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Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 01:55 PM   #1
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Best Online Bill Pay?

As I put the finishing touches on my ER portfolio - I am looking for a better way to handle yearly finances. I currently have online bill paying at e-trade bank. They do a good job and I like the security - I have the hardware key - but the checking account pays less than 1% and you need 5K in the mm to qualify and it only pays 3 sumpin' at that level.

Any suggestions for a better online bill pay. Either low balance with electronic transfer option or better combination of online bill pay and rates?
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysto
As I put the finishing touches on my ER portfolio - I am looking for a better way to handle yearly finances. I currently have online bill paying at e-trade bank. They do a good job and I like the security - I have the hardware key - but the checking account pays less than 1% and you need 5K in the mm to qualify and it only pays 3 sumpin' at that level.

Any suggestions for a better online bill pay. Either low balance with electronic transfer option or better combination of online bill pay and rates?
Fidelity works good for me. The MM is around 5%. The core account is less, I think around 3%, but I only keep enough in it to cover bills.

EFT works great.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 03:50 PM   #3
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

I use Checkfree:* http://www.checkfree.com

It links to your checking account at a bank or credit union. You can find a high-paying checking account and then just use Checkfree to pay from that account.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

I have written about WellsFargo before. We have their PMA setup which links a checking account with a brokerage account. There is a minimum for free everything, but if you put some investments in the brokerage account, it's pretty easy to meet. The MMF sweep in the brokerage is WFLXX which is at 4.64%. The checking account pays miniscule interest unless you leave big bucks there. The brokerage has $2.95 trades if you have $100K with them or $0 trades if you have $250K with them.

I used BankofAmerica for a few days. Bill pay seems OK.

We loved TDWaterhouse when connected with TDWaterhouse Bank. That was definitely the best as far as instantaneious unlimited transfers between bank and broker, but the interest rates were not good. TDAmeritrade doesn't have the same relationship with the bank, so I do not recommend them.

So WF meets your criteria of low balance and better rates for the checking and MMF as long as you have some funds or stocks or mortgage to meet the other minimum.

Please let me know if you found this info useful.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 06:14 PM   #5
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

I use BankofAmerica online bill pay. It is free if you keep a combined checking/savings balance of $5K but the interest rates on both are quite low. The online bill pay works very well. I also get free checks, no monthly account fees, and a few other benies.

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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 07:47 PM   #6
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
I use BankofAmerica online bill pay.* It is free if you keep a combined checking/savings balance of $5K but the interest rates on both are quite low.* The online bill pay works very well.* I also get free checks, no monthly account fees, and a few other benies.

* *Grumpy
I use BofA also, and am very happy with the service. Mine is free with direct deposit, so I usually barely have enough in checking to pay this weeks bills. I use a higher paying MM and xfer funds to BofA as req'd
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

I joined e*trade awhile ago.
I only need to have $1K in the checking account for free checking/bill pay and their current interest rate.

Call them up and say that you like their bank and would like to stay but others offer better terms and see if they will give you my deal. Ask for a supervisor if you must.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 09-29-2006, 10:39 PM   #8
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

I have been using Bank of Internet for the last 2 years. I have their senior checking account for over 50, which includes free checks and free bill payments. They are paying a modest 3.65% APY. The checking acount requires a minimum of $ .01. They also have a debit card that reimburses upto $8 per month.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-01-2006, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

I use Wells Fargo's online bill pay and I love it. It's free if you maintain a few thousand balance and really simple to use. It also tracks and categorizes all of your expenditures (it requires a bit of work on your part to make this work right) . Thes data are then put into a downloadable and printable report (either excell or PDF). I find it helps me to really track my expenses.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-04-2006, 06:34 AM   #10
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

Sorry to take so long to reply but I had to go out of town.

Thanks to all that responded. I don't know which way I will go yet but I am investigating all suggestions to find the solution that works best for me.

Thanks again for all of this groups help and comments.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-04-2006, 12:19 PM   #11
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

Hey, Mysto, here's a new entrant in the "World's Best Online Bill Pay" category:

Austrian's body found in bed 5 years after death

I guess it's a warning to all of us who have our pensions direct-deposited and our bills automatically paid from the same checking account...
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-04-2006, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

By the way, the tax free core account at Fidelity pays about 3.5% (tax free)...a better option for most than the taxable core account at 3%. In either case, you can keep the bulk of your case in the regular MM at 5% or so.

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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-04-2006, 05:30 PM   #13
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
I use Wells Fargo's online bill pay and I love it. It's free if you maintain a few thousand balance and really simple to use. It also tracks and categorizes all of your expenditures (it requires a bit of work on your part to make this work right) . Thes data are then put into a downloadable and printable report (either excell or PDF). I find it helps me to really track my expenses.
I used Wells Fargo online bill pay as well while I was a US resident. Worked extremely well for me. Think the minimum balance requirement was $5k.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-04-2006, 08:29 PM   #14
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryo
By the way, the tax free core account at Fidelity pays about 3.5% (tax free)...a better option for most than the taxable core account at 3%. In either case, you can keep the bulk of your case in the regular MM at 5% or so.

What's the tax free core account? Is there a formal name or ticker symbol? 3.5 tax free sounds sweet.
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?
Old 10-05-2006, 09:32 AM   #15
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Re: Best Online Bill Pay?

It's FTEXX, Fidelity Municipal Money Market, currently paying 3.34% tax free.

When I opened my Fidelity account a couple of weeks ago (a transfer from Smith-Barney), I first put my cash in the taxable core account (FCash) which only pays 3%. Once the transaction had cleared, I moved the bulk of my cash into the regular money market (which pays 5%, effective 5.13%), but still needed a core account for transactions and as a sweep. After poking around (and eventually talking to an agent), I concluded (somewhat surprised that they set it up this way) that the tax free option for the core was far preferable.

Hope that helps.
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