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Old 03-28-2018, 02:42 AM   #21
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....The 2% is another tough decision. I've always had a 1% cash back card, and I use the card's annual report to keep expenses straight for taxes. I have to be very careful on switching since I already spend 40+ hours compiling the numbers for taxes, not having an annual report that can be imported into excel would be murder. ...
40+ hours... wow!

I use Quicken and have my credit card defined as a Quicken account and periodically import transactions and categorize them so I have what I need for tax purposes.... since many of my credit card vendor transactions are repeated, Quicken remembers the categorization after I have done it once (but I can override the categorization if it is inappropriate)... then withint Quicken each category is mapped to a relevant tax line and at the end of the year I just run a report for the needed tax info. Much less than 40 hours.

Or worst case, just import cc transactions to an Excel workbook, tag those needed for taxes and then run a pivot table report.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:48 AM   #22
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I've been very happy with an online savings account at Discover Bank for many years now.

If you travel, my debit card from Schwab Bank lets me get local currency from an ATM at no cost. ...
+1 we have had Discover Bank for years and are happy with them... they seem to do a good job keeping their rates competitive... each time I start to think about looking around they seem to increase thier rates to be competitive again.

Our local bank ATM card is part of the Allpoint network which has no cost ATMs where we travel.

While many of our friends who snowbird have felt a need to set up a local bank account here in Florida, between mobile banking and the Allpoint network, we have had no need to do so.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:53 AM   #23
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Given the schwab account has the international ATM, that looks like the path I should pursue, along with a BOA or Wellsfargo account for COLD HARD CASH. Not a big fan of ATM 20's.
I use Schwab Bank exclusively and I am also am not a big fan of being limited by ATM 20's, and since I do not have any other bank accounts, which means I have no local bank account, here is how I deal with getting cash...

I learned that I can get a cash advance from the Schwab debit visa card (NOT a credit card) by going inside a local bank of which I am not a customer and using a teller, as opposed to going to the ATM. The benefit to getting cash this way is 1) you avoid the ATM transaction limit (which is usually $400 - $500 depending on the ATM), and 2) you can get whatever combination of denomination bills you want, whereas most ATMs only give you $20 bills, and 3) you do not have to pay an ATM fee. To be clear, this is NOT a credit card cash advance, this is a debit card cash advance, the money is withdrawn directly from your checking account and there are no interest charges. I was not aware that a debit card cash advance was an option until it was explained to me by a very helpful Schwab customer service rep. I should also note, based on my research, that most U.S. banks do offer debit card cash advances, but a few don't, including Citibank and Suntrust (again, based on my research, not based on personal experience). I can only say from my personal experience that there is a Chase branch close to me that does provide the service.

Regarding the cash advance fee, the local bank from which you draw money is still charging a fee through the visa cash advance system (although it is a debit card cash advance, it uses the visa cash advance system), and that fee is being paid by Schwab to the bank as a fee for using them to advance cash to you, but the difference is you as the customer do not see the fee and do not pay the fee, it is being paid behind the scenes between Schwab and the local bank. This is different from the situation where you use the ATM and you do have to pay a fee (usually $3) and then you get an entry on your statement for $303.00 when you withdrwaw $300 from an ATM, and then at the end of the month you get a $3 credit from Schwab for the fee. The benefit to using the card as a cash advance is for spreadsheet nerds like me, when you get a cash advance, you only see a $300 transaction on your statement and it is much cleaner from a bookkeeping perspective and there is no need to account for the $3 with another transaction to balance out your records.

Here is another tip: Some banks are now deploying newer more advanced ATMs that have higher cash limits, and allow the selection of different denominations of bills, not just $20s. For example, I recently went to a local Chase branch that has a newer free standing ATM inside the lobby next to the teller windows as well as an ATM outside built in to the wall of the building. A teller inside the bank explained that the cash limit for the outside ATM was $500 whereas the cash limit for the newer machine inside the lobby was $3,000. (I speculate that the cash limit was higher for the ATM inside the lobby because it was in a more secure location only accessible during normal lobby operating hours so there is a lower risk of theft or vandalism, and they want to encourage people to use the ATM instead of the tellers for more transactions, and it was clearly a newer machine with more features) I was able to use the inside ATM to withdraw cash over $500 and get different denominations, the only denomination that I wanted that it did not have was $50s, but I was able to go to the teller window after withdrawing my cash and exchanging some of the $20s for $50s.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:13 AM   #24
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Another vote for Schwab here. I use it as a backup to my local brick and motor bank but I have no complaints with their services and wouldn't hesitate to use them exclusively if I ever dump my local bank. I had Ally a few years ago too but never used them very much. Their (Ally) customer services was good but so is Schwabs! Free (reimbursed) ATM's is a nice value add which I ofetn use. Some ATM's fee's I've used are as high as $5 per transaction. So a few ATM's transactions a month can add up. Free is good!
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:09 PM   #25
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40+ hours... wow!
That's just to prepare it for hand off to the accountant.
900 lines of credit card transactions, 3-4 checking accounts, misc bill pay records etc have to be reviewed. Then I need to allocate the purchases to rentals, business expenses, and personal.

