This morning I called my small "home-town" bank because my debit card is broken. This bank has a feature where they transfer an extra $1 into savings every time you use the card. But they charge me a monthly fee of $5. Each time I use the card, they deduct 50cents from that fee, so if I use it 10 times, there's no fee.
Another reason I signed up for this account is that in March of this year (which started today), they are going to give me a bonus and match all of the dollars they've transferred to savings. I think in my case that will exceed the service charges I've paid.
Anyway, back to replacing my debit card. Martha at the bank was very nice and was ready to send me a new card. Then she told me there was a $5 charge. I told her to hold off.
Then I called one of the big credit card companies and told them that the card I have for them is broken (I'm rough on cards in my wallet). Michele was very nice and offered to send one out right away. I talked to her about the rewards program and she offered to upgrade my card in two different ways. The first was no charge (I pay no annual fee now) and would give me trip cancellation benefits (not a big deal, but if it's free). The second would give me more rewards, but cost an annual fee of $59. I declined the second and accepted the first.
My point here is this: people like to bash the big credit card companies and praise the little guy, but my experience is the opposite. What's your experience?