I thought I'd share a few of the random banking tips/tricks, whatever you want to call them that I've learned over the years. Some of these are things people actually do but have no idea why or if it really works or not - all the things...
>> I'm going to start with mutilated money, what it means, will the bank actually accept it from you and what to do if they don't. I got the idea to write this because of my little Ollie Mama aka Mama, aka Ollie, aka Llama Mama, etc...I think she was pretty pissed of yesterday that I had yet to buy them treats after they had run out so she grabbed a $20 from my nightstand and ate it.
1) Luckily she didn't eat the whole damn bill, but 2, the bank will swap this bill out for me. Why? The general rule of thumb is that as long as you can see one (1) whole serial number and at least half of the other serial number it can be exchanged. This obvs verifies that the whole bill is the same bill and not two other bills put together.
The strip is also there as well, but it won't matter if it wasn't there b/c the bill could have been torn right there, but you'd still be able to see half of the serial number on that side.
Once the bank exchanges the bill for you they classify the bill as "mutilated" and is sent to the Federal Reservice for handling. The FED will then actually, fully, mutilate the bill (shred it) and remove that serial number from circulation.
If the bill does not show one (1) full serial number and half of the other, you have to send it to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and they will replace the bill for you. There are instances where they won't be able to do so, but more often than not they actually will!! It is free to do this and your bank can give you instructions or you can look them up on their website.
Now, what is that silly little strip that is embedded in currency? It's another way to ensure a bill is not fraudulent. How the heck does that work? The strip in each bill is actually a different color when you place it under a black light. The strip will glow and if it's the right color, you're good to go.
<The best image I could find>
Why should I go through the hassle of getting a black light and just use the $4 counterfeit pen??? Because those counterfeit pens are shit. If you spray hairspray or Krylon on a bill it always pass the counterfeit pen test. Whenever I see someone use one, I tell them this and they just look at me like I'm stupid, but whatevs...And, black lights are like $5. Not that we need to carry one in our purse, but just so ya know...
>> Those $2 bills your grandma sends you for your birthday and Xmas are plain and simple $2. Those $2 bills that have red ink on the serial number and a read seal can range from $3-$5.
>> Each bank has its own policy on collecting coins for deposit. Some want them rolled, some want them loose, call your bank before you do anything. A lot of banks now will take the coins and send them to their local reserve to count them - amounts can vary, but usually $10 and over if it's not all quarters. They send the coin off and you have to wait for it to be processed and credited to your account. There are several reasons they do this. They don't have the manpower to count the coin, especially is it's busy and they are short-staffed, not all banks have coin counters anymore because they are insanely expensive to maintain and are not always accurate. One bank that does this 100% of the time is B of A.
>> Online banks are not "technically" banks. Nowadays it costs over $3 billion to start a bank, you have to go through countless hoops to obtain a charter and for the FDIC to approve you, so all online banks use a larger bank as a "pass-through" bank. They contract with XYZ bank to be able to over FDIC insured accounts under their name (Chime, Azlo, Simple, Varo, etc) So you are "technically" banking with the larger bank (Wells Fargo, BBVA, etc) Although the larger bank holds the funds, they in no way can offer you any type of customer service or help with your account. So, if you've committed to never using a big bank again, or a certain bank, and only use online banks, read your account disclosures, their information online as they have to tell you who their pass-through bank is.
>> As fun as it is to watch bank robberies in the movies, it hardly ever happens like that. 90% a robber simply passes a note, doesn't show a gun, doesn't jump the counter, doesn't force anyone to go to the vault, etc.
>> Banking is actually a fairly dangerous job. Although bank takeovers, kidnapping, killing, etc is not common, it still happens, and note-passers can be just as scary. It's traumatic. There are countless security procedures bank employees have to follow and have to change them up every so often so if someone is "casing" you or the bank doesn't learn your process.
>> If a bank goes under or goes bankrupt, the government will refund the money you had at the bank up to $250,000. It certainly may take a while, but it will happen. When a bank goes "under" The FEDS walk-in unannounced on a Friday at closing and takes over. Pretty scary stuff. The FEDs will sell off every single thing the bank has to offset what they'll have to pay out so hopefully, they won't have to pay the full $250,000 themselves. Staplers, chairs, pens, it all has to go. There are a few exceptions and situations when you may be entitled to more than $250,000 - head to https://edie.fdic.gov/ to get an estimate for your personal situation. This insurance limit is PER bank. Not all of your money accumulated from 5 different banks...
>> Every once in a blue moon I'll see a post saying if you are being held up at an ATM to input your pin backward and it will alert the police. Nope. Not at all. It simply registers as an incorrect pin. If this was true, think of how many times the police would be dispatched for those who accidentally do this
>> Banks only have so much cash-on-hand. They have a limit that they can have in the vault daily and can be cited in their federal/state audit if they continue to exceed the approved amount. If they are robbed and everything is taking, whatever the excess was that they were not supposed to have will not be covered by their insurance policy, resulting in a huge loss for the bank. You may have experienced the bank telling you that they have to special order money to accommodate your withdraw request, this is the very reason why and because they can't give you everything they have, or close to it because they won't be able to service other customers until the next shipment comes in.
>> Safe deposit boxes (SDB) are becoming obsolete. Legally you cannot hold firearms, explosives, drugs or cash in your SBD. Holding cash in there is considered tax evasion and if the bank gets wind of it they do have to file a SARs report on you. But, bank employees are not allowed to watch you when you open your SDB, but there are some people who need assistance in opening it due to a disability and various other scenarios. SDB contents are NOT FDIC insured, you have to obtain your own insurance on those contents. The bank DOES NOT have a second copy of your key to the box. Hence, when you lose your key, a locksmith has to come out, break-in and rekey it. I think on our next blog I may go into SDBs more because there are a lot of rules around this and are common questions, and frankly are kind of interesting...
Bye for now! I'll see you on the next blog where I will be starting the convo of overdrafts. I will be broken down into several parts as there are so many factors that come into play and 1 blog post would be a 17-hour read.
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