The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-City-Thursday, September 9, 1993 - Page 9
Information to bank on i Ann Arbor
by Jesse Brouhard
Daily Staff Reporter
T hen your parents walk through
thebank's doorway, checkbook in hand,
ready to help you open your new
checking account, pray for only one
Pray those checks keep coming your
Every time a check does come your
way, you are forced to navigate the
murky waters of banking in Ann Arbor.
This is even before I begin to discuss
billsandbounced checks. The firstcon-
sideration when opening an account
around here should always behow much
money you are going to have hanging
around in your account.
You need money to spend money, to
write checks for money and to avoid
service charges on all your money.
Bet you didn't think of that one.
The two main criteria for opening a
checking account in this town are mini-
mum balance requirements and service
charges on transactions such as using
ATMs and writing checks.
Now that we have accrued enough
capital to think about banking, let's go
open our checking account. Where you
ask? Let me - the Michael Milken of
Ann Arbor finance - lead the way.
here are two types of accounts
offered to people of lesser means
(students) by area banks - the aptly
named basic account and accounts with
no service charges if aminimum balance
is maintained. The sticking point when
shopping around is the ratio ofminimum
balance requirement to service charge
If you plan on keeping more than the
minimum balance in your account then
theno-service-charge account is foryou
since itprovides the option of unlimited
transactions. But if you know already
you are the type to take out all the
money by the third week of September,
and you manage not to have an incred-
ible amount of bills to pay, basic is the
way to go in order to avoid paying a
plethora of unwanted service charges.
"Well there are two different types
one with students is the Independence
Checking Account, and that one has no
minimum balance requirement, but it
does have a $2 monthly fee," Michigan
National Bank teller Laurie Fritz said.
"The monthly fee is regardless of the
balance. You can write five checks (per
month) and then you can use the ATM
card as much as you want.
"The other one has a minimum bal-
ance of $300 and as long as you main-
tain the minimum balance, you can
write as many checks as you want,
which counts still completely free."
This is the common format offered
around town by all of the banks. The
minimum balances and service charges
vary, though, in more ways than one.
For some banks, the minimum bal-
ance can be spread out among different
accounts, allowing interest to be earned
on some of the money at the bank. This
has the added advantage that most sav-
ings accounts have unlimited ATM ac-
cess while checking accounts do not.
"Our checking plans fora free check-
ing, where they are not charged any-
thing other than check printing, has a'
$500 balance," said Sue Benfante,
Comerica branch manager.
"That can either be maintained in a
separate savings account and then have
any balance in their checking account
or they can maintain it in the checking
account and have it free."
around campus go
for the basic ac-
there just aren't
that many occa-
sions that call for
writing checks in
these days of
and credit cards.
If six checks
per month are suf-
ficient, then an-
arises. Where is
this ATM Iam go-
ing to hit up daily
for that $10 in
A TMs are the
days. Why talk to
a bank teller when
all you really want
is to get your
!1 ,. _, ! _ ! __ ,_ ! _._ A
1r ___ __i !_ _tt_-- -
" " o t /9
hat is offered
= Iok fi
- $500 $300 $299 $299 none 10-mo.
r nt $3.5/month $4/month $3.5/month $4/month $2, add.
° .33// .25 // .250// .300// .25s ea.
$17.50 $17.50 $17.50 $17.50 $15.00
~to ;;::;?$15.00 $17.50 $15.00 $17.50 $15.00
$25 $50 $25 $1,000 $100
::afd $200 $200 $300 $300/qtr $104/qtr
tdckw none 4fre none none 9/ qtr
#ATMso 25 11 1 2 2
iitVary $250 Vary $500 $200
.. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .
money and run to
the CD store to buy your third Big Head
Todd And The Monsters (Fill in the
blank) album this week?
There is nothing worse than having
to search around town to either avoid
your bank's service charge or to feel
unable to withdraw your money be-
cause your bank has a service charge on
Each bank has a different plan and
policies concerning how you can re-
ceive your money through the ever-
friendly ATM machine.
