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Chit Chat

Choosing banks

lkristenjlkristenj member
Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
edited June 2014 in Chit Chat
FI and I will be opening joint checking and savings accounts soon. We currently have accounts at two different major banks. His priority is to have everything at one bank for simplicity and ease-of-access in emergencies. We are both willing to move banks to the other, or start over with a bank that's new to both of us. I thought I'd ask you lovelies about the pros and cons of certain banks. What was your experience like when shopping around for your bank? What were your priorities when looking for a bank? I know that banking is very personal and I don't want to get into any sensitive information being given. If you feel comfortable posting something that you think might be helpful or useful, please do. ETA: Sorry, TK stole my paragraphs

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"They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, 'Search for Paradise.' " - Kiba, Wolf's Rain

Re: Choosing banks

  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    We were in a similar situation when we combined.  We ended up going with my bank because they offered a corporate discount that eliminated all fees on our checking accounts.  Generally I like that my bank has a lot of branches and is pretty much nationwide, tends not to mess things up, and has friendly customer service.  They also gave me a low interest rate and high credit limit on a card, so I like all my accounts and credit card being in the same place.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I have 2 bank accounts. One I chose in college, because they had the location in college. Before the economy tanked in 2008, I was making like 5.5% in my savings account. Now that's like .5%.

     Last summer I decided to open up a Chase account because in NYC there are Chase locations EVERYWHERE. There is one right downstairs in my building where I work, and another up the block. Super convenient. For me it was all about convenience. My savings is with my other account, and I have tons of checks from them, so if I ever need to mail or write a check - which is rarely - that's when that bank account comes into place.
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  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    I love my bank and FI didn't love his. That's how we made the decision to both bank with my bank. I would definitely look at the "fees" each of your banks charge for different things, along with perks they offer (free checks, online banking, etc).


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  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    FI and I both have always banked with our state employee's credit union. I would much rather my money stay in a credit union rather than a big bank.

  • FH and I had different banks. I was having issues with mine (US Bank) and he's always loved his (Chase) so we consolidated our finances at Chase. 
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  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Everything about wells fargo is terrible and they need to be set on fire.

    That is my unbiased opinion. 
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    MamaAlly89smgold6rajahmd
  • I want to mention that I have 5 bank accounts. Savings/checking at my small hometown bank, savings at my credit union, and savings/checking at a big bank. FI only has one checking account at his big bank. We both like our banks and I have a slight (irrational) dislike for his bank, which I am willing to set aside.


    We are at Wells Fargo and Bank of America currently. Big banks drive my dad nuts since my family are all small-town banking people. But, the convenience in the city can't be beat.

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    "They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, 'Search for Paradise.' " - Kiba, Wolf's Rain

  • KPBM89KPBM89 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer First Anniversary
    We chose the bank we have our mortgage through because it was all free and no fees for anything, ever.  
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  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I have 2 checking accounts of my own, and joint savings with FI. 

    My two checking are Charles Schwab and USAA. I've banked with USAA since I was 17 (military families only) and adore their customer service. No fees for anything, easy to pay the credit card and insurance I also have through them, overdraft protection through the credit card, super easy online and mobile banking (love the mobile deposit for checks), and they refund all other bank's ATM fees since they don't have their own. Plus for some reason my paycheck direct deposit is always available there a day early, and has been for every job I've ever had. Only issue with them is not all stores accept their debit card, so I have the Schwab account with a Visa check card for everyday spending. Also zero fees for everything except overdrafts, their mobile banking is less stellar, free linkage to a brokerage account if that's your thing, and they refund other banks' ATM fees as well. I rarely if ever need to go inside an actual bank, so branch locations meant zero to me. Only time I might want it is to deposit cash rather than checks, but whenever I've had to do that I give it to FI, he writes me a check, and I mobile deposit the check.

    Our joint savings is Bank of America. They were idiots when we set it up. That's my only real experience with them.

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    beachyone15
  • beachyone15beachyone15 TEXAS (the home of my exes) member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Another vote for USAA. Love them!


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  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I just moved my accounts from a big bank to a credit union.

  • I use Schwab and I love it! As a PP mentioned, there are no fees, you get a small amount of interest on your checking account, and you are refunded any ATM fees at the end of the month. And if you want to invest in the market, your checking links to your brokerage account making it convenient.

    The only downside is there are very few actual Schwab banking locations across the US. However, I hardly ever need to go to a bank. You can deposit checks up to $1,000 via their phone app. I have had a few checks larger than that, and I had to send it to their HQ via snail mail, but it was deposited within my account within 1-2 days.

  • I would love to be able to get USAA, but don't qualify. I have veterans in my family (grandfather, aunt) but my parents do not have USAA accounts. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about them.

    I have my savings account at a credit union and had loved them for 4+years since I got my car loan there. However, when we were trying to buy a house, they were less than responsive. I mean, multiple calls and voicemails with zero returned. It took over a week to get a preapproval letter an in the end we couldn't trust them to close for us on time, especially since they weren't answering any calls from me. I even went in and got little help. Needless to say, that turned me off to the credit union a little bit. My CU is also open weird hours that never seem to line up with when I can be there, so I have had trouble going in when I need to take care of something.

    We don't do much banking at physical locations, but it is nice to go in when we've had minor problems (lost debit card, fraud, mailing issues, etc). I do not have internet on my phone, so I cannot do mobile banking, though I do bank online. Any deposits are made at ATMs or branches for both of us, so having those is a priority.

    There are pros and cons to every bank.

