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Old 01-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #41
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I asked Vanguard if they were ever going to get into online banking, and they told me "no" (as expected, just wanted to confirm). So I'll be opening an online savings or MMA account very soon, I'm leaning toward Ally or ING.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:38 PM   #42
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My spouse is very change-averse. We just closed our Bank of America accounts, relying instead on a trio of accounts: A new checking account at a local cooperative bank for cashiers checks and ATM deposits; a new Fidelity Cash Management Account for day-to-day checking, direct deposits, etc.; and a preexisting ING checking account, for high-yield. We also closed brokerage accounts at E-Trade (our pre-Fidelity brokerage), Columbia Management (inherited), Ameriprise (inherited), and earlier last year, and Wachovia (inherited), and did a lump-sum distribution rollover from a prior-employer pension plan, consolidating everything at Fidelity except current-employer 401(k)s, previous employer ESPPs, and the few funds we hold at Vanguard. Besides adding a cash management account at Fidelity, we've also added Roth IRAs, and we're now talking about doing Roth conversions. That's not to mention the closing of an old VISA account, and the opening of a new AMEX account. The number of changes have been overwhelming and so there is strong resistance to making further changes, even if they make sense.

What would make sense is switching from ING to Ally Bank. Besides the extra $250 in interest we'd earn each year, it seems like it might be a better overall solution. The website just seems more well-put-together as compared to ING's (and definitely better than Fidelity's). I'll be interested to hear anyone's in-depth impressions of the experience of doing things like Bill Paying, Remote Deposits, and electronic fund transfers on Ally Bank's website.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:06 PM   #43
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Well thanks for all the good info folks!

I'll be setting myself up one of these high yield savings accounts to store money I have set aside to pay estimated taxes and 1 year's expenses.

Probably American Express Bank, FSB.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:07 PM   #44
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So I'll be opening an online savings or MMA account very soon, I'm leaning toward Ally or ING.
FWIW, (per your earlier comment), GM isn't the majority owner of Ally anymore (they own about 9% of Ally). The US government owns 70% of the company (for better or worse).
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #45
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I checked these out through Bauer Financial (bauerfinancial.com) or bank rate. At Bauer Financial:

Citibank 4 star Excellent


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Just to clarify, CIT bank is not Citibank, both have 4 stars. Citibank rates are low, 0.20% for savings.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:46 PM   #46
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I checked these out through Bauer Financial (bauerfinancial.com) or bank rate. At Bauer Financial:

Citibank 4 star Excellent
Barclays 4 star Excellent
Sallie Mae 4 star Excellent
Ally 3-1/2 star Good
CapitalOne 3-1/2 star Good (acquiring ING)
Schwab 5 star Superior

ING 5 star Superior


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Frankly, as long as you stay under the FDIC limits, who cares what the rating is?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:18 PM   #47
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Frankly, as long as you stay under the FDIC limits, who cares what the rating is?
I was thinking the same thing other than perhaps a slightly higher risk of a temporary inability to access your savings if the bank was taken over but I think those takeovers are pretty seamless these days.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #48
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Frankly, as long as you stay under the FDIC limits, who cares what the rating is?
Good point. While there may be differences in service, apps/access and/or fees, with only a handful of transactions each year, "ratings" are probably pretty meaningless for me. YMMV
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #49
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Several posters have mentioned Capital One or "capone" . I had that too.

I opened an account with them a few years ago, back when they had a deal for Costco members. Then, their rate kept dropping, and when it was below 1%, I closed the account a couple of months ago.

I have had an account with Ford Interest Advantage for > 10 years. Their rate dropped like everyone else's, but it is still 1% minimum, and up to a whopping 1.10% for > $50K.

For most people wanting to park 1-year expenses, that's several hundred bucks, compared to what my BofA is paying me.

I never thought much about where to keep my cash, as I spent more time watching my stocks, but I will take a bit more care about this matter. May not be worth the trouble for somebody else to open an account, but since I already have one, I am going to transfer some money there.

PS. Ford Interest Advantage is not a bank, and not FDIC insured! I used to keep more money there, then transferred most out during the crisis of 2008-2009. Now that Ford seems to survive well, I am going to put some money back.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:56 AM   #50
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I use BoA, ING and Edward Jones for cash. I would like to keep about $40k in my current accounts, even at 0% interest.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:29 AM   #51
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I use BoA, ING and Edward Jones for cash. I would like to keep about $40k in my current accounts, even at 0% interest.
I usually have more than that, but now realize that it is not a good thing.

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It appears some of you don't subscribe to keeping 1, 2 even 3 years of cash on hand once you retire. I only kept an emergency fund when I was working, now I've let cash grow to 2-3 years worth of annual expenses...
I always had too much cash on hand when I was working, but that was because of poor money management. I was too busy with work, and kept telling myself I would find a place for it, while it was piling up at my BofA checking account. They love me!

