It seems convenient enough: Instead of mailing a check for the same amount to your insurance company every month, they can set up an auto debit system so that your monthly premium is automatically deducted from your checking account on the same day every month. It’s one less bill to worry about, right? Not so [...]
What one thing do you like most about your bank? Please share your thoughts in a comment!
For me, it’s my credit union’s generous funds availability policy—something I would’ve never thought about it until I began enjoying it. I can access up to $1,000 of any deposit as soon as the check goes in—no questions asked. And, regular direct deposits are available two days early. (The credit union puts the money into my account as soon as the funds are on the way, not when the credit union actually receives the deposit). That means if my pay stub comes on Thursday, the money actually goes into my account on Tuesday. Pretty cool.
Other features I like about my credit union are refunds of other banks’ ATM fees and the super-low rates they offer on loan products (although I’m going on a credit diet and hope never to take new credit again unless it’s for a mortgage).
What about you? Do you love your banks high savings or CD rates? Free checking features? Interest-bearing checking? Personal customer service? Nationally available ATMs?
Let me know!1 Comment
If you have sworn off credit cards or simply prefer to make some or most of your routine purchases with a debit Visa or MasterCard, watch out. Although paying by debit card is highly convenient and caries a number of advantages, there are a few pitfalls of using debit cards. Some you may already know about; some you may not. Read more…Comments Off
Why should you switch banks? Well, if you’re like me, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your bank. Sure, we swipe our debit cards almost every day, check our balances online a few times a week, and pay bills each month. But do we ever ask ourselves: Are our banks treating us like valued customers? Are we getting the best deal? Or are we tolerating terrible customer service, lousy interest rates, and outrageous fees just because we’re lazy?
If you’re fed up with your banking relationship, it’s time to do something about it! It’s time to switch banks. The good news is, it’s actually easier than you think to switch banks. Because, contrary to how your current bank may be treating you, many banks actually want your business, and are willing to give you great interest rates and personal customer service to get it.
If you want to switch banks in 2009, here’s how:
- Find a new bank. Talk to your friends. Where do they bank? Are they happy with their financial institution? Do they pay for checking? How’s the customer service? Are branches convenient? What’s their savings rate? (Hint: You can compare interest rates on checking, savings, and CD accounts at hundreds of banks in your area online right here on BankAround!)
- Open your new account. Usually you just need between $1 and $100 to open your new bank account.
- Switch your bills and direct deposit. Once your new bank is open, you’ll need to make sure your income is directly deposited into the new account and that any bills you pay electronically are set up using the new account’s information. If you pay bills by check each month, order checks from your new bank.
- Close your old bank account. Don’t forget the last step. Even if you’ve withdrawn all your funds from the old account, be sure you tell somebody to close the account, otherwise you could get dinged with a bill for low balance or inactivity fees.
- You’re done! Enjoy your new bank!
Have you switched banks recently? How did it go? Was it harder or easier than you anticipated?Comments Off
Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, are retirement savings accounts that you can open on your own behalf (unlike employer-sponsored accounts like 401[k]s). IRAs provide tax benefits for putting money aside that you agree not to touch until retirement. There are two kinds of IRAs: Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs. Read more…Comments Off
Bank certificates of deposit (CDs) are the best way to earn a great interest rate on your emergency cash in an FDIC-insured bank account. Of course, CDs aren’t as liquid as money in a lower-rate savings account—if you need to access cash in a CD before majority, you’ll loose most of your accumulated interest. You can solve that problem by building a CD ladder. Read more…Comments Off