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(ABC Local)   Ric Romero joins a credit union   (abclocal.go.com) divider line 66
    More: Obvious, Ric Romero, Altavista, branch manager, online banking  
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5122 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Aug 2013 at 2:24 PM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



66 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-08-25 12:54:10 PM
With his job on the line at KABC, it might not be a bad idea
 
2013-08-25 02:31:18 PM
Yeah, it's Ric, but this is VERY useful information as many people out there seem to think they lack a choice outside of a huge bank. I've been a member of a CU for close to 25 years now and I have had no trouble with them at all and I'm constantly telling my friends to join up when they continue to biatch about their banks but they never bother.

Megabanks can suck it. I'm a CU member for life!!
 
2013-08-25 02:35:25 PM
I like bashing Ric, but this seems like something too many people actually do not know about.

Romero FTW
 
GBB
2013-08-25 02:35:38 PM
Not all credit unions are the same.  I've found that the more exclusive ones are better than those that only require you to open a "member account" and are open to all.
 
2013-08-25 02:36:12 PM
Credit Unions are great.
 
2013-08-25 02:36:23 PM
Eh, I've seen more Romeroesque articles than this one. The informational problem with respect to credit unions isn't these "myths" I've never heard, it's that the people for whom they'd be the best banking fit don't realize they have an option besides the local BofA branch.

I give this article 2 smiley moustaches out of 5.

si0.twimg.com si0.twimg.com  /5
 
2013-08-25 02:36:48 PM
Sure the Fark lib brigade will come here and bash the big banks, but who will be there to help them when their checks bounce or parking meters expire????

Not Obama or Hillary. History has proven that. Then who will be laughing libs???
 
2013-08-25 02:38:01 PM
A while back I was in Boston and handed someone my credit card.

"Are you a firefighter?" they asked.

Took me a few seconds of blank stares to realize that I'd just handed them my SF Fire Credit Union card, which you don't have to be a firefighter to join.
 
2013-08-25 02:39:57 PM
This just in: It's damn hot out here due to the fact that there's a nuclear bomb exploding behind me.

img398.imageshack.us
 
2013-08-25 02:43:42 PM

organizmx: Sure the Fark lib brigade will come here and bash the big banks, but who will be there to help them when their checks bounce or parking meters expire????

Not Obama or Hillary. History has proven that. Then who will be laughing libs???


Politics tab is a few over to the right, man
 
2013-08-25 02:44:48 PM
Another place to hit the big banks as a consumer.  Credit Unions are awesome.
 
2013-08-25 02:44:48 PM
Ric Romero FTL
 
2013-08-25 02:44:55 PM
Ally is better than any credit union. If you don't need a branch to go to, they're the best thing going.
 
2013-08-25 02:47:06 PM
I first joined a credit union back when membership was exclusive. (My mother was a member, so I got to be.) The institution has since gone through two mergers and associated name changes, and is no longer exclusive. That being said, they are still very good. Considering how quickly they caught (and confirmed) the fraud on my Mom's debit card, and replaced it... Yeah, I'm with them for life, too.

The article still presents good information, so kudos, Mr. Romero!
 
2013-08-25 02:47:24 PM

GBB: Not all credit unions are the same.  I've found that the more exclusive ones are better than those that only require you to open a "member account" and are open to all.


I chuckled at the notion of a super-exclusive, velvet-rope, members-only credit union. The kind where you've really gotta know someone to even get a seat at the bar. But of course, by definition all credit unions are exclusive to SOME group.

You're probably right that the Left-Handed Longshoreman's Mutual Thrift of North Squaddapadoink Island is generally preferable to the Generic Central Time Zone Credit Union, at least according to the theory of how credit unions are supposed to work. I wonder if there's any data on that point.
 
2013-08-25 02:54:48 PM
TheXerox: I'm a CU member for life!!

You know you're getting old when you get so excited about credit unions that you add an extra exclamation point.
 
2013-08-25 02:56:51 PM

freak7: Ally is better than any credit union. If you don't need a branch to go to, they're the best thing going.


This.  I love their any ATM policy.  Plus their customer service team is so awesome.
 
GBB
2013-08-25 03:03:28 PM

semiotix: GBB: Not all credit unions are the same.  I've found that the more exclusive ones are better than those that only require you to open a "member account" and are open to all.

