Eugoogly: Commerce Bank
Posted by Andrew Unterberger on November 9, 2008
C u when you get there
All right, so this isn’t really within in the realm of stuff I tend to write about on this blog, and for my non-mid-Atlantic brethren here, it’ll probably be downright meaningless. But I had become extremely attached to my Commerce Bank since I started having semi-independent finances some four or five years ago. I went there today to cash a check, and my bank was gone–replaced by a TD Bank, the Toronto-based banking coporation that recently brought Commerce under their umbrella. I remembered hearing about a year ago that such a changing of the guard was imminent, but I hoped it was one of those things that would just sort of go away once I forgot about it. Not so, unfortunately, and it appears that Commerces all over have been replaced. Bummer.
I guess I don’t really have much of a point of comparison with other banks to really be objective in my putting Commerce on a pedestal, since I’ve never belonged to another bank. But I can’t imagine there’d be too many other banking franchises as friendly, aesthetically pleasing, and supremely efficient. Commerce was founded back in the 70s as the banking world’s answer to fast food, and it showed-everything was quick, easy and extremely unstressful. And there were the added perks of the bank refunding your ATM charges from other machines, providing automatic coin-counting machines (with free fisbees as prizes if you guessed near the correct amount!) and uh, free dog treats if you brought your mutt on a banking field trip. Their blue-and-red color scheme was all class, and their logo of choice–that big red “C,” which I even have a piggy bank shaped like–could barely be more iconic.
Of course, what most people will really remember Commerce by, the way it most left its mark on the outside world, was the free pens. They weren’t the most long-enduring of pens, but they were nice-looking enough, they were clicky, and you could grab one or two of ’em every time you went there without so much as attracting a dirty look from the security guard. My apartment is littered with the things, at a certian point in my college career I just stopped buying new pens altogether and figured I could always swing by a Commerce and find some official business to fake on the way to class if I needed something to write with. One of my friends would rely on their friends in a similar fashion, but he didn’t even belong to Commerce–he’d just walk in, grab a handful of pens, and walk back out. It’s terrible to think that once my last current Commerce Bank pen runs out of ink, I’ll never be able to rely on just finding one of those dark-blue beauties just lying around the apartment anymore.
Of course, they still have the free pens at TD North, and they presumably perform their pen functions just as well. But with a dark-green, pine-tree looking base, and without that big red C, it’s just not the same. Oh well. Hope they still have the Fast Cash $60 option at the ATMs at least.
R.I.P. Commerce Bank, 1973-2008