    Anyone else have a bank that they love (or at least don't hate) that's not USAA? I think everyone can agree how awesome they are if you qualify.

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    "They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, 'Search for Paradise.' " - Kiba, Wolf's Rain

  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    Oh on the fraud point... Schwab is SUPER on top of things in that regard. Sometimes maybe a little too on top of things, lol. If anything remotely out of the ordinary happens, they lock it down right away and call my cell asking if the charges were authorized. A few times it has been when I hadn't used my card in a few weeks since I didn't have money to spend, then bought a lot of groceries, once it was buying lingerie for a boudoir shoot and it was way outside my typical spending patterns. Super easy to clear it up on the phone (press 1 if this was authorized, thanks your card is available for use again).

    I think they do have a location like 30 minutes or so from me. I guess I could go there if there was a super emergency but I've never needed to.

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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Like some PPs mentioned, for me, it's all about convenience. We are always moving and traveling for work. So, we like nationwide access. We have separate accounts- me with Bank of America and him with Bank of America and Wells Fargo. We both don't like Bank of America very much, but DH has had decent things to say about Wells. I think you'll find mixed opinions on all of the big banks.

     







    lkristenj
  • buttercup1958buttercup1958 Blue Smokey Mountains
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    V has USSA and I have suntrust. We both love our banks! I may open a USSA account because my family is military. Overall, I never had a problem with suntrust. The service is awesome. One thing make sure you get rid of paper statements. Those cost 7 per month and I had no idea why I was being charged
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  • duhitsdduhitsd Central NY member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I was banking with a small local bank from the time I was in elementary school. They would have bank day where you brought in your allowance and it went to the bank. I thought this was super cool when I was little. Fast forward to when to 22 years old and I live in a different town. My bank was bought out by another company and the account number doesn't fit their usual standards. Every time I went to the bank, none of the tellers would just input the number exactly as I wrote it. I had to show my ID all the time, even when I saw the same teller almost every time I went in there. In the end, the smaller bank drove me insane with their crappy service. FI had been banking with Citizens Bank. They were HORRID. He had switched to Chase for a year or so and was much happier. I took all of my money and went to Chase.

    I think the most important thing when banking is to look for any "gotcha's". Chase has deposit amount requirements for both their checking and savings accounts or they charge a small fee. Some of the things I love about Chase are that they have so many branches so traveling is not a problem, I LOVE their mobile app for checking my balance and depositing checks via pictures through the app. Their customer service at my local branch has been good but I think that's a branch by branch thing. For me, this was really important considering the crappy way I felt at my old bank.
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  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    DH uses his bank cos they don't charge user fees. I stick with mine cos they haven't fucked me over in some way yet. Every other bank I've been with has. I'm up in Canada though, so I won't push for a certain bank over another, cos I know nothing about US banks
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  • duhitsdduhitsd Central NY member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Doesn't it figure that I talk up how I like my bank and FI's account gets hacked today. Ugh.
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  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    FI uses Chase and loves it. I have Citibank and love it. Our joint is Chase because there are more convenient locations.

    I'd consider moving to Chase because it's more convenient but I've got high status at Citibank which gives me great benefits I'd lose at Chase.

    Also, it sucks not having direct deposit. Everything costs more without it.
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  • @duhitsd - It happens to the best of us. FI had a fraud alert on his a while back. Someone at a restaurant we ate at likely skimmed his card info and was buying things at Walmart in town. I've had my card number used in New Jersey (I'm in Texas) before too. Normally the banks are really good about calling you and letting you know about it, and shutting things down to limit the damage.

    One difference between my bank and FI's; When he had his card used by someone else, his bank shut it down and called him to come in and verify which charges were his. When he was there, they issued him a temporary card and ordered a new permanent one which would be overnighted, so he wouldn't be without a debit card. Mine, on the other hand, shut down my card without telling me (they called me after the fact), and sent me a new one which got lost in the mail (they don't overnight cards, just snail mail over 7 to 10 days) and when I called to say it wasn't there, they closed that one and issued another new one which took an additional 7 to 10 days. I have more than one bank account with a debit card and nearly always carry cash, so I wasn't really put out, but it was inconvenient to be without a card for so long and they were in no rush to fix it. In the 4+ years I've banked with them, I've only had that problem once, so I don't really count it against them too much.

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    "They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, 'Search for Paradise.' " - Kiba, Wolf's Rain

  • duhitsdduhitsd Central NY member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    @lkristenj - I know it happens to the best of us but it was just funny that I had all these nice things to say. Good news is that it was only 15 dollars so it didn't cause any serious issues, just annoying.
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  • Aray82Aray82 member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    FI is with a giant national chain and I'm with a local credit union for teachers, students, and anyone else who's involved with education. We're switching to mine and will switch to the next local one when we move. I'm a fan of credit unions for their helpfulness, low interest loans whenever we're ready for a house, and general ease of dealing with them in little things; for example, there's a huge change counting machine in mine, but at FI's bank you have to roll it yourself before bringing it in to deposit. My parents have also been very happy with their local credit union.
  • duhitsd said:
    @lkristenj - I know it happens to the best of us but it was just funny that I had all these nice things to say. Good news is that it was only 15 dollars so it didn't cause any serious issues, just annoying.
    I think the best part about that is that they caught such a small charge as fraudulent. It just shows that they're on top of things, which is good news! I was also impressed when FI's caught his being used by someone else even though the charges did happen where we live.

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    "They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, 'Search for Paradise.' " - Kiba, Wolf's Rain

  • I don't have much bank loyalty.  I probably will switch to USAA after FI and I get married in April. 

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