I chuckled at the notion of a super-exclusive, velvet-rope, members-only credit union. The kind where you've really gotta know someone to even get a seat at the bar. But of course, by definition all credit unions are exclusive to SOME group.

You're probably right that the Left-Handed Longshoreman's Mutual Thrift of North Squaddapadoink Island is generally preferable to the Generic Central Time Zone Credit Union, at least according to the theory of how credit unions are supposed to work. I wonder if there's any data on that point.


That's kindof how credit cards got started.
 
2013-08-25 03:09:34 PM
Only the poors benefit from credit unions.
 
2013-08-25 03:11:52 PM

JustFarkingGreat: organizmx: Sure the Fark lib brigade will come here and bash the big banks, but who will be there to help them when their checks bounce or parking meters expire????

Not Obama or Hillary. History has proven that. Then who will be laughing libs???

Politics tab is a few over to the right, man


Ah, thank you!
 
2013-08-25 03:14:46 PM
understory.ran.org

For some reason, I read the post as: George Romero joins a credit union
 
2013-08-25 03:17:08 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-08-25 03:17:29 PM
Internet banks often have all the services of credit unions and a higher interest rate. Any ATM, mobile deposit, no account fees. I don't know how BoA gets anyone to open accounts with them.
 
2013-08-25 03:28:36 PM
Some CU's are good and some are bad. Sunmark is worse than any bank I've ever been with. When a credit union nickel-and-dime's you more then BoA, you know there's a problem!

Other CU's I've done business with have treated me very good, though.
 
2013-08-25 03:31:50 PM
"The ease, the convenience, the lack of fees, and just the way they make me feel as a member," said Contreras. "It's a clear distinction between the traditional bank route and credit union membership."
Not to mention he doesn't get hit with high bank fees while being with a credit union.


The lack of fees, not to mention the lack of fees.
 
2013-08-25 03:32:18 PM
Eh, I've seen more Romeroesque articles than this one.

check the byline. It actually IS a Rick Romero article.
 
2013-08-25 03:33:39 PM
Hubby and I have been with Navy Federal Credit Union for many years and they have been fantastic. Their customer service is great compared to what I've heard from friends that use BOA and some of the other big banks.
 
2013-08-25 03:36:03 PM
Wooooah..that guys real?? And the rape guy too???? Mind blown
 
2013-08-25 03:43:11 PM
My credit union is offering a car loan at like 3.25. Cheaper than education loans. It is very satisfying that my money doesn't feed/pamper execs at boa or some bs.
 
2013-08-25 03:56:40 PM

GBB: Not all credit unions are the same.  I've found that the more exclusive ones are better than those that only require you to open a "member account" and are open to all.


I know that anecdotes ≠ data, but Patelco CU opened its membership up about a decade ago, and it's still great.
 
2013-08-25 04:00:57 PM

TheXerox: Yeah, it's Ric, but this is VERY useful information as many people out there seem to think they lack a choice outside of a huge bank. I've been a member of a CU for close to 25 years now and I have had no trouble with them at all and I'm constantly telling my friends to join up when they continue to biatch about their banks but they never bother.

Megabanks can suck it. I'm a CU member for life!!


Amen brother !
CU for life.
 
2013-08-25 04:04:22 PM
Heritage Federal Credit Union (SW Indiana/NW Kentucky/SE Illinois). Great service and really awesome to work with.

My only small complaint is that they are TOO protective. My card has been flagged when I take a weekend trip to Indianapolis (2.5 hour drive). But, it's better than the alternative. Great credit union.
 
2013-08-25 04:18:11 PM
Given the choice, I will always have both local credit union savings/checking accounts and  national/international online bank checking/savings accounts. With $50 or less minimum deposits pretty typical and free options everywhere, not sure why everyone over the age of 20 wouldn't do both.
 
2013-08-25 04:19:59 PM
FTA: He has a car loan along with savings and checking accounts with Alta Vista and couldn't be happier.

I prefer the Geocities credit union. They print my checks in Comic Sans.
 
2013-08-25 04:27:55 PM

Stoker: Credit Unions are great.


Been at a local CU from our county schools credit union since '86.  I've never even entertained the idea of going to a mega bank.
 
2013-08-25 04:39:59 PM

flashfry: Given the choice, I will always have both local credit union savings/checking accounts and  national/international online bank checking/savings accounts. With $50 or less minimum deposits pretty typical and free options everywhere, not sure why everyone over the age of 20 wouldn't do both.


