I miss World Savings. I know, if SNL had its way, Herbert and Marion Sandler would be shot, but I was always a fan.
I opened up my first account at World Savings when I was 7, and the tellers would always remark at how much I had grown. I remember every week going to the bank with my mom to either deposit or withdraw money (My mother still refuses to use an ATM machine). Most importantly, they always gave me a balloon whenever I visited! You know a bank is doing something right when it keeps my rate-hopping parents for almost two decades!
It was a sad day when World Savings switched over to Wachovia. All of a sudden, those great CD rates disappeared, and my parents, little by little, moved all their money to other banks.
Today, the last CD my mother had with Wachovia matured. My mom was all ready to switch to WT Direct Bank which is offering savings account with 3.06% APY plus a cash bonus based on how much money you put into your account. It is a nice deal but… with the bank in Delaware, it wouldn’t be terribly convenient.
After twenty minutes of going back and forth with a bank employee and his manager about how terrible the liquid CD rates were, and how we were going to take our business elsewhere, they found a way to keep my mom’s business.
Apparently, World Savings had a special exception for customers which allows them to withdraw up to $25,000 from fixed CDs once a year as long as it was for a “medical expenses.” This option was so popular among WS customers that Wachovia picked it up as well. The only requirements is a Crown Banking account, which requires a cumulative balance of $5,000 in all Wachovia accounts. It’s not a great as a liquid CD, but she gets 4% APY for a 1 year CD and knowledge that she can withdraw up to $25,000 in case of an emergency. NO documentation about the medical expense is needed, so really, she could use this $25,000 for a morgage payment or help with my tuition, though given how painful my tuition payments are, maybe I COULD qualify for medical expenses…
It goes to show that it never hurts to ask your local bank branch if there are any special rates or special accounts available! When you get people properly motivated (aka scared shitless about losing your business), amazing things can happen!
So thank you World Savings, for allowing my technophobic mom to NOT have to send her money halfway across the country. She really appreciates it!