I need a good American Bank

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #1
    I've had it with my utterly worthless bank in America. The bank is TCF in Minnesota/other states in case you're wondering.

    It's going to be a massive, massive PITA to change over all my other accounts that are linked to them (brokerage, paypal, etc), but it will be well worth getting rid of such a poor bank to do so.

    I went to them for convenience because they are the most accessible. That was the sole reason.

    What I'm looking for in a new bank:

    --Convenience. I want to be able to get my money out of any ATM anywhere in America 24/7/365. If I have to pay a $2 fee, that sucks but so be it. If there are any national banks that have partnerships with TCF so I can use TCF ATMs for free since they are everywhere, that would be great.
    --No minimum balance in my checking or savings account. Any bank that expects me to keep $300+ dollars in the bank at all times just to have a tiny online file in their massive database can basically eat it.
    --Online banking that's RELIABLE in posting dates. This means I want things to post in the order they happen, not the order that makes it most convenient for them to get an overdraft fee (i.e. a massive deposit on Tuesday that shows as POSTED on Wednesday in the account [no, not pending, posted], then pay my bills Thursday, then Friday my deposit has mysteriously disappeared and my bills have posted, they help themselves to an overdraft x 3 or 4 bills, then as soon as they do it Saturday my deposit shows back up). This is outright UNACCEPTABLE.
    --I don't care if I don't get free checks, all that 'free this, free that' is just a gimmick anyway since nobody outside of major bill collectors even takes checks anyway anymore so a box will last me five years, and even if it didn't $15 for a box of checks won't exactly break the bank.

    So who's a good bank who's check card can be used in any ATM in America 24/7/365?

    So far Bank of America looks like my best bet, with the sole caveat being they only have three ATMs in Minnesota; they waive the fee to use another bank's ATM, but I know the other bank will charge me.

    Any advice?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  3. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #3
    I have one too but and they are awesome as lenders but for a regular bank they are absolutely worthless. 2 branches, zero ATMs, and they don't even offer checking accounts.
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
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    #4
    Worthless? Hardly imo

    All the ones near me offer what you want. Surely there are other CUs around you that provide those services. For instance, I have to keep at least 5 bucks in my savings acct but 0 min in my checking. No annual fees and no fees for debit cards (which in turn have partnerd with other Cus and banks for access to their atms for free). Quite nice

    As far as banks, I have had good experiences with 1st National as well as Wells Fargo. No idea if they are around you though
     
  5. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #5
    Sorry I should've clarified--my credit union in particular is worthless in terms of being a regular bank.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but generally, AFAIK you have to be part of the entity that owns the credit union to be a member, i.e. to be part of a university's credit union you have to be a student or faculty, etc...?

    I know I have WF around here, but I hear far more bad than good but I'll look at 1st National...any other opinions on them?
     
  6. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    I still have my account at Bank of America from when I lived in the US. They are decent, but they also like to play the "move deposit dates around to collect overdraft fees" game. It's only happened to me a couple of times, though, but I thought you should know that anyway. Maybe they will be better than your current bank...
     
  7. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #7
    Good to know.

    It's infuriating. I use the account basically only as a linked account to all my other accounts to transfer money to/from and pay three bills back home with, so I just keep enough in there to do what I have to do.

    The current problem, and final problem that I'm going to put up with, is that I ordered some clothes for $185. The company authorized the transaction, then pulled my order for shipping address verification so I had to call them. I did, and they were like alright no problem, we will get those out to you. So a couple days go by, and today I notice another charge for $185, and the original charge (along with some other transactions that had posted online (not pending, but posted) had disappeared--but my balance still reflected those charges as complete even though they dropped off the online system, aka I had a lower balance.

    So I figure ok this sounds like a problem with the clothing company, double charging me so I'll just call them up and straighten it out and get the $185 put back in my account. I call them up and they say the original $185 was the authorization, but not the actual charge and that they didn't actually charge the $185 until today, from that authorization. In other words, they put a hold on $185 to make sure I had it just as any other company would do first, and then today actually finished the charge, meaning they only took $185 once, and not twice. They said they took the $185 today from the $185 they authorized before, so it should only show in my bank account once.

