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Looking for a New Bank
Old 11-13-2007, 06:43 AM   #1
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Looking for a New Bank

OK - I have money in Etrade Bank and in Countrywide Bank. I am covered by FDIC but if events continue I may have to move. So I'm looking for suggestions.

Need a bank with free bill pay - electronic transfers - free ATMs - decent rates - and no hassle service.

I would love some suggestions based on your personal experiences.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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WellsFargo ... as long as you put at least $25,000 of your investments there as well. Then you can use the free brokerage services as well.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:22 AM   #3
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I've been a very happy customer of Citibank for a long time. They offer all the things you asked for and they always get rated either #1 or near the top for their website.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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Check your local credit unions or any that you might have easy eligibility for (penfed, navycu, digital credit union, etc). They've always offered me the least fine print, fewest fees, and no minimum balances or required assets, good customer service. Use of any credit union network atm is free and some of them give an allowance to cover fees charged by other banks to use their atm. DCU for example was offering to cover up to $5 per month reimbursement for out-of-network atm fees charged by other banks. Savings, loan and money market/cd rates are also usually pretty good.

Tought to beat penfed in customer service. You can call them 24x7x365.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:44 AM   #5
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If you are within their service area, I would take a look at Wells Fargo....
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:48 AM   #6
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My dads on the phone with wells fargo every month getting them to take off some fee they 'accidentally' or mistakenly stuck him with. They always take them off, but he's pretty darn annoyed with them.

Plus he says every time he goes into the branch to cash out a bond, it takes 5 people to do it and it looks like a benny hill segment without the music.

Small anecdotal datapoint of one, and not even first person, but...
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:49 AM   #7
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I have been pretty happy with Schwab's bank offering. They offer all you are looking for, plus they rebate all my ATM charges and pay 4% interest on checking account deposits.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:53 AM   #8
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I have a very small checking and savings account at Wells Fargo simply because they have my safety deposit box and they also exchange foreign currancy in case I need it. Since my balance is so small (I think that's the reason) I hardly get any interest and I really hate their end of month statements. I love my credit union.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:20 AM   #9
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WaMu has treated me right for a couple of decades now.

A few times their personal service helped me with "incidents". Once I got a bunch of cash for start of a vacation. Got home and was counting the money and was fifty bucks short. Was getting ready to "accuse" (ask) my wife if she got into my bill fold. Then the phone rang. It was the teller at the bank asking if I had counted my money, was I $50 short? Why yes I was. She said I had dropped it in front of the counter at her station.

Nice service--personal.

Another time I paid some bills by check and put the mail in a collection box at the local grocery store. A few days the bank called to say some people had gone to another branch trying to cash some of my checks (which they had clumsily altered). The scum had apparently skimmed out my bills with checks from the top of the mail collection box, then tried to alter the checks anbd cash them. The tellers even followed them out and got a license plate number. Anyway the bank immediately helped us close that account number and set up a new account number for us at no charge, new free check stock, and asked us what recent checks we wrote so they could put a watch on those numbers in their system. What could have been a serious calamity was avoided at no cost to us and minimal inconvenience.

Again, nice personal service. I can highly recommend WaMU.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:26 AM   #10
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Wachovia just purchased my former financial institution, World Savings Bank. So far they have changed my checking account from and intrest bearing account where I have to keep $1,000 minimum to avoid a $10 service charge to a free account with no minimum. Since I do not keep that much in checking and was probably getting 25 cents per month in interest, it was to my advantage. They rebate up to 3 foreign ATM charges per month and for the first time I have Bill Pay.

The transition has been smooth and Wachovia supposedly rates very high with customer service. If they are in your area, you might want to check them out.

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Old 11-13-2007, 11:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
My dads on the phone with wells fargo every month getting them to take off some fee they 'accidentally' or mistakenly stuck him with. They always take them off, but he's pretty darn annoyed with them.

Plus he says every time he goes into the branch to cash out a bond, it takes 5 people to do it and it looks like a benny hill segment without the music.

Small anecdotal datapoint of one, and not even first person, but...
My MIL had similar experience with Wells Cargo. Their "fees" bugged her so much after awhile (they made her pay to get a list of her cancelled checks -- they wouldn;t send the actual individual checks), she wanted to go somewhere else. I recommended WaMu, we switched her over, and she has been happy. No charge to get back her individual cancelled checks.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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Well, Wamu is the outfit who had my wifes old mortgage. After 7 years of on time payments and 60% equity I called and asked them to stop charging her PMI. They refused. I asked if they'd like to stop charging PMI or I'd pay off the mortgage and they'd get no PMI and no interest or anything at all anymore. They said that would be fine, they wouldnt take off the PMI.

So at least their mortgage department is stupid.

And I made that guy who wants to cosign for his girlfriends car look like he has a much smarter small head brain than I did.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:18 PM   #13
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First Tech is a great CU and has a very good, conservative, mortgage department if you are in their service area. Member of the CU ATM network.

We use WaMu and find that with few exceptions their customer service is excellent (every employer has one with an attitude). They have the features requested. I too have heard that their mortgage department is not customer friendly. Happened to walk into one of the mortgage offices last week looking for a branch and it looked forlorn.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:45 PM   #14
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First Tech is a great CU and has a very good, conservative, mortgage department if you are in their service area. Member of the CU ATM network.

We use WaMu and find that with few exceptions their customer service is excellent (every employer has one with an attitude). They have the features requested. I too have heard that their mortgage department is not customer friendly. Happened to walk into one of the mortgage offices last week looking for a branch and it looked forlorn.
Yes, WaMu's mortgage dept. has been a weak point for them. In fact I think I read that WaMu's profit outlook awhile back was going to "suffer becuase of problems at its mortgage arm".

Fortuneately, the bank is a pretty much a totally separate thing than the mortgage wing. Can't remember for sure, but seems like maybe WaMu was going to sell off some of its mortgage wing.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:30 PM   #15
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Here is a pretty good site for finding a local credit union Credit Unions Online - Credit Union Website Directory. If you travel a lot the Credit Unions have a system where you can go to another credit union and with your Membership Card and Drivers License make transactions at that credit union that will feed back to your parent credit union. I have not tried it but it seems interesting.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:28 PM   #16
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OK - I have money in Etrade Bank and in Countrywide Bank. I am covered by FDIC but if events continue I may have to move. So I'm looking for suggestions.
Trying to read between the lines, will you have to move because you'll exceed $100k in an account, and you don't want uninsured funds? Just wondering, because it's possible for a couple to have up to $400k of FDIC-insured funds at one bank. This would be $100k for the husband's individual account, $100k for the wife's individual account, and $200k for a joint account.

Anyway, I just wanted to check and see if this was the reason, because Countrywide is paying 5.4% APY right now, which is one of the top FDIC-insured rates around, and you may not want to move your money if you don't have to.

[edit: FYI, here's a link to the FDIC's Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator]
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:43 PM   #17
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If you are looking for a bricks and motar relationship, I found the larger community banks seem to be a cut above the "big guys" like Wells and BAC. Wells bought my community bank and within 3 months of taking over the operations, Wells pretty much sucked the soul out of employees. Most of the branch managers moved to community banks in the area. My limited experience was they wanted to charge for any and everything.
My community bank has free bill pay, free checking for over 50's, gave me a safe deposit box for the first year, and provides free overdraft protection. It is also nice to have the ability to walk in and actually be able to see the person when there is a problem to fixed--although there have been very few of them. I move $ monthly between the checking and Fido and had no problems.
You may also want to check into a new(?) cash manager offering Fido if you want just an online service. We do all our bill pay through them and have enjoyed problem free service.
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