Peet’s at half the price

Claudia took me for a walk in downtown Walnut Creek Sunday because there might be somebody who hasn’t petted her yet.

Along the way we stumbled into the Capitol One cafe, which seems to be a Peet’s coffee, except that if you pay with a Capitol One credit card everything is half price.   Since I have one of those cards, this seemed like a good idea.

Getting my extra large Iced Chai latte and a muffin, I sat down to survey the place.  There are plenty of normal tables, one large high table with outlets for computers and chargers, and 3 guys in Capitol One t-shirts running around.  Since they weren’t serving coffee or cleaning up, I had to figure out what they are doing.  So I asked one.

His name was Bud.  He says he’s a banker, although I’ve never met a banker working in a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Apparently, and you would never know this from the outside, they consider this location a bank, albeit one with no tellers, no cash and no security.  The Peet’s is just a come on, or an amenity, or something, to get you to lend them money (because that’s what banks do, borrow your money at low interest in a checking account and then lend it back to you at high interest on a mortgage or credit card).

They don’t deal in cash, that’s passé. You can make deposits from your phone, shifting money from your current checking account to a money market or CD with Capital Bank.  They promise higher interest, but that’s reasonable because they charge the hell out of you if you have one of their credit cards and are 20 seconds late with a payment.

I can’t say I was persuaded, but I guess they get enough people to make it worth their time to subsidize Peet’s. At least I liked the Chai and everyone liked Claudia.  The couple of bucks I saved will help fund the fees for the last time I forgot to get my payment in on time..


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