So recently I had to pay down an earnest money deposit for the titling agency in order to check that I'm serious about purchasing a property. It was a pretty sum, and I didn't mind it because it's going into my down payment.
I would have wanted an ACH transfer, but those take a few days, and the titling agency wasn't open on the weekend, and I only got 5 days between starting the title and needing to settle the EMD. So wire transfer it is. The wire transfer fee is some amount of money, like a DoorDash burrito, but looks small next to the EMD.
So most of my money, as of a few days ago, was located in my Marcus by Goldman Sachs bank account. I call up this bank, this customer service representative responds, says the wire transfer is $30, and that the transaction should take some amount of money to settle. Okay, whatever. I approve the transfer and then go out my day.
The next day (today), a Marcus CSR (maybe even the same rep I got yesterday) called me up and said the other bank was on the line too, and they needed to do a conference call. I'm pretty confused. They want me to confirm that the external account is not held in my name. I'm like yes, I'm paying somebody else, why would it be in my name? The other bank hangs up, and the Marcus rep says that I can only wire money to an external account with my name on it.
The whole point of a wire is that it's a
sudo operation. You grant relaxed
permissions on a per-case basis and your money can go anywhere in the whole wide
world as long as you're not storming the Capitol or flying a Boeing 757 into
I ask the rep if I still have to pay the wire transfer fee if the wire didn't go through. She says I don't know.
You don't know?? I might still be on the hook for a wire transfer fee if the wire doesn't go through?!
So now I'm raging because the only other bank account I have is Schwab, and I don't know if I have the funds in order to make the transfer. This is like some communist dystopian capital control bullshit going on here. I can't access my money when I need it, resulting in me being on the hook for $10,000 in closing costs and being released (forcibly ejected) from my contract.
The rep hangs up and I call the titling agency. I realize that Marcus doesn't have an e-check system, nor did they mail out physical checkbooks. I'm wondering whether I should Lyft over to the titling agency office in order to coordnate what I'm going to do there, or ask my parents to step in.
Then I'm like wait…how much are the funds again? I check Schwab and OH MY HEAVENLY GOD I have the funds by the skin of my teeth.
I call Schwab and the rep there is super nice and friendly, no real automated process to go through. I ask them hurriedly if I can make the wire transfer. He says yes but due to regulations it can only be done if the funds are transferred to a brokerage account.
I start panicking again until I realize that transfers within Schwab accounts (even checking/saving to brokerage) are real easy. I make the transfer and see it immediately. He says is it okay to pay a $15 wire transfer fee? We managed to get it down from $25. I'm like wtf of course. So the wire goes through. A few hours later the funds are out of my account, and I get a receipt that the EMD is filled by the title agency.
Now Imma whoop some ass.
Just kidding, I'm not much of an ass-whooper. I'm just going to withdraw all my funds and cut ties with Marcus completely. In any case, I started off with Marcus with a 1.50% APY, and it's slowly declined to 0.50% or something like that, so it slowly made less and less sense. It was like my Schwab account, except with less services anyways.
I take every penny out of the account and put it back into Schwab. A few hours later, this real suave guy calls me from Marcus and was like “so I see you withdrew every penny out of this account…is there something going on” and I'm like “yeah I'm buying an apartment so I need the flexibility” and he's like cool. Not suave enough to convince me to stay. I decide against closing the account while on the phone, but then reverse my position and close the account a few hours later.
I will remember this shit. I still remember when I had like $100 in my Schwab account because I opened it because they had the closest branch next to where I lived in Bethesda, and I got a 1:1 discussion with a Schwab investment advisor and they still respected me even though I was poor. Now I'm still poor-ish but less so and Schwab is still nice to me. On the other hand, I remember how Chase tried to sell me a credit card when I lost a third of my net worth because they gave out my account number or something. I applied for Amazon's credit card, got approved, and immediately canceled when I realized it was through Chase. Fuck that shit. I mean hell, I remember how State Farm fired my dad as their customer when he got into a car accident when I was in third grade, and to this day I still won't consider them for anything because I know in my hour of need they will abandon me.
So I learned my lesson, Schwab is my hero! Go with Schwab. And American Express. And to hell with everything else.