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Old 11-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #21
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Here is how I find a "bank" Welcome to CU National Finder
They are much better. Also read this. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...st-friend.html
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:13 PM   #22
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Bank of America cancels the debit fee
B of A drops debit card fee- MSN Money
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rec7 View Post
Here is how I find a "bank" Welcome to CU National Finder
They are much better.
A very helpful site, thanks.

Ha
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:06 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Moemg
Bank of America cancels the debit fee
B of A drops debit card fee- MSN Money
I saw that today. Smart move. Prevented me from switching over to Charles Schwab, and I'm sure prevented others from switching as well.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:51 PM   #25
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I use a local credit union that I have been with for 25 years for all of my bill paying, kids accounts.
I have a checking account at a commercial bank which has a branch very close. I use that for walk in services, vault box. I keep all of my excess cash (Emergency Fund)in a Money Market fund there. I use that checking account to pay any bills that I think might have a tax deduction such as donations, medical payments.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:33 PM   #26
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Bank of America cancels the debit fee
B of A drops debit card fee- MSN Money
They'll just be a bit more subtle now. They've still got executive bonuses all those unsightly big bank expenses to pay.

Look for goodies like negative interest rates on checking, charging for printed statements, charges for ATM use, charges for using a teller, higher minimum account and combined balance requirements to avoid fees, etc.

I just jumped to Umpqua Bank. They not only have a funny sounding name, but they also have better service than BofA, lower minimums to avoid fees, and JD Power rated them highest in customer satisfaction for the NorthWest region.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #27
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I use a small regional bank, a credit union and few other institutions. I dumped one national bank and a CU that hired a former big bank official as the operations VP.

Since I don't have debts and don't plan to incur any, I don't need the banks. They need me.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:13 PM   #28
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I use USAA for my central hub / online checking account. My father is a USAA member and they've always treated me well (although I think they've gone downhill somewhat in recent years from "superbly awesome" to "way above average").

I use a local brick-and-mortar bank to deposit the rare check and occasionally to get some cash -- usually the gold coins for my kids. I use them because they're free, they have branches everywhere in my town, and because I worked for them in ancient times. If they ever start charging, I'll probably figure out a way to get along with just USAA.

I also have a savings account at Alliant Credit Union. I found them from fatwallet.com. They generally pay among the top in the nation for plain-jane savings accounts (last I checked it was 1.15%), and they've got a decent UI.

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:44 PM   #29
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I recently moved most of my money from BOA myself as well. I chose TD Bank for multiple reasons: moral reasons (they did not accept government bailouts, did not buy any toxic falling knives, nor are in bed with any Big Fishes, as far as I know), convenience ereasons (they open 7 days a week, sometimes 8 to 8, and even though they are not a national bank, they have many branches in my area), and also for $$$ reasons (they pay me twice what BOA paid me in my "high yields" savings account). Plus, they are owned by a Canadian bank with a house that's in order, have a AAA rating and offer terrific costumer service. The second time I went in to my local branch they were calling me by my name and they introduced me to the manager without me asking. A few days later, I received a "thank you" card in the mail, hand-written by the person who opened my account. I never got anything of the sort with BOA after being with them for years...
TD Bank in Canada has the best customer service. Glad to see they are replicating that in their US branches.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:55 PM   #30
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Last time you switched banks, how did you decide which one to move your account to?
(1) No fees
(2) Sign up bonus (at least $100 cash) - I periodically get these offers
(3) Depends on what you need - some things that I considered: no fees at ATMs (internet banks are good at that, e.g. Ally), convenient location if you want to stop by there (for brick-and-mortar), online bill-pay, decent savings acct rate including its history (e.g. Alliant). I have no issues with using different CUs / banks for different features.

Things I do NOT look at:
- whether it's a bank or a credit union
- whether it's large or small (all my accounts are under FDIC/NCUA limits; in case of CU, I make sure it's NCUA insured)
- bank's customer service (I rarely need to use customer service; though I did find internet banks & CUs having better customer service on average)
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:55 AM   #31
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The bank I last joined offered a free 4th generation iPod Touch as long as you either set up automatic deposits OR pay 3 bills using their service. Doing the latter was a no-brainer to get the iPod Touch. (I keep it docked for bedside radio streaming.)
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:44 PM   #32
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I went to the B of A website to download my recent transactions, so I could balance my checkbook and pay my bills. There is a new service agreement I would have to read and agree to before I can access my account. About a third of the way in, I just snapped. This is the bank that wants to charge me $5 a month to make transactions via debit card with my own money. Well phooey on them!! As of now I've decided to close my B of A account and take my business elsewhere. I'm also reading Locavesting, and that has me leaning toward going with a smaller, regional bank rather than a huge national one. I've already opened an account at a credit union that serves the area I plan to move to after retirement, which I use for occasional transactions only. Unfortunately they don't have any branches near where I live now, or I might just switch everything to there.

OTOH, I really like the convenience of paying my bills online, so maybe an internet bank is what I should do. Now I come to think of it, I already have an account at Ing bank that I started when they had a good offer for new accounts.

Last time you switched banks, how did you decide which one to move your account to?
I prefer my Credit Union. Good rates on loans when needed, lower fees on most items, and good service. The big banks IMO just aren't close enough to the consumer to care about them, as is evidenced by what BoA and SunTrust just went through.

As for internet banking, I don't need it. I have all my bills set up on ACH, so I write fewer than 10 checks a year and don't have to log on to pay anything.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:54 PM   #33
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I have all my bills set up on ACH, so I write fewer than 10 checks a year and don't have to log on to pay anything.
Do you pay out of checking account? If so, I assume you have to keep some cushion there to make sure auto-paid bills don't overdraft the account?

(My monthly bills vary a lot, and I tend to transfer just enough into my checking from my savings for the bills and keep rest in higher-yielding accounts.)
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:53 AM   #34
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Do you pay out of checking account? If so, I assume you have to keep some cushion there to make sure auto-paid bills don't overdraft the account?

(My monthly bills vary a lot, and I tend to transfer just enough into my checking from my savings for the bills and keep rest in higher-yielding accounts.)
Yes, out of checking. Yes, we keep a buffer. If you know a large bill is coming, we can always add more in advance through a "mid month review".

We know the large bills...property taxes twice a year (those we actually pay with a check), credit card bills in certain months (when we take our vacations - and yes, we pay them in full each month).

This system has worked great for us for over a decade and takes a lot of pressure off me to sit down and write checks.

Another thing you can do to make it fit your style:
1) Set your credit card up to send you an "alert" if the bill gets over a certain $$ amount. This will give you a few weeks to move money for the ACH in advance of it being paid.

2) Set your bank account up to alert you when the balance gets below a certain $$....you'll have to move quickly but at least you can do an online transfer from savings or another account to keep it in the black.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:55 AM   #35
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Do you pay out of checking account? If so, I assume you have to keep some cushion there to make sure auto-paid bills don't overdraft the account?

(My monthly bills vary a lot, and I tend to transfer just enough into my checking from my savings for the bills and keep rest in higher-yielding accounts.)
In regards to your comment about "higher yeilding" accounts, I would guess that anything much higher yeilding is not very liquid at the moment. We keep the "extra" in HSBC, which is only 1%. I have it set up to where I can transfer money today, and it will be in my checking account in 2-3 business days.

I would not want my excess money (for short-term needs) in something less liquid like a bond fund, stock fund, or LT CD, etc....I'm willing to give up some return for the flexibility, convenience, and safety.
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