Quick question because I'm honestly curious.  Why have a local credit union savings/checking account?  What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

My current situation: I use USAA and the wife uses Navy Federal Credit Union.  Paychecks get deposited into her checking account, out of which comes student loan and rent payments.  We maintain $500 in the USAA account at all times for ATM withdrawals in those rare instances when we need cash (USAA refunds all ATM fees).  American Express for most day-to-day purchases, with a MasterCard backup for those merchants who don't take American Express.  Works pretty well for everyone concerned.
 
2013-08-25 04:41:23 PM

flashfry: Given the choice, I will always have both local credit union savings/checking accounts and  national/international online bank checking/savings accounts. With $50 or less minimum deposits pretty typical and free options everywhere, not sure why everyone over the age of 20 wouldn't do both.




Principle?
 
2013-08-25 04:46:20 PM

NotARocketScientist: Eh, I've seen more Romeroesque articles than this one.

check the byline. It actually IS a Rick Romero article.


I know, I hold him to an even more obvious standard!
 
2013-08-25 04:50:25 PM
Love our C.U.

The credit unions are having to fight back right now against a huge advertising, PR and editorial campaign by big banks which are trying to put credit unions our of business. Anything big banks are against, we should all get behind and support, as a general principle.
 
2013-08-25 05:01:29 PM
The only issue I have with my CU is that they've closed a few offices since I joined a decade ago. There's still one near me, but if they close that one, I'd have to travel a long way out of my way to visit them.
 
2013-08-25 05:04:24 PM
Heh, even my boondocks credit union has android/iphone apps. Before BoA pulled out of my area (seriously, there isn't a branch in a hundred mile radius) they were CONSTANTLY asking me to "open an account" or when they found out I was a customer, asking me if I'd be interested in coming back.

If I were any more annoyed, I would've told the teller to fark off, but I know it's not them.

/so I say it on the internet, go fark yourself, BoA. I'd firebomb your servers if I knew where they were.
 
2013-08-25 05:05:44 PM
Decent article, though I would have liked to see Ric talk about the Credit Union network. I moved from Oregon to Ohio and since my CU was very local, I was worried I would have trouble cashing checks, etc. Fortunately, there is a CU nearby that is a member of the network and I have had zero issues. This always seems to be the biggest issue people have when trying to decide to join a CU - that there will not be enough ATMs or branches if they move.
 
2013-08-25 05:10:55 PM

blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?


Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?
 
2013-08-25 05:27:32 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: The only issue I have with my CU is that they've closed a few offices since I joined a decade ago. There's still one near me, but if they close that one, I'd have to travel a long way out of my way to visit them.


I can't remember the last time I had to physically visit a branch of my bank, but it's several years at least. Can't everything be done online or by post?
 
2013-08-25 05:36:49 PM

Flint Ironstag: Mitch Taylor's Bro: The only issue I have with my CU is that they've closed a few offices since I joined a decade ago. There's still one near me, but if they close that one, I'd have to travel a long way out of my way to visit them.

I can't remember the last time I had to physically visit a branch of my bank, but it's several years at least. Can't everything be done online or by post?


Most things, yeah. But there's a difference between I CAN do everything I need online vs. I HAVE TO do everything I need online. Sometimes, things just get resolved faster when you're talking to a person face-to-face. And the best part about a CU is that it doesn't (or at least, in my CU's case it doesn't) cost you any more than an online bank.
 
2013-08-25 05:41:24 PM

blockhouse: My current situation: I use USAA and the wife uses Navy Federal Credit Union. Paychecks get deposited into her checking account, out of which comes student loan and rent payments. We maintain $500 in the USAA account at all times for ATM withdrawals in those rare instances when we need cash (USAA refunds all ATM fees). American Express for most day-to-day purchases, with a MasterCard backup for those merchants who don't take American Express. Works pretty well for everyone concerned.


Very happy with USAA.  You can do everything online, and the customer service is generally very good.

USAA membership and my kids are two of the few good things my ex-wife left me.
 
2013-08-25 06:08:49 PM
I actually made it all the way through the article, and was somewhat puzzled as to what subby was getting at, since that was a reasonable summary of the subject and not necessarily obvious to random readers.

Took me a minute to scroll back up and realize that it's literally a Ric Romero article.
 
2013-08-25 06:23:35 PM

blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?


You can cash checks, for one thing.
 
