Banking . . . Perhaps Even More Boring than You Dreamed

Yesterday, I called up Bank of America and asked to cancel my checking account there. I have been dreading doing this for months because it contains the lofty sum of $9.31 and I assumed that meant that required me to go to an actual branch. And I find it hard to go to actual branches. But then, on a whim last night, I thought “hey! Maybe they’ll just SEND me my money.” And lo and behold, I called, they said “we’re sorry you’re taking your measly nine dollars elsewhere, but feel free to come back if you ever actually scrape together some actual cash,” and now my check is in the mail. And there is one less card in my bulging bag. Seriously, sometimes things are easy.

I will not miss Bank of America. I have had a savings account with them since I was SEVEN and a checking account with them since I was seventeen. And in that time, they have taken from me in fees far far far more from me than they ever paid me in interest (by about fifty times). ::shakes fist::.

I have now gone to all three major banks (am I missing any other major banks?): Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Washington Mutual.

I loathe Wells Fargo from the depths of my soul, for reasons I cannot quite articulate. My dad hates them too, and I’m sure some of that spilled over. When I moved to Utah, I realized to my deep horror that there were no Bank of Americas and I finally had to break down and open an account. And since there was a Wells Fargo both on campus and across the street from my apartment, it seemed the logical choice. But their website! So ugly! Their lines – always SO long! And irrational HATE HATE HATE! (Also, this preposterous policy that if you moved without changing your address with them and your mail got bumped back to them, they’d remove $5 from your account).

When I got married, we started using Bart’s WaMu checking account, which was all well and good until two weeks ago when they charged us a $10 maintenance fee for our savings account there, citing a “policy change” of some sort. Considering we were making all of about thirteen cents a month in interest, this seemed like the sort of the thing that would be hard on our account.

Now, we are with ING, home of the 4% interest on checking accounts. There are no branches, which is fine with me because I don’t actually like going to a branch. There is no checkbook, which is a bit weird, but if you fill out a check online, they’ll mail it to you so you can pay whomever needs paying or, if you’d rather, they’ll send a check directly to the business or individual you need to pay (this is how we pay our mortgage, water bill, and gas bill).

But, really, I like ING because our new debit cards are SO spiffy looking. Navy blue with a curvy transparent orange ribbon running through it. And really, it’s all about how cool your debit card is.

Where do you bank? Do you like it? I’m curious because I’m a nerd.

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  1. I now bank at PNC and am really happy, because their online banking is great, they charge zero fees (I also HATE HATE fees), and I have FREE atm usage anywhere. As in, when the ATM down the street charges $2.50 for me to get cash, PNC will refund me that $2.50!!!! Take that, other banks! Oh, and I pay my credit card bills online too. So easy!

    Also, we have an online savings acct at HSBC with 5.05% interest. Love it!

    I am a happy banking customer these days, which is probably quite rare!

  2. I only bank online these days, and I do love it! I have a couple of accounts at Netbank. Their interest rates were extremely competitive when I switched to them about three years ago, and I haven’t been disappointed. They do have paper checks, too, which I still use twice a year or something.

    You might check out also. Their AmericanDream Savings Account has to be linked to an external checking account, but it draws 5.05% APY. Their site used to be a total dinosaur. Not too bad now, though.

    Don’t steal my identity or my money.

  3. I use Chase for my credit cards and checking account–and an emergency savings account. I love them because if anything ever goes wrong or wonky, one phone call takes care of everything.

    I also second kimberly’s comment on Emigrant Direct. I have two savings accounts with them and I LOVE IT. I have made so much in interest already and I’ve only been with them for 6 months. Internet banking has the best interest rates.

    I’m a nerd…

  4. I LOVE ING. I use them for my CD and Savings…but I’ve got a few accounts at B of * and also at Wells Far*o. Actually, I have an account at WaM*, too! So, I’ve got them all covered! I actually don’t know if that will be a good or bad thing in the end. 🙂

  5. so this is my shameless plug for my favorite client, Comerica. They are by far the most service oriented bank in the country… either them or my brand new client, wachovia. both were rated in the top 10 for customer service, have great rates, and give me large suitcases full of money.

    that is all

  6. We use our heloc as our checking and savings account (we pay for everything with a credit card throughout the month then pay it all off from our heloc at the end of the month..builds credit and we get tons of miles). It doesn’t earn us any interest, but it cancels out 9% interest on our second mortgage (our payment has gone down about $150/mo since we started doing things this way) and there are no fees. We’re kind of our own bank. We also have a Roth IRA with Vanguard which is more like a really long term savings account.

    I used Wells Fargo my whole life up until I was married and loved it (rarely had to go to a branch though..I did everything online). I HATE WaMu..mostly because I walk in to the branch and have no clue where to stand to get in line. We use it for business banking which means I have to go stand in their non-lines a lot. I hate that.

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