It ain't easy being a boy named sue!
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:49 PM   #26
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That's just to prepare it for hand off to the accountant.
900 lines of credit card transactions, 3-4 checking accounts, misc bill pay records etc have to be reviewed. Then I need to allocate the purchases to rentals, business expenses, and personal.

It ain't easy being a boy named sue!
It ain't easy making money. The gal goes through all the applicable card, cash, and checking accounts to be sure I haven't mis-categorized any transactions. Probably 18 active cards, many that I just run up bonus trigger amounts on. Then the individual loan accounts and various bank savings and CD accounts and the stock and bond stuff...
We have been very granular in Quicken on categories but those categories don't match IRS categories. After all looks accurate we fold our categories into the IRS ones, then divide by two because we file as singles. Ship it all off to the tax person, who sends us a draft to review. We pretty much always find errors, either in what we submitted or in her entries, so send the corrected or questioned parts back and wait for our hard copy (ours is due in the mail tomorrow). Then it's just a matter of paying her and sending checks to two states and the Feds for both of us.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:55 PM   #27
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It ain't easy making money. The gal goes through all the applicable card, cash, and checking accounts to be sure I haven't mis-categorized any transactions. Probably 18 active cards, many that I just run up bonus trigger amounts on. Then the individual loan accounts and various bank savings and CD accounts and the stock and bond stuff...
We have been very granular in Quicken on categories but those categories don't match IRS categories. After all looks accurate we fold our categories into the IRS ones, then divide by two because we file as singles. Ship it all off to the tax person, who sends us a draft to review. We pretty much always find errors, either in what we submitted or in her entries, so send the corrected or questioned parts back and wait for our hard copy (ours is due in the mail tomorrow). Then it's just a matter of paying her and sending checks to two states and the Feds for both of us.
That's what caused me to think about the chasing pennies with dollars. 1% vs 2% cashback, bonus triggers for switching etc. Given how complicated tax time is already.

Still a good problem to have.
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Best overall Internet Bank?
Old 03-28-2018, 07:53 PM   #28
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Best overall Internet Bank?

Surprised to see comments that ATMs only dispense 20s. Haven't seen any of those ATMs in a LONG while. I pretty much only use BOA ATMs and some do offer choice of denomination but most just choose for you and prefer 50s. BIL works for the bank managing the ATM service network and says it's a huge ongoing internal debate to use only 50s but they have too many $30 transactions. It cost them a lot to refill machines that run dry over the weekend.
Besides BOA I use GS Bank and Ally to store cash.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:18 PM   #29
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Not sure the concept of “bank” fits today’s world.

When Fidelity can do everything your former bank does, plus offer every service your former broker offered, and provide slick online service - plus incredibly helpful phone support - plus online models - plus real-time shared-computer meetings, etc ....why use a bank ...except for safety deposit box and notary services 😀
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:32 PM   #30
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Not sure the concept of “bank” fits today’s world.

When Fidelity can do everything your former bank does, plus offer every service your former broker offered, and provide slick online service - plus incredibly helpful phone support - plus online models - plus real-time shared-computer meetings, etc ....why use a bank ...except for safety deposit box and notary services 😀
Um - they still don't give you the interest you can get in a FDIC insured high yield savings account. Which is why I still have several.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:36 PM   #31
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The Fidelity Gold Visa check card does charge 1% FTF for debit purchases, but NO FTF for ATM withdrawals. They also refund any ATM fees. This has been my personal experience for years and it was recently confirmed again on FlyerTalk. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cred...rfriendly.html
They need to clear this up in the terms and market this better.

Fidelity Visa Signature charges 1% FTF but gives 2% cashback. I’m in the process of switching to the Alliant card I mentioned above that has no FTF and 3% (later 2.5%) cashback. I have a message in to Alliant to see if their debit card charges a FTF at the ATM.
Right - that has been my experience. No FTF fees for ATM withdrawals, but 1% for POS use. Last year I didn't use my Fidelity Check card in Europe because my First Tech credit chip and PIN card took care of automated POS machines with PIN.

This year I'll probably be using my Costco Citi VISA card quite a bit for hotels and dining overseas with their generous 3% travel rewards and new no FTF.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:41 PM   #32
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This was my initial thoughts on the fidelity account, only to find out after reading the disclosures that it had a foreign currency fee.

Does Schwab really convert to foreign currency no fee and at market exchange rates?

GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE. Money spread out in a bunch of different places.
There is no FTF for ATM withdrawals.

There is a 1% fee if you use it at a point of sale terminal at a merchant or automated machine. It's better to use a no FTF credit card anyway for those transactions if you have a credit card that works well in Europe (chip, ideally with embedded PIN for automated machines).
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:22 PM   #33
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Surprised to see comments that ATMs only dispense 20s. Haven't seen any of those ATMs in a LONG while. I pretty much only use BOA ATMs and some do offer choice of denomination but most just choose for you and prefer 50s. BIL works for the bank managing the ATM service network and says it's a huge ongoing internal debate to use only 50s but they have too many $30 transactions. It cost them a lot to refill machines that run dry over the weekend.
Besides BOA I use GS Bank and Ally to store cash.
I bank with BOA and only get 20s (No option given). I would change banks if they only gave out 50s as most places here won't take them and its not worth the hassle. If my purchase is $50 or more I would use credit anyway.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:26 AM   #34
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I use EverBank to park CD money. Fidelity for almost everything else. Love the cash back card. Use my card for almost all my transactions
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Old 03-30-2018, 12:07 PM   #35
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Hi Luck Club, I also have started using Fidelity brokerage cash management since I retired last summer as my main banking. You can change your core account from the standard low rate that is setup to a new core account with higher rate. Under the Positions section click on the symbol and when it expands you have the option to "Change Core Position". I am using FZFXX FIDELITY TREASURY MONEY MARKET FUND at 1.24% current yield and it works just like the core account.


I also have the 2% Fidelity credit card that Braumeister mentions and it adds to this core account automatically everytime it hits 5000 pts.
I chase nickles and went to implement this plan. Got this:


Note: There Are No Other Core Options for This Account
There are no other core options available for your account. Additional options might be available by calling a Fidelity representative at 800-544-6666.

Perhaps this is because all we have is a couple Fidelity cards and the account for the card points to pour cash into.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:49 PM   #36
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I chase nickles and went to implement this plan. Got this:


Note: There Are No Other Core Options for This Account
There are no other core options available for your account. Additional options might be available by calling a Fidelity representative at 800-544-6666.

Perhaps this is because all we have is a couple Fidelity cards and the account for the card points to pour cash into.
That's what I got too. I have to manually move money out of core, which I think yields .75% into something higher. From what I was told I did it backwards, should have opened a brokerage account, then added cash management too it which is what I thought I did. OH well more accounts with small balances to manage. PITA!
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:39 PM   #37
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I just fired my local Credit Union where I have been a member for decades. They now act more like in impersonal mega-bank than a CU. Seeking a better rate on my 1 year CD's I checked them out and compared them my mega-bank and and online bank:

Mega Bank - .45%
Local CU - .55%
Internet Bank - 2%

I never use their local office and have no plans to take out a loan for a new boat, house or car. There is always a wait to talk to somebody from what I have seen. Worse they do annoying thing like advertise 6.2% on member savings, and in tiny print add "up to the first $500", click on the terms and conditions and you find out the rate for $501+ is 0.10%. I really don't like that type of come-on advertising.
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:55 PM   #38
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I have mostly ditched my credit union (BECU), as they can't compete on interest rates with Ally (and they don't have an ATM, not even a partner credit union ATM, within walking distance of home, but there are at least 5 banks).

Every ATM I have used in the EU has only given out 50s, which annoys me - it's really hard to spend enough (cash, that is) to justify making a small business give me all their change when I buy something with a 50.

I have never met a BofA ATM that gave anything other than $20 bills, maybe this is a geographic thing.

I personally hope BofA doesn't switch their ATMs to $50s only.
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Old 03-30-2018, 06:35 PM   #39
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I have mostly ditched my credit union (BECU), as they can't compete on interest rates with Ally (and they don't have an ATM, not even a partner credit union ATM, within walking distance of home, but there are at least 5 banks).

Every ATM I have used in the EU has only given out 50s, which annoys me - it's really hard to spend enough (cash, that is) to justify making a small business give me all their change when I buy something with a 50.

I have never met a BofA ATM that gave anything other than $20 bills, maybe this is a geographic thing.

I personally hope BofA doesn't switch their ATMs to $50s only.
Might be a geographic thing, as BOA machines in Florida give a choice of 10's or 20's.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:24 AM   #40
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I use Capital One. I like their website; decent rate on the money market account, even a little bit of interest on the checking account. I also have a Venture card, and I can see all 3 in the same place, which I like. They have great customer service. The one good thing is that even though I opened the accounts online, there are actual branches here in DC and VA (where i work and live), and Capital One ATMs in the metro stations, so it's very convenient for me to get money if needed.


But, my brokerage account and IRAs are at Schwab...I need to look into Schwab banking!
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