The KeyBank Saga Part 1

I really loved banking with KeyBank.

They’ve really been making it difficult for me to continue loving it.

Twelve years ago, when I graduated college and decided to part ways with the bank that housed my accounts for the majority of my life, KeyBank was the bank I chose. My experience at the branch nearest to Siena College and closest to where I lived (851 New Loudon Rd) was great for the first five years or so.

I had multiple accounts with them, and at one point, I stopped into the bank to inquire about a promotion they were pushing really hard. They were giving away free GPS’s to new clients. These promotions always burn existing customers who cannot take advantage of them, but, at the time, there was a way my household could have taken advantage of the promotion. We were met with total ridicule when we visited the branch. The young man we spoke with basically told us we were already suckers and wouldn’t get anything from KeyBank, even by bringing them new accounts. We weren’t even trying to pull a fast one to get the free toy.

It was disgusting.

I vowed to stop visiting that branch, which was fairly simple since there’s a nicer branch close to work (2050 Western Ave). I’ve been exclusively been using this branch for the past six or so years.

In 2012, KeyBank ended a relationship with Continental Airlines. I had, for years, participated in a rewards program that gave miles per transaction (and because of the account that I had, there was no annual cost for the rewards). I accumulated a lot of “miles”, and KeyBank made good on them when they transferred over to a more general rewards program in which you can redeem points for gift cards and other tangible things.

There was a catch.

In order to redeem the rewards for gift cards, it costs $4 per transaction. So, the first time I redeemed my rewards, I had enough to get a $50 amazon.com gift card. It costed me $4 to do so. It took two weeks for the gift card to come in the mail. Just to be clear, in 2012, Amazon.com was giving digital gift cards instantly. So I had to pay $4 for the “convenience” of waiting two weeks for a gift card.

I voiced my gripe with the ridiculous fee and wait time to utilize the rewards program, and , after some back and forth with a representative at KeyBank corporate, they sent me a gift card to compensate for the difference and inconvenience of the whole transition of rewards program. I was made whole, but I always live by the “forgive but never forget” creedo.

For the past year, things have been fine with my accounts, but, with the impending expense of the wedding, I decided to visit my now home branch to make a few changes to my account.

…and the saga continues


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5 thoughts on “The KeyBank Saga Part 1

  • Chuck Miller

    And THIS is why I put my money in a credit union. At least THEY know who I am and THEY care about how my funds are treated. Say the word and I’ll put you in touch with my CU.


    • derryX

      This is nothing…wait til you hear the rest of the story! (I have to do it in parts because I haven’t had much time to sit down and get it all down, but it’s comin’!)

      I’m still weighing my options as far as what to do next.


  • Jeni B

    As a former teller and bank manager, I can tell you that I **hate** going to the bank because the level of service has plummetted..that being said,I have been thrilled with the service I’ve gotten from TD Bank, a recent switch because we got a car loan through them. I set up an account to make the payments and subsequently switched all my accounts to them. When you call the 800 number, you get a person…. for realz. An actual person answers the phone.


  • BP

    Credit Union’s are certainly the way to go. However; all financial institutions are tightening up and squeezing every dollar they can out of their clients/members. With that being said, good luck with the wedding can’t wait to see what ridiculousness the bank pulled.


  • Wendy McLaughlin (@shrinkingwendy)

    I used to work for them and they are a great company, but the branch I worked at really put me through the wringer to the point I was lucky to get another job quickly once I started looking for one. It’s disgusting you were treated that way and we’re only on part one. I’m never working for a bank again!



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