    So it's a bank problem.

    Now, the problem with the bank is that the original $185 charge went missing, but my balance still reflects it being taken, and I technically have no proof of $185 going missing from my account since it's not showing online unless I were to go back 11 years and balance my entire checkbook up until today.

    To add to this, my account balance now has only $70 in it but I have a $150 bill in the mail for something else, so now that's going to bounce and then the bank is going to dip their hands into my account for an extra $35 fee they should've never got in the first place. Even if I get this resolved and get my $185 back that disappeared into thin air after the fact, the bank will more than likely refuse to refund the $35, with everything I've read about this bank.

    Really frustrated. If a company authorizes a charge once, charge it once. Don't do it twice and then wipe one of those off the face of my statement.
     
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #8
    It's a long shot, but if you qualify for USAA you should definitely check them out. I have a feeling if you qualified you'd already be signed up, though :-\

    I am really not a big fan of BoA. Depending on what "level" account you have there are balance minimums, transfer minimums, and all sorts of stupid little stuff that can drive one up the wall. They will be convenient for ATMs, though, but I think their fee for using out-of-network ATMs is high ($5 or something IIRC?).
     
  9. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #9
    I think that's only the case for some credit unions... or maybe for credit unions that aren't affiliated with existing organizations you become a member by opening an account? There's one bank near me that I'm pretty sure is a credit union, and they're open to new customers.

    I have experience with Citibank and with WaMu (now Chase).

    Citibank has pretty crappy corporate practices and depressingly low interest rates in savings accounts, but I do have an all-fee-free account (I don't care about the checks either, but they don't charge fees for most other banks' ATMs, although the other bank generally does...)

    There are Citibank locations everywhere, so I can usually get money out without a fee, and it's important to me not to pay any annual fees or anything. Also, they credit my checking account immediately after a deposit, even before the checks technically clear, which is handy as long as the checks don't bounce. ;)

    Chase's accounts *were* entirely fee-free when they were WaMu's, but they've been adding on fees (for too frequent or too-large deposits.... wtf? and online transfers to other banks...) despite a promise to grandfather in the fee-free accounts. Yes, I'm pissed off.

    Their new envelope-free ATMs ate a check once, and the client ended up deducting the stop payment fee from it when they re-issued, and Chase's customer service refused to do anything about it because I couldn't prove I'd deposited the check (how am I supposed to prove I stuck it in the ATM, when the ATM ate it up and refused to spit it back out?) Oh, and their customer service sucks even by customer service standards.

    Anyway, I'm probably leaving one personal account there with a minimal balance, because they offer free international wire transfers (which I occasionally need) on some of the personal checking accounts, but am planning to move my business account out.
     
  10. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #10
    Look on the site checkingfinder.com. It's a directory of (usually) regional banks that offer stuff like ATM refunds, interest bearing checking accounts, free online billpay, and other goodies. I really don't like most of the megabanks like BoA or Citi, and prefer regional/local banks or credit unions.
     
  11. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #11
    USAA checking is available for just about everyone these days. You don't get some of the features as insurance eligible checking accounts, but it's still a good bank.
     
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #12
    Oh, cool. It's been a while since I opened my USAA account and I qualified for most of their services. USAA is excellent... go with them!
     
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #13

    That is such a load of BS and miss information or you have a really crappy credit union. Because my credit union offer checking accounts and is a hell of a lot better than the big banks in what services they offer. They offer more services, give better interested rates and fewer fees (piratically no fees), and no minimum balance.

    The trick to a credit union is to find one that is part of the shared branching service http://www.cuservicecenter.com/ This system allows you to use your credit union like a big bank. For example my credit union is in the Houston area and has I think 3 branches all located in the south Houston area and I lived in Dallas. It was not a really issue for me because I would go to one of the shared branches in Dallas and deposit money there. The only limitation is a max with withdrawal of $700 at one time so really not a huge deal.

