A pleasant escape from big bank CD rates

Corner of dollar bill

A while back, I wrote about how bad big bank CD rates were.

I said that, when my CDs matured at these behemoths, I’d be putting the money to work elsewhere.

Well, the time has come.

Recently, I redeemed jumbo CDs maturing at Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank -- and there’s good news to report.

The good news first: My encounters with these three banks were tolerable -- even mildly pleasant -- experiences.

It wasn’t just that I was saying goodbye to their ridiculously low CD rates (my two-year renewal APY at Citi would have been 0.35%; at Wells Fargo, 0.40%; and at BofA, 0.50%).

What I found most pleasing was the ease with which I got my hands on my money.

Because I wanted it immediately, in the form of wire transfers and cashier’s checks, I thought it best to visit my local branches.

Since childhood, going to the bank has been one of my least favorite activities. It ranks right up there with getting a haircut and buying new shoes.

But the megabank trio surprised me.

I wasn’t escorted to a small windowless room with a light bulb dangling from the ceiling and berated for my disloyalty.

And at BofA and Citi, at least, I didn’t even have to talk to a "personal banker" and be regaled with all the other services I could take advantage of if only I stayed at their institution (which had happened in past certificate of deposit closings at these and other banks).

Rather, my greeters at BofA and Citi simply told me to get in line (lines are short in the summertime in the California desert) and wait for the next available teller.

I got out of BofA in 15 minutes, Citi in 10. I had enjoyable conversations with bank personnel while my requests were being processed.

My Citi greeter even said, "We hope to win back your business."

Although I’m sure she was sincere, I doubt Citi management cares one way or the other.

Wells Fargo did make me talk to a banker, but the process went smoothly. She didn’t attempt to convince me to change my mind or lure me into another product or service.

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