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Old 10-05-2010, 01:56 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Made me look. Apparently my utility just eats the credit card charge.
Made me look also.... it is my gas bill and they charge $2.95 (thought it was more since I paid two when I did it)... since that means I have to get over $236 on the bill with my 1.25% card.... well, it is not happening...

Just changed electric companies... have not looked to see what options they have...
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:19 PM   #22
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It has always been free with my USAA bank checking account.
I have been with USAA for years but I believe that it's free only if you have direct deposit (job or pension). I am vary happy with their entire set-up.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Bank of America has great online bill pay -- free.

It is the only thing I like about BOA, I might add, and is one of very few "free" things they offer.
Interesting how different people have really different experiences with the same institution. Region, chance, whatever, but I really like B of A. When I left the east coast, they were my first west coast bank-over 40 years ago. They are again my bank, and have been for 20 years or so due to roll-ups of regional NW banks that eventually led back to B of A.

Right now it is hard (perhaps impossible)to get a decent CD rate from them, but in every other way my experience with them has been pleasant and very helpful. And unlike some banks and CUs, they can do anything that I might need done. Never a fee, never a grumble or blank look.

Ha
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:13 PM   #24
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If you can keep $25,000 combined in your IRA, brokerage, & checking, then the only game in town is the WellsFargo PMA package. Everything is FREE. You get free trades on everything which is worth it alone.

Otherwise, USAA is a good place. I currently have $0.00 in my USAA checking and have never been charged a fee. In fact, I wouldn't even have a USAA account if they didn't pay me indirectly $6000 over the last few years.
Wells Fargo just starting charging me a service fee to use Quicken directly. They said I could use the download feature from their web site for free.

I told them I might close all of my accounts because of this - I've been waiting for a reason to leave.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #25
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I called to have the charge removed. They changed my account type (now, that I'm over 50) and lo & behold - not only is the fee removed, but the minimum is reduced too!
What account type do you have now? The cs rep never suggested I switch account types. I'm not over 50 though.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #26
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Ha, when you opened an account way back when it was with the original Bank of America, founded as the Bank of Italy in California 100 years ago. What is today known as Bank of America is the result of numerous mergers over the years. The HQ of the bank moved from California to North Carolina after a "merger" with NationsBank (formerly North Carolina National Bank) in 1998. Although the transaction was called a merger, it was actually a purchase of BofA by NationsBank. The HQ of the new BofA moved to North Carolina and the senior management of the old BofA was purged within a few months. The culture of the west coast branches began to change quickly under the former NationsBank leadership.

What remains of the culture of the original California BofA is rapidly dissipating as employees move on or retire, replaced with 'new and improved' ways of doing business. As a result, you may soon become acquainted with what Audrey and Rich are describing.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #27
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+1 (especially about the "only thing I like about BOA")

Actually, I like thier atms too! Thier online banking is quite good and they seem to be constantly improving it. Free with direct deposit.

OTOH it is AMAZING the lame excuses reasons that some folks use to avoid online banking..... DW absolutely REFUSES to do anything other than write a paper check even tho I've begged her to let me set up autopay on her BofA account.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:24 PM   #28
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What remains of the culture of the original California BofA is rapidly dissipating as employees move on or retire, replaced with 'new and improved' ways of doing business. As a result, you may soon become acquainted with what Audrey and Rich are describing.
Ah, I see. Well then I suppose I will be very sorry to see the change. I hope it takes a while arriving here.

Ha
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:30 PM   #29
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I use BofA, too. They bought out Fleet a few years ago, and Fleet gobbled up Nat West back in the mid-1990s. My local BofA was a Nat West bank back in the 1980s.

Over the years, especially in the Fleet years, the bank gradually made some of its privileges more costly or took them away. NW had a drive-up teller which got replaced by a drive-up ATM after Fleet took over. NW had a linked MM savings account which could be used to get free checking, in effect giving me an interest-bearing checking account with a pretty low minimum balance ($1,500). But that disappeared when Fleet took over, forcing me to merge the two accounts and lose the $7 per month I had been earning, in effect a monthly fee.

Fleet (and its competitors) also began charging ATM fees to use other bank's ATMs, a practice which accelerated greatly in the 1990s. So I had fewer ATMs to choose from. Thankfully, Fleet was gobbling up lots of smaller, local banks so their ATM network expanded, not only here but near my former (yay) office in Jersey CIty, New Jersey.

Fleet began to increase its minimum daily balance to avoid monthly checking account fees. They also converted from an average daily balance to a minimum daily balance, the latter being in effect higher than the former because you could not slip below the minimum for even one day without getting hit with the fee.

Surprisingly, after BofA took over for Fleet, the minimum daily balances dropped although a recent increase has pretty much done away with that. However, BofA has a MyAccess checking account which allows free checking if you have a direct deposit every month, something Fleet did not have IIRC.

But BofA (and other banks, probably) stopped returning canceled checks with their monthly statements a few years ago, replacing them with check images. However, BofA starting next January will begin charging us for those images in the statements. We can sign up for online banking to view and print those images at no charge, so I will probably have to do that, reluctantly.

At least BofA doesn't charge me for using their tellers who are usually idle when I go in there at 11 AM on a typical weekday once a month. And their own ATMs are free to use and they finally added an express feature for preset $$ withdrawals Fleet had. (It took them a few years to get that done here in NY; they had it done in NJ earlier when I was still working there.)

I have electronic auto-payments as I had with NW and Fleet as well as direct deposits, pretty standard stuff at no charge. I don't care about their CD rates or loans or IRAs because I am debt-free and invest elsewhere. If I happen to use my debit card once in a while to buy something, I don't get charged for it.

So I get from BofA what I need to get from them for my everyday banking purposes. They are the hub of my day-to-day transactions but I leave just enough with them to avoid fees. BofA has made this a little more difficult with their latest round of changes (canceled checks) but I still hang in there with them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:59 PM   #30
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Thanks everyone; in the end I decided to go with the place that gives me the highest interest and a good history of paying high interest - that is alliant. I tend to keep / accumulate some left-over money over time before transfering it out and I figured might as well earn highest interest from this money. Other services that I care about should be free there as well.

I was also thinking about using AmericaNet/Evantage Bank but since I already had another account with alliant, did not go there... Wonder if other folks here have experience with AmericaNet or Evantage Bank. (I noticed their bill pay is free for first 10 txns only but that should be more than enough for me.)
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