    As for ATM a lot of credit unions use the AllPoint ATM system. This means any ATM that has the AllPoint sticker on it are 100% free. All these ATM are located in a neutral location. For example I would visit an All point ATM at the gas station when I would get gas and my other common location to withdrawal cash from an ATM was oddly enough at Dallas Love field which again was free for me to use.

    So this goes back to go to a credit union. Many of them has adapted to get around the limited branches by using Share-branching and Allpoint ATMs.
     
  14. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #14
    OTOH, ever try to deposit cash? I've thought about scanning in greenbacks and sending them in as a joke.
     
  15. charliedavidson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    #15
    Don't use Chase (jp morgan).. they just screwed over my APR rates on my credit cards just because i missed one payment.. one payment!.. their "customer service" wasn't very helpful either, the guy was very rude.. sorry to vent out my frustrations here.. :mad:
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    Haha. No, I haven't tried depositing cash... I have a BoA checking account for that.
     
  17. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #17
    Thanks, but I think I know my small credit union and it's limitations better than you. ;)

    Thanks for the advice though.

    EDIT: FWIW I see now that they do offer checking (they did not six months ago when I last looked to them for it), and everything looks good except it doesn't seem to have partner ATMs with any major banks except one, which is all but nonexistent outside the region. I'll check out USAA, but if that doesn't pan out I might just have to suck up the ATM fees and go with my credit union.
     
  18. Corruptitudes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    #18
    I had BofA as well. They also post debits before deposits. One time I wrote a check the day before I got paid for a little more then I had in my checking account. I had auto deposit, so I knew my paycheck would be in there the next day. Apparently this particular business I wrote the check to uses BofA as well, and they posted the check I wrote them the next day, which overdraft my account, charged the 33 dollar fee for overdraft, and then posted my paycheck to cover the account. Yes it was my fault for writing a check for an amount I didnt have, but when you check clears the same day you have a check being deposited and that gives you an overdraft fee, that just purely is poor business practice. Especially when your paycheck is more then enough to cover it. So I called BofA, and chatted with them. I figure it was a simple thing to get waived after I told them how it happened. Afterall this was the very first time that it had happened, and I had been a customer for about 5 years. I called, and spent many hours on the phone arguing over the 33 dollar fee. I lost much more time then the 33 dollars was worth. They wouldnt waive it for nothing. So I left BofA.

    Just a fair warning for you...they are the largest bank in America for a reason. They only care about their bottom dollar.
     
  19. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #19
    I have TCF which is a pretty decent bank. Checking and savings. It's been pretty good so far. Stay away from BoA. WaMu was really good until Chase bought them.
     
  20. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #21
    thats the one im trying to get away from lol :)
     
  21. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    #22
    If you posted this a year ago I would've said your title is surely an oxymoron, but I don't think it works anymore. Shame, missed opportunity.
     
  22. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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  23. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #24
    Every credit card does that now.

    I love TD bank if you have one near you. I don't know if it's that branch or if the whole bank is like that, but the best by far.

    Bank of America sucks. I had a loan that they kept screwing up. I paid it off, but the computer would calculate a couple of pennies in interest and re-open the account. A year later I got this $1000 bill and they were taking me to a creditor. It took days of phone calls and escalation pretty high in their organization to get anything done. Never again...

    Citibank is OK, not sure how long they are going to last though.

    Chase has always been great anytime I've used them.

    Any of the savings banks are just that "SAVINGS". They don't offer the best service (hold up checks forever, hard to get large amounts of cash on short notice, etc.), but they are fine for a basic checking account.

    Really depends on what your looking for. The bigger banks are better if you own a business.
     
  24. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #25
    I have a few bank and credit union accounts. I have not had any major problems with any of them but for a local bank, I am happy with Bank of America. I don't pay any fees for my checking, savings or two credit cards, my interest rate is low for my Visa--so far--and I really like their online bill paying. You can use it for any bill even if the person or company you are paying does not have an way to accept electronic payments--and that too is free. I also have my HLOC with them. Can't really say much for the banking industry but from a personal level, BofA gets the job done for me.
     

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