But now that I have more time to arrange my finances better, it is certainly worth my time to put that money into a better place. Even at 1%, a 1-yr annual expense will get you some money worthwhile, all for a few extra mouse clicks to transfer money as you need it. All that extra interest money I let past my loose grip. Dumb!

I have a few years of expenses accumulated in his/her I-bonds (to get 2x the limit), and I count them as cash under Quicken, but I cannot bear to part with them, now that there's no way I can earn that interest elsewhere. And then, all the accrued interest over the years would get me a tax hit if I redeem.

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I do this frequently but learned the hard way with Band of America because they charge a fee to transfer funds. So, the way out of this is to request the transfer through ALLY. So when I want to transfer funds from BOA to ALLY, I ask ALLY to request the funds from BOA. No fee. Also, I have noticed that funds requested by ALLY from BOA only take two days as opposed to three days. Maybe not guaranteed, but common.
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I transfer funds between my BOA checking account and my Fidelity accounts all the time. I always initiate it from Fidelity, so I've never paid a fee.
Interesting! We have had the same BOA checking account for 25 years, and use it as a hub to transfer money between about 6 or 7 other accounts or brokerages.

Yet, as I always do it from the other sides, I never knew about BOA charging a fee if I do it from their side!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:39 AM   #52
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I have a few years of expenses accumulated in his/her I-bonds (to get 2x the limit), and I count them as cash under Quicken, but I cannot bear to part with them, now that there's no way I can earn that interest elsewhere. And then, all the accrued interest over the years would get me a tax hit if I redeem.
I also have good chunk in I-bonds held as part of the cash component of my portfolio AA. Wow, they are 10 years old now! I won't part with them either due to their generous rate - so I guess I'll be holding them another 20 years!
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #53
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Perhaps you are like some other posters who loaded up on them around the 2000 time frame. I was too dumb to see that as a good deal, because my stocks were doing so much better! Hah! I did not see the light until about 2004. The limit was still at $20K/person/yr, so I got max money in for both of us for some years.

Anyway, I wonder how much money is at Treasury Direct, locked up like ours. There you go, like another poster said in another thread, all those "gift cards" that never get redeemed for merchandise. That's what keeps inflation low, and allows more "gift cards" to be issued, while the store shelves might be, ahem, not all that well stocked.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:50 AM   #54
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PS. Ford Interest Advantage is not a bank, and not FDIC insured! I used to keep more money there, then transferred most out during the crisis of 2008-2009. Now that Ford seems to survive well, I am going to put some money back.
When you mentioned this I checked it, as you say not FDIC and it is not a MM. It invest in Ford motor notes, so basically a bond fund. I agree F did survive well, I think I might buy their notes in my brokerage account and just hold them, interest would in the 3 - 4% range.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:56 AM   #55
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I never bought their notes, and only have money in the 1% MM-like account. Perhaps I should buy the note itself.

Regarding Ford financial status, it has always done well, relative to GM for example. The current condition looks favorable. They just today announce hiring some 2,200 salaried workers.

PS. In 2009, after the market stabilized and I was buying back some stocks, somehow I did not buy back F, although it was clear that they did well through that fiasco. Oh well. So many good stocks, so little money.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:02 AM   #56
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Perhaps you are like some other posters who loaded up on them around the 2000 time frame. I was too dumb to see that as a good deal, because my stocks were doing so much better! Hah! I did not see the light until about 2004. The limit was still at $20K/person/yr, so I got max money in for both of us for some years.
Early 2003, and the limit was $30K/person/yr. Of course, like many now, I wish I had bought more!
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:09 AM   #57
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It could have been $30K limit when I bought too. Can't remember, but now as I just looked that them, the largest chunks were $20K.

Another wrong thing I did was not to buy in smaller chunks like $5K for better granularity. That way, I would only redeem as much as I need. Oh well, it might not matter if they are "buy, never sell" assets.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:12 AM   #58
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I've kept our reserve stash of one year budget plus expected large non-budget expenses in two muni funds at USAA for a couple of years now.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #59
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I'm a Vanguard guy and use Ally checking/savings as my base account rather than using Prime MM. Distributions go right into Ally and at any time I can make same day purchases of any of my Vanguard funds out of Ally. Hey, 1% on 20 grand is $200 and it's FDIC insured. It's as simple as using the MM so why earn nothing?
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #60
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Interesting! We have had the same BOA checking account for 25 years, and use it as a hub to transfer money between about 6 or 7 other accounts or brokerages.

Yet, as I always do it from the other sides, I never knew about BOA charging a fee if I do it from their side!
I have been a BOA (or their predecessors such as Fleet and Nat West) customer for nearly 24 years and have also never been charged a fee for any electronic transfer such as paycheck direct deposit, money transfers to/from brokerage accounts, and ACH bill payments, all of which initiated from the other parties.

One way to initiate money transfers from BOA without incurring a fee is to use their online banking feature. I do this for my one remaining monthly bill.
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