuality, I can avoid the fee on my current account with a much lower minimum balance. So, that’s not really a perk unique to the platinum account.
- Free Checks – You know, for some people, this might be a huge deal, but for me, it’s not. I can’t remember the last time I wrote out a check to be honest. I don’t even know where to order checks. Hello, welcome to the world of online payments!
- Free Money Orders/Cashiers Checks – With the account I have, money orders and cashier’s checks cost me $5. I know this because where I live, I’ve got to pay rent using a cashier’s check. So, instead of paying $5, I go to the local post office and pay something like $0.40.
I’m sure there are more benefits to the platinum checking account, but these are the main perks that I can remember from my meeting at the bank.
My Final Decision
Screw platinum! I can’t see giving up about a grand in earnings to have a cool status symbol. Even if that cool status symbol is going to save me about $6 a year on cashier’s checks!
What do you think? Should I go with platinum? If you were in my shoes, what would you do?