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Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 12:13 PM   #1
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Checking Account

I have had a checking account with USAA Federal Savings Bank for about 20 years now and have been quite satisfied with the service and benefits that have been provided to me.

How do the benefits that your checking account provide you match up with my deal?

1. No Monthly fee
2. Free checks for life
3. Monthly intertest paid on balance (.15% currently)
4. Free ATM withdrawal from other bank-$1.50 each up to 10/month.
5. Free web Billpay
6. Debit card rebate 1/2% monthly.

Now a sample of fees that are charged....

1. NSF check $25
2. Stop Paymant Fee $25
3. Research fee/ hour $15
4. Outgoing Wire trans fee $20 domestic, $35 int'nl

I'm not married to these folks, so I can be convinced to change my bank to a more advantageous set up. 8)
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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Re: Checking Account

Just received a brochure on Schwab Investor Checking. Here's how it compares to USAA:

1. No Monthly fee -- Schwab: same
2. Free checks for life -- Schwab: depends on style of check
3. Monthly intertest paid on balance (.15% currently) -- Schwab: 1.03% (higher with balances over $100,000)
4. Free ATM withdrawal from other bank-$1.50 each up to 10/month.
Schwab -- 20 withdrawals/month up to $35/month
5. Free web Billpay -- Schwab: same
6. Debit card rebate 1/2% monthly. -- Schwab:not stated so probably 0%

Now a sample of fees that are charged....

1. NSF check $25; Schwab:same
2. Stop Paymant Fee $25; Schwab: $0
3. Research fee/ hour $15; Schwab: $0
4. Outgoing Wire trans fee $20 domestic, $35 int'nl; Schwab:$25 domestic

They also have free overdraft protection. This account is designed to link with a Schwab One brokerage account.
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 12:50 PM   #3
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Re: Checking Account

I am a USAA member. USAA is an outstanding financial services company, but I no longer have any account with them because somewhat surpisingly I can find better and less expensive services elsewhere (including insurance!).

Currently we have a checking account at WellsFargo as part of our Portfolio Management Account (PMA) relationship with them. One needs to have $25K minimum with them, but our mortgage alone covers that.

1. No monthly fee
2. Free checks
3. Monthly interest on balance, it's a joke(4.4% if you have >$100K), but put your money in the brokerage money market fund which is paying 4.62% (you have frees transfers between checking and MMF). Sure it's not a Vanguard Prime MMF, but it's very good for a brokerage sweep account.
4. Free ATM including overseas, where many banks charge $5 for out-of-network ATMs.
5. Free bill pay.
6. Don't care about credit card, but it's a rewards card of some type, no fee and gives overdraft protection.
7. No holds on non-WellsFargo checks that you deposit from your other accounts.
8. Easy ACH transfers from Vanguard to WF and elsewhere.

Brokerage is inexpensive:
9. $2.95 trades including transaction fee mutual funds, or $0 trades if you have lots of assets with them.

Fees:
10. Fees? If I end up with an errant fee, I tell them to re-imburse me or I will go elsewhere.


So the Schwab stuff looks good, but if you want checking+brokerage, WellsFargo is probably less expensive. We used to have TDWaterhouse brokerage plus TDWaterhouse bank. The bank was also no-fee for most things. But when Ameritrade bought TDW, they lost the relationship with the bank. This forced us to go back to WellsFargo.

We are used to not have a local brick & mortar bank to go into, but in a twist, there are lots of WF branches near us.
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: Checking Account

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
I am a USAA member.* USAA is an outstanding financial services company, but I no longer have any account with them because somewhat surpisingly I can find better and less expensive services elsewhere (including insurance!).

Currently we have a checking account at WellsFargo as part of our Portfolio Management Account (PMA) relationship with them.* One needs to have $25K minimum with them, but our mortgage alone covers that.

1. No monthly fee
2. Free checks
3. Monthly interest on balance, it's a joke(4.4% if you have >$100K), but put your money in the brokerage money market fund which is paying 4.62% (you have frees transfers between checking and MMF).* Sure it's not a Vanguard Prime MMF, but it's very good for a brokerage sweep account.
4. Free ATM including overseas, where many banks charge $5 for out-of-network ATMs.
5. Free bill pay.
6. Don't care about credit card, but it's a rewards card of some type, no fee and gives overdraft protection.
7. No holds on non-WellsFargo checks that you deposit from your other accounts.
8. Easy ACH transfers from Vanguard to WF and elsewhere.