2013-08-25 06:40:31 PM
I've been credit unioning since before they were allowed to use the words "checking" and "savings" (They had to say "share drafts" and "shares" instead). My credit union since '91 has been consistently wonderful over the years. I can deposit paper checks online (scan and send), they pay me 10 cents everytime I use my debit card, and I've never run into an ATM that won't accept them.

Example of my exceptional CU's customer service:

A check of my credit report showed that some agency was after me for $500, so I contacted that agency and found out that an apartment complex I'd lived at several years ago claimed I hadn't paid my final move-out rent. I knew that I had, so I contacted my CU to ask how far back they kept records of my cashed checks and what the fee might be for getting copies of really old checks.

They asked what I was looking for. I remembered the name of the apartment complex, and that I'd moved out around December, but couldn't remember which year. Two weeks later, I got a snail mail with copies of my last three checks to that apartment complex -- including the cancelled check that was the move-out check --  along with a nice note from a human being at the CU: "There's no charge for this. We're just happy to help."

Yeah, some employee went through every single check I'd written over about 10 years and found not only the one check I needed, but two previous ones to reinforce that I was a regular rent-payer. Think Citibank or Bank of America would have done that? I don't.

/CU for life!
//I may be broke, but my credit is flawless. Heh.
 
2013-08-25 07:02:26 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?


Because I get 6% groceries cash back and the card pays for the fee after $1250. It is foolish not to pay an annual fee and get it for most people.
 
2013-08-25 07:18:32 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Flint Ironstag: Mitch Taylor's Bro: The only issue I have with my CU is that they've closed a few offices since I joined a decade ago. There's still one near me, but if they close that one, I'd have to travel a long way out of my way to visit them.

I can't remember the last time I had to physically visit a branch of my bank, but it's several years at least. Can't everything be done online or by post?

Most things, yeah. But there's a difference between I CAN do everything I need online vs. I HAVE TO do everything I need online. Sometimes, things just get resolved faster when you're talking to a person face-to-face. And the best part about a CU is that it doesn't (or at least, in my CU's case it doesn't) cost you any more than an online bank.


My bank here in in the process of being split into two, like Bell Telephone was, so my nearest branch won't be my bank anymore in a few months. But the one a few miles further away is the one I'd go to anyway so it won't make much difference if I ever do need to visit them.
 
2013-08-25 08:45:59 PM

flashfry: Given the choice, I will always have both local credit union savings/checking accounts and  national/international online bank checking/savings accounts. With $50 or less minimum deposits pretty typical and free options everywhere, not sure why everyone over the age of 20 wouldn't do both.


If your credit union does everything a national bank would, why would you even bother with the bank?
 
2013-08-25 08:59:47 PM

Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?

Because I get 6% groceries cash back and the card pays for the fee after $1250. It is foolish not to pay an annual fee and get it for most people.


Hmm, I would have to do the math, but my Discover card is my cashback card. I get 1% on everything and 5% on monthly and quarterly promo stuff like groceries (usually the fall), restaurants (summer), home improvement stores (spring), etc. And I don't pay an annual fee. My AmEx card is on the chopping block because I only used it for my freelance business and I haven't billed enough to make it worthwhile over the past few years. I don't recall seeing a cashback offer from them.
 
2013-08-25 09:04:33 PM

Krustofsky: blockhouse: My current situation: I use USAA and the wife uses Navy Federal Credit Union. Paychecks get deposited into her checking account, out of which comes student loan and rent payments. We maintain $500 in the USAA account at all times for ATM withdrawals in those rare instances when we need cash (USAA refunds all ATM fees). American Express for most day-to-day purchases, with a MasterCard backup for those merchants who don't take American Express. Works pretty well for everyone concerned.

Very happy with USAA.  You can do everything online, and the customer service is generally very good.

USAA membership and my kids are two of the few good things my ex-wife left me.


Also a very happy USAA customer.  USAA for my banking and my car insurance.  Their online banking services are a-freaking-mazing, and nobody tops their insurance rates.  I've had insurance agents try to hit me up to see if they could get me to switch.  The moment I say I'm with USAA. . .they just give up.  If you can get services through USAA, do so.  End of story.  Best banking you'll ever do.

I keep my old account at the Credit Union for my alma mater, just in case I ever need any in-person banking services (cashier's checks or something), but I seldom use that account.
 
2013-08-25 09:41:36 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?

