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Old 09-28-2014, 10:42 AM   #1
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Online Banking?

I am ready to leave Bank of America. We take many impromptu trips on the weekend and twice I have had my debit card rejected because BoA didn't know about my travel plans! Does anyone bank with Ally? I do deposit physical checks at least once a month and didn't know if that would be a hassle. I live in the Pacific Northwest and have also started looking at Umqua Bank.
I will be retiring in 2 months and will need to have everything set up at least 30 days before so my pension can be deposited into the account.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:11 AM   #2
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I think you're looking at a two edge sword here - pretty solid fraud protection at the risk of the occasional rejection vs less monitoring in exchange for potentially less fraud protection.

BofA does now have an EZ online tool to advise of change in buying behavior patterns (i.e. travel). It might work well with your spontaneous travel lifestyle.

We do carry a second credit card as well, for 'just in case' scenarios such as you've described.

Edit: BofA was pretty quick to adapt to our changing buying patterns in retirement. (I.e., frequent RV trips including lots of charges at gas stations, campgrounds, RV parks and restaurants in non-local areas.) One call to explain your lifestyle change, or same via their online tool, might be enough to resolve your issues.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:20 AM   #3
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Have had cd's and money market with Ally , and the failed predecessor for years. Never had a checking acct. with them. They really do have 24/7 call center support , and the call center is in the US.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:36 AM   #4
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Agree with RetiredandFree about letting them know about your travels... especially for a debit card....


Not sure about BofA, but at least once when we did inform Capital One about travel, they kinda ignored that DW was traveling... when I called and asked, they said "Why did you not inform us?" to which I replied "I did".... they looked and saw that I did... so, it is not always 100% accurate, but at least a good step...
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:59 AM   #5
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BofA is aggressive about shutting down cards when the spending pattern changes, but they have also immediately reactivated them when called. Assuming you are willing to make a quick phone call when fraud triggers are tripped, they should be no problem to use.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:07 PM   #6
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Look at Schwab bank. Online banking, access protected by hardware Symantec VIP key. Excellent exchange rates when using ATMs oversees.

Google it. It is rated very highly....

But it is good to have also local bank account.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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This is very minor for your issues, but even BofA allows smartphone check deposits with their free app. Take pictures, send them in , keep the paper check for 14 days. The whole thing takes 90 seconds and you need not go near the bank.

Ahh...looks like Umpqua has a similar program anyway and so does Ally!
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:17 PM   #8
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BoA isn't consistent with deciding to deny my debit card. I've used this debit card in Oregon, different places in Washington and even took a 2 week vacation in Canada where thankfully my card worked for buying some groceries.
Thanks for some of the tips you all have given me. Yes, maybe I had better keep some kind of local bank branch available.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:31 PM   #9
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Why would one do online banking without 2 factor authentication?

That is without RSA or Symantec hardware key.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:38 PM   #10
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BofA is aggressive about shutting down cards when the spending pattern changes, but they have also immediately reactivated them when called. Assuming you are willing to make a quick phone call when fraud triggers are tripped, they should be no problem to use.
Unfortunately Tracfone doesn't work in Canada so I can't get an alert.
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Old 09-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #11
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I recently closed an account with BofA that I'd had for 30 years. You can imagine it took a lot to overcome my inertia!

I use Schwab Investor Checking tied to my brokerage account and love it! Mobile check deposit, all ATM fees reimbursed, and no foreign transaction fees.

I plan to open up a small credit union checking account to replace BofA account, but will choose one with mobile check deposit for sure.

As a frequent international traveler to VERY sketchy places, I am long-accustomed to notifying credit card and banks of my whereabouts.

When DH's Schwab card was declined in remote Siberia, I was able to call them and sort it immediately. Most of the time our problems are when the local (where we are traveling) system is down. We always carry a backup card on another system, as well as at least three credit cards.

Although I did forget to call Schwab to tell them I was going to Canada earlier this year, and had to send a message online to get it turned on after I got up there.
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:05 PM   #12
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I have a savings account at Ally just to park some cash earning 0.9%. All normal banking type activities are done through a cash management account at Fidelity. I also have a Wells Fargo account just in case I need some local brick-and-mortar type service that Fidelity doesn't offer. But I hardly ever use it. The Fidelity cash management account has check-writing, bill pay, free ATM, mobile check deposit, FDIC insurance, and no fees. I never use debit cards except at ATMs. When traveling, I call the credit card company and give them my dates and locations. Never had any trouble.
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:36 PM   #13
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Fidelity, US Bank, American Express Bluebird, are all OK.
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:37 PM   #14
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The OP mentioned having debit frozen while away from home. I don't use debit much. However, I have had my credit card frozen twice while traveling, despite informing the financial institution beforehand. There is always some small print to notify you that they are not responsible. Therefore I now carry three credit cards (all no-fee, of course) and two debit cards, and I always get some of the local currency. Just in case.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
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My federal credit union will reject charges to my debit card if they are made from any substantial distance from my home area. I'm ok with this. I don't mean in the next town over, but for instance if I am hundreds or more miles from home. I was once the victim of somebody fraudulently charging $500 to a debit card of mine (different credit union) and I didn't like it. I'm happy that my current bank keeps a close eye on thing for me. All I have to do is give them a quick call when I'm traveling and let them know, and then there is no issue. IMHO, a small price to pay for the security.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:34 PM   #16
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Why worry about a debit card … don't you use a cash-back credit card instead? And pay in full every month.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by FedExCourier View Post
BoA isn't consistent with deciding to deny my debit card. I've used this debit card in Oregon, different places in Washington and even took a 2 week vacation in Canada where thankfully my card worked for buying some groceries.
Thanks for some of the tips you all have given me. Yes, maybe I had better keep some kind of local bank branch available.
I bank with BOA. Never had your problem. My card is a combination credit/debit card. When traveling out of my immediate area, I always use the card as a credit card. Also, I get instant emails from BOA if debits or checks exceed a limit set by me.

PS: I'm starting to see more use of the new "chip" credit machines in stores. Looks like were on our way to a more secure system.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:12 PM   #18
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I travel somewhat spontaneously and never had this problem with BofA. I did have fraudulent charges on my card during one trip. BofA caught the problem and sent me email, voicemail and a text message. When I contacted them, they reversed the charges and issued a new card. I was very pleased with the way it was handled. I guess it could have gotten ugly if the charges had been detected before I returned home, but I have a backup card if case of a problem.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:39 PM   #19
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Look at Schwab bank. Online banking, access protected by hardware Symantec VIP key. Excellent exchange rates when using ATMs oversees.

Google it. It is rated very highly....

But it is good to have also local bank account.
+1 While living abroad Schwab has been my good friend.

FWIW, a Visa Fraud agent once told me that (Visa) would not deny an ATM transaction when I was abroad, even if I had not notified my bank of my travel plans. Using my Debit card at a merchant was an entirely different matter and could easily trigger a refusal to accept the charges if my account had not been 'flagged' with a notice that I was traveling abroad.

Don't shoot the messenger, its just what I was told.

I have used ATM cards, from several different banks, in Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Kenya and China and never notified the bank of my whereabouts. I don't carry my ATM card on my person; I keep it locked up back in the room in my Pac Safe. The only time I carry my card is when I'm making an ATM run or on a motorcycle trip.

I have received the message "Contact your Financial Institution" and no money, but I believe that was usually because the system was down.
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:09 AM   #20
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Another enthusiastic Schwab bank customer. Really excellent customer service.
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