Brokerage is inexpensive:
9. $2.95 trades including transaction fee mutual funds, or $0 trades if you have lots of assets with them.

Fees:
10. Fees?* If I end up with an errant fee, I tell them to re-imburse me or I will go elsewhere.
This sounds fantastic. How is the service and the trading platform at the brokerage?

Ha
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Checking Account

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This sounds fantastic. How is the service and the trading platform at the brokerage?
The web interface is OK.* I have an account "Premier/Platinum" at TDAmeritrade nee TDWaterhouse that I can compare it too.* WF is not quite a "platform", but it gets the job done for me.* * In the 8 months I've had this account, I have made 4 buys and 1 sell.* I used limit orders 4 times and have gotten better prices than my limit in 3 cases.* So for me, I can get my business done.* I do not use WF for research.

Most research one can do at free websites.* I will generally use my TDAmeritrade account for limited research and Level II quotes.* Then I place the trade at WF.* I have moved all my cash from TDAmeritrade to WF and Vanguard, but have not abandoned TDA because there is no need to.* Before year-end we'll have enough at WF to qualify for 50 free trades a year which is more than enough for my purposes.

WF shows up in brokerage ratings found in the financial press, so check there for more info. I can recommend WF for the informed do-it-yourselfer.
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 03:21 PM   #6
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Re: Checking Account

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
I* have had a checking account with USAA Federal Savings Bank for about 20 years now and have been quite satisfied with the service and benefits that have been provided to me.
How do the benefits that your checking account provide you match up with my deal?
1. No Monthly fee-- NFCU also.
2. Free checks for life-- NFCU also.
3. Monthly intertest paid on balance (.15% currently)-- 0.5% on balances over $1500.
4. Free ATM withdrawal from other bank-$1.50 each up to 10/month.-- Yes for network & reciprocal networks.
5. Free web Billpay-- free with at least three payments per month.
6. Debit card rebate 1/2% monthly.-- Don't think so, never owned a debit card.

Now a sample of fees that are charged....

1. NSF check $25-- $20 once or twice a decade or $0 with overdraft protection.
2. Stop Paymant Fee $25-- $6.50 or $10 for a series.
3. Research fee/ hour $15-- nothing specific but NFCU charges $10/hour for "repeated checkbook balancing assistance".
4. Outgoing Wire trans fee $20 domestic, $35 int'nl-- $14 domestic, $25 int'l.

I guess the decision depends on what services a customer is most likely to use.
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 03:34 PM   #7
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Re: Checking Account

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

4. Free ATM withdrawal from other bank-$1.50 each up to 10/month.-- Yes for network & reciprocal networks.
One small clarification: USAA dropped the $1.50 per transaction requirement and now only has a $15/month limit, no network or reciprocal stipulation.

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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: Checking Account

Kind of off topic but regarding the wire transfer fees. I have an account at a CU (VyStar) and wanted to make a transfer to another institution. Just for kicks I just made a "Bill Payer" (FREE) transaction to the place (NFCU) that I wanted to send the money as an ACH transfer. Worked just fine gave the address and put my NFCU Account # in the Memo Field and it got there in about 48 hours and went right into the NFCU Account. Kind of dumb since VyStar has a "Senior Service" process whereby if you are over 50 (and I am) you get free outgoing wire transfers along with not fee Traveler's Checks (anyone ever use these things?) and some other minor free services. The interest on Checking accounts is so low these days that unless the institution offers a MMA and online servcies it does not make sense. I keep about a dime in the checking accounts and transfer any checking balance to the MMA immediately.
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 04:06 PM   #9
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Re: Checking Account

Yep, the ol' bill-pay-to-yourself trick. I think it is worth doing that just to show it can be done anytime you want.
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Re: Checking Account
Old 09-09-2006, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: Checking Account

We've recently opened a VanguardAdvantage account. It is basically a brokerage account (but we're not buying any stocks) with a checking account linked to your choice of Vanguard MMFs. We have it linked to the Prime Money Market yielding 5.1%. You can write unlimited checks and pay bills from the linked MMF for amonts over $1. Voyager and Flagship clients are eligible. The annual fee for the account is $30 for Voyagers; free for Flagship clients. Billpay costs $4.95/month for Voyagers but free for Flagships. We're really just getting settled in with it, but it sure beats the .2% we were getting on our credit union checking account. However, we are leaving the credit union account open to make the occasional paper deposit and because DW is still attached to it. If you qualify for Flagship, it's a great deal.
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