Because I get 6% groceries cash back and the card pays for the fee after $1250. It is foolish not to pay an annual fee and get it for most people.

Hmm, I would have to do the math, but my Discover card is my cashback card. I get 1% on everything and 5% on monthly and quarterly promo stuff like groceries (usually the fall), restaurants (summer), home improvement stores (spring), etc. And I don't pay an annual fee. My AmEx card is on the chopping block because I only used it for my freelance business and I haven't billed enough to make it worthwhile over the past few years. I don't recall seeing a cashback offer from them.


I have the  Discover IT as well. I keep the Amex because the 6% back on groceries allows me to purchase Amazon.com giftcards. I can max out the cashback (first $6k in spending) which gives you $360 and covers the annual fee and is $60 greater than discover even during the 5% period. It also offers 3% at gas stations, department stores and 1% on everything else. The specific card is the cashback blue preferred.


Also I like keeping the amex for the 90 return period if i think a retailer is going to give me a hard time about bringing something back.
 
2013-08-25 09:56:17 PM
The only issue I've had with my credit union is a shortage of fee-free ATMs in some cities.  For example, my CU has exactly two fee-free ATMs in Anchorage, one at each of the Costco locations.  Not a big deal if I plan ahead, but having free 24-hour ATMs is handy sometimes.

Well worth the slight inconvenience though, because fark big banks.
 
2013-08-25 09:59:17 PM

Shorelinefarker: The only issue I've had with my credit union is a shortage of fee-free ATMs in some cities.  For example, my CU has exactly two fee-free ATMs in Anchorage, one at each of the Costco locations.  Not a big deal if I plan ahead, but having free 24-hour ATMs is handy sometimes.

Well worth the slight inconvenience though, because fark big banks.


Are they a shared branch member?  If you don't know, you should ask.  If so, almost any credit union ATM will be fee-free.  We've set up shared branch kiosks in most 7-11s as well.  The damned kiosks are almost as good as dealing with a real person.

There are more shared branch ATMs available than ATMs from any of the banks in business.
 
2013-08-25 10:14:59 PM

blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?


Why not do both? My local credit union's online service offerings are about the same as most online banks. I signed up online, I deposit checks with my phone, and I get reimbursed for using any ATM I want. In fact, I have never been to any of their branches in person.
 
2013-08-25 10:17:44 PM

rohar: Shorelinefarker: The only issue I've had with my credit union is a shortage of fee-free ATMs in some cities.  For example, my CU has exactly two fee-free ATMs in Anchorage, one at each of the Costco locations.  Not a big deal if I plan ahead, but having free 24-hour ATMs is handy sometimes.

Well worth the slight inconvenience though, because fark big banks.

Are they a shared branch member?  If you don't know, you should ask.  If so, almost any credit union ATM will be fee-free.  We've set up shared branch kiosks in most 7-11s as well.  The damned kiosks are almost as good as dealing with a real person.

There are more shared branch ATMs available than ATMs from any of the banks in business.


I called my credit union, and they confirmed that there were no shared-brach ATMs in Anchorage.  That's the only city where I've found such to be the case.
 
2013-08-25 10:30:55 PM

Shorelinefarker: rohar: Shorelinefarker: The only issue I've had with my credit union is a shortage of fee-free ATMs in some cities.  For example, my CU has exactly two fee-free ATMs in Anchorage, one at each of the Costco locations.  Not a big deal if I plan ahead, but having free 24-hour ATMs is handy sometimes.

Well worth the slight inconvenience though, because fark big banks.

Are they a shared branch member?  If you don't know, you should ask.  If so, almost any credit union ATM will be fee-free.  We've set up shared branch kiosks in most 7-11s as well.  The damned kiosks are almost as good as dealing with a real person.

There are more shared branch ATMs available than ATMs from any of the banks in business.

I called my credit union, and they confirmed that there were no shared-brach ATMs in Anchorage.  That's the only city where I've found such to be the case.


That sucks.  Turns out you're a member and you have a vote.  Start raising hell with your board and get it sorted out.  The technology isn't expensive.
 
2013-08-25 11:32:11 PM

Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?

Because I get 6% groceries cash back and the card pays for the fee after $1250. It is foolish not to pay an annual fee and get it for most people.


Almost any annual fee personal credit card is not worth it unless you haggle at the end of the year for extending a no-annual-fee signup bonus for another year.

