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Old 10-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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What is the best and/or worst financial decision made by....

I hope that I am placing this Thread in the right location on this forum?

I am shopping for a new bank, and I would like to move my checking, savings, and Home Equity Loan (HEL), sometime soon.

My question is...Which US banks have made the best financial decisions, and which have made the worst, over the last couple of years?

I will start with my current bank... Bank of America, buying out Countrywide home loans, was a really bad move. I think, or am I missing something here? Also, the $5 charge for using their debit card is getting a lot of negtive reaction on facebook, (over 200,000 people, and growing).

I am also looking for the best interest rates given for a HEL. My house is paid off, and no other large loans outstanding. I retired in 2005 after serving as a Wildland Fireman for 30 years.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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How about a nice credit union? PenFed will take anyone who wishes to join and is generally well regarded.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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How about a nice credit union?
+1

I saw a blub on the local news last night where a number of local credit unions were reporting significant increases in membership applications. One reported they opened more than 600 new accounts last week, six times their average. When asked if the accounts were coming from B of A, the CU rep. grinned and said "no comment".
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Do credit unions typically provide services like medallion signature guarantees?
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #5
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How about a nice credit union? PenFed will take anyone who wishes to join and is generally well regarded.
I checked with one of the biggest credit unions in the greater Redding area today. Their interest rate for a HEL was over 9%, thats 3 times the rate I'm paying now at 2.99%. I will keep checking with every bank & CU in my area. I wish the local bank here in Shasta Lake had lower rates on their HEL's.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
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I checked with one of the biggest credit unions in the greater Redding area today. Their interest rate for a HEL was over 9%, thats 3 times the rate I'm paying now at 2.99%. I will keep checking with every bank & CU in my area. I wish the local bank here in Shasta Lake had lower rates on their HEL's.

www.penfed.org
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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I will keep checking with every bank & CU in my area.
Don't limit yourself by area. This Intertube thing is really slick when it comes to 'banking' wherever you can find the best deal
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
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Do credit unions typically provide services like medallion signature guarantees?
If that's your criteria for choosing a financial institution then maybe you need to reconsider engaging in whatever creates the need to have medallion signature guarantees.

I've happily gone without a bank for over three decades... and I've happily gone without medallion signature guarantees for my entire life.

PenFed has its problems and Navy Federal Credit Union has its restrictions, but I'm happy to only pay for the services I care about.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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I would have sent OP to Navy Fed as well, but they are hard to weasel into if you are not military. I got in the back door, but it is closed now AFAIK.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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I suspect the moneychangers banks have learned from the airline industry. That'll be $3.00 please.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:10 AM   #11
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If that's your criteria for choosing a financial institution then maybe you need to reconsider engaging in whatever creates the need to have medallion signature guarantees.

I've happily gone without a bank for over three decades... and I've happily gone without medallion signature guarantees for my entire life.

PenFed has its problems and Navy Federal Credit Union has its restrictions, but I'm happy to only pay for the services I care about.
Your level of financial sophistication is impressive.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:31 AM   #12
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Your level of financial sophistication is impressive.
We told him he should write a book about it - and he did.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:29 AM   #13
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Just happened to catch this piece of news:
In another move designed to return maximum value to its members, PenFed announced today that it has eliminated the Foreign Transaction Fee from the remainder of its credit card programs currently available in its card portfolio.
Now all PenFed cardholders traveling overseas with a PenFed credit card can be certain that they will not be paying a foreign transaction fee; no matter which PenFed card they carry.
"Staying true to PenFed's core principles to bring products to our membership that have everyday value is a key element to the successful growth of the credit union," says Deborah Ames-Naylor, Executive Vice President, Credit and Collections, PenFed. "Eliminating the Foreign Transaction Fee on all of the credit cards in our portfolio is just our way of creating a unique and competitive line of cards that come packed with practical benefits that our members can actually utilize."
PenFed's two most popular "Best in Class" cards, The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American(R) Express Card and the PenFed Promise Card have both been void of the Foreign Transaction Fee all along. However, the fee has now been eliminated from PenFed's Platinum Cash Rewards Card, Visa Gold and Visa Classic and MasterCard programs, which is a competitive distinction in the card industry.
The Foreign Transaction Fee elimination on the remaining Penfed credit card programs is effective immediately. The new terms will apply to both new cardholders and existing PenFed cardholders.


Nice!
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
If that's your criteria for choosing a financial institution then maybe you need to reconsider engaging in whatever creates the need to have medallion signature guarantees.

I've happily gone without a bank for over three decades... and I've happily gone without medallion signature guarantees for my entire life.

PenFed has its problems and Navy Federal Credit Union has its restrictions, but I'm happy to only pay for the services I care about.
I had an occasion where Vanguard required a medallion signature and my credit union was able to do one.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:29 AM   #15
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Just happened to catch this piece of news:
In another move designed to return maximum value to its members, PenFed announced today that it has eliminated the Foreign Transaction Fee from the remainder of its credit card programs currently available in its card portfolio.
Excellent-- Bangkok here we come!
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:49 AM   #16
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Perhaps my experience with credit unions is atypical.
During the 60's and 70's my credit union was pretty good for savers. For the next 20 years (80's and 90's) the rates for deposits became unattractive as the credit union seemed shift its operations to favor the borrowers over the depositors.
In the early 1980's I reduced the payroll deduction for my credit union account to cover monthly US savings bond purchases.
Five years after retiring, I got jerked around when I tried closing my credit union account and had to resort to contacting an acquaintance of mine who was a credit union board member.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:45 AM   #17
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Perhaps my experience with credit unions is atypical.
No surprise, some CU's are better than others and small CU's can be quirky, but I wouldn't base my opinion of all CU's on one bad experience.

For the most part I think you'll find CU's, especially larger ones, are well-run and have some advantages over banks due to the fact they are "not for profit" organizations.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:44 AM   #18
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Listening to a Smith Barney broker. He put me in a stock but did not call me on the way down although he got out and told my accountant to get out also. the stock went from $20.00 to 1.00 dollar. As all brokers he was a good saleman, but had little regard for my investments. This taught me a lesson about brokers! Best investment, invested in myself and started a small business, and left the corporate world. Worst, investment, decided not to go into the military officer training program while in college, chickened out!
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