If you don'tneed to write any checks,
savings accounts offer the advantage of
free ATM access at many banks.
"Our statement savings is a $200
balance where (customers) are not
charged anything. If they are under $200,
it's a dollar and a half a month service
charge and they have unlimited ATM
with that," Benfante said.
This account works similarly to
checking accounts at banks such as
First of America and National Bank of
Detroit (NBD) where a $300 minimum
balance allows access to ATMs.
One last reminder on the ATM front
for the true penny-pinchers out there. If
you don't like dishing out service charges
for using ATMs owned by banks other
than your own, find a bank with ATMs
in the areas you frequent.
Every bank in town will attempt to
convince you that their machines are at
great locations near Central Campus.
This is not necessarily true.
"Depends upon whatpartof campus
you're on," Fritz said. "Central campus
we have one right across from Campus
Book and Supply, and then there's the
one at the branch downtown. We have
one at Meijers, one at Briarwood Mall
and one on Washtenaw ..."
First ofAmerica and Comerica seem
to be in a battle similar to the cold war
arms race while trying to plant the most
ATMs near campus. A winner is not
clear at this juncture.
It only takes one near you to do the
trick though, so don't panic.
Iyou live your life on credit, where
you go is not a big deal around here.
This is a rare sight in Ann Arbor - a solitary person at an ATM. University
students spend an average of 72 hours per week waiting for cash.
Source:Campus Information Center
Basically, all the banks offer standard
Visa and Mastercards.
NBD is the only bank offering debit
cards at the moment, but restrictions do
"We offer a silver bank card, which
is a debit card right out of your chec
ing account. There are requirements,
restrictions on that when you apply,"
said Linda Adkins, NBD branch man-
The best plan, however, is to avoid
credit altogether. The feeling of getting
things for free when the card slips
through the cute little telephone ma-
chine is false.'The bills do end up some-
where eventually. Trust me, I received
my parents' phone calls.
he best thing to keep in mind,
though ,when navigating the murky
world of Ann Arbor banking is, even
though the banks may act like they have
you cornered, you can always take your
$6.25 balance elsewhere if you are not
Continued from page 7
With his three bongo drums,he lures
pedestrians towards him, drawing them
closer with the enchanting spell of his
tricky beat, until he blurts out a catchy
rhyme - "See this guy in the green and
tan, Certainly looks like a handsome
man, Could he help me if he can, And
drop some money in the pan." Though
the verses are no doubt pre-rehearsed,
his beat is strong and his voice robust.
The most irreverent Christian funda-
mentalistsinceJonathan Edwards, Mike
makes Pat Robertson look like a sissy.
His pulpit is the Diag. "Open your
bibles," Mike, half facetiously, begins
The discourse that follows is invari-
ably contrary to the left-wing ideolo-
gies espoused by many University stu-
dents. Not surprisingly, Mike has his
share of detractors, who bicker to no
end with the once-licentious, but now-
Stoney Burke - Mike's antith-
esis. Half-bald and fully baked, Stoney
dons pink wigs and colorful overalls
and never fails to wow the flocks of
students who faithfully subscribe to his,
There are others too. A few average
guitaists, ajuggler or two, a unicyclist
and a few other bible beaters. However,
each has struggled to develop a persona
embraceable enough tomatch the afore-
One course leads to financial happiness. The Easy A;' from
Society Bank. It's the easy, economical bank account de-
signed to fit the financial needs of the college student.
It features a checking service that can cost as little as $3 a
month. Plus automated teller machine access, discounted
rates on installment loans*' a credit card with no annual fee,*;
and a student loan package* to help you handle the cost of
going to school.
But that's not the half of it. Easy A means you also receive your
first 50 checks printed free, a specially designed checkbook
cover, and other advantages.
Best of all, when you're on vacation, so is your Easy A. June,
July and August, there'sno monthly service fee. Yet you retain
all benefits of the Easy A package year-round.
So make the grade with an Easy A. Call Society Bank for all
the details: (313) 994-5555.