November 3, 2007

Freebies: Washington Mutual Checking Account

Clever advertising is just a good choice in agencies. How good is the WaMu offer? Well, it's true: you get a checking and a savings account for free. This includes free checks, free online banking (including bill pay) and a free ATM card (gold). Branches are popping up everywhere, so convenience shouldn't be an issue.

There are drawbacks, tho: it may work a little differently than your other bank. For instance, make a deposit and you get a confirmation sheet that could easily be confused with your Starbucks invoice. No formal banking slip here.

Go inside to get some cash, and you see kiosks with tellers standing there. There's not any long bar, with windows, separating the two of you. Cash withdrawals here get you a paper slip, which you take over to a withdrawal machine in the corner - near the guard - and get your own cash. When I asked the bank clerk what she thought about this, she said she felt safer with this system. Me? I'd prefer the long bar and the big windows ....

As for customer reviews, there's a lot of bad juju online. Surf through My3Cents.com, EOpinions, and RateItAll.

Can't tell you any more than that. I opened one out of curiosity, really -- and I'm not sure how much trust I really have in WaMu, frankly. That kiosk business is strange, and I like a standard deposit slip, somehow.

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