Your math is also off, as you're ignoring the free version of blue cash everyday.  You don't make your preferred card better than the free version unless you spend over $2500 per year in groceries at US supermarkets Anything less than $2500 in groceries/year would have netted more savings with the no annual fee card.  But also note that reward rates of both cards are equal at $6000 spent.  At $6000 spent in grocery stores you've saved $285 (6000*.06-75) while the free version saved $180 (6000*.03).  You're risking $75 in order to win up to an additional $100.

What's this mean for you?  Well, you need to average >$208/month in spending at "US supermarkets" in order to make the Preferred Blue Cash worth it.  Keep in mind that Wholesale Clubs (Costco, Sam's, BJ's, etc) have a different Merchant Category Code than those that fall within the boundaries of "US Supermarkets".  So you won't see your 6% savings if you try to shop at Costco, which is where you should be shopping if you spend over $200/month in groceries.
 
2013-08-25 11:39:06 PM

Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?

Because I get 6% groceries cash back and the card pays for the fee after $1250. It is foolish not to pay an annual fee and get it for most people.

Hmm, I would have to do the math, but my Discover card is my cashback card. I get 1% on everything and 5% on monthly and quarterly promo stuff like groceries (usually the fall), restaurants (summer), home improvement stores (spring), etc. And I don't pay an annual fee. My AmEx card is on the chopping block because I only used it for my freelance business and I haven't billed enough to make it worthwhile over the past few years. I don't recall seeing a cashback offer from them.

I have the  Discover IT as well. I keep the Amex because the 6% back on groceries allows me to purchase Amazon.com giftcards. I can max out the cashback (first $6k in spending) which gives you $360 and covers the annual fee and is $60 greater than discover even during the 5% period. It also offers 3% at gas stations, department stores and 1% on everything else. The specific card is the cashback blue preferred.


But by doing that you're losing out on 5% cash back with the no-annual-fee Citi Forward card (amazon has a bookstore MCC). So your gain is only 1% by doing this ($60).  You'd be better off purchasing gift cards for stores that aren't covered by another card's MCC, you'd have less opportunity lost.
 
2013-08-26 12:02:40 AM

Big Merl: freak7: Ally is better than any credit union. If you don't need a branch to go to, they're the best thing going.

This.  I love their any ATM policy.  Plus their customer service team is so awesome.


Ally is only OK.  Here's why:


Will I pay a fee for using an ATM in a foreign country?

If you use an ATM in a foreign country, you may be charged a fee of up to 1% of the transaction amount for the currency conversion and/or cross border transaction. Ally only reimburses ATM fees charged by other banks if the ATM is in the US.



TD Bank is better.  Here's why (for their premier checking account, which requires $2.5k balance to avoid fees or whatev):
Non-TD ATMs: TD fees waived regardless of balance, and non-TD fees reimbursed when minimum daily balance is at least $2,5002.

TDBank is the only bank to my knowledge that reimburses all international ATM transaction fees.  I believe HSBC used to do it at one point, but no longer does.

If you don't have multiple banks/CUs for each financial exercise, you're doing it wrong, because no single bank/CU is the best for each.  Use TDBank solely for ATM withdrawals, especially when traveling abroad.

Use a CU for any CDs because they have the best rates you can generally find.  They also have great loan rates if you ever need a loan.  Have another bank for liquid HYS investing to maintain a reasonable amount of value liquid.

You should be opening and closing bank/CU accounts whenever possible to optimize your returns.  You should have almost no bank loyalty.
 
2013-08-26 02:25:47 AM

nickerj1: Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Carth: Mitch Taylor's Bro: blockhouse: Quick question because I'm honestly curious. Why have a local credit union savings/checking account? What are the benefits of banking locally, when online banking provides so many free services?

Why not? A better question is why would you pay an annual fee for your AmEx card?

Because I get 6% groceries cash back and the card pays for the fee after $1250. It is foolish not to pay an annual fee and get it for most people.

Hmm, I would have to do the math, but my Discover card is my cashback card. I get 1% on everything and 5% on monthly and quarterly promo stuff like groceries (usually the fall), restaurants (summer), home improvement stores (spring), etc. And I don't pay an annual fee. My AmEx card is on the chopping block because I only used it for my freelance business and I haven't billed enough to make it worthwhile over the past few years. I don't recall seeing a cashback offer from them.

I have the  Discover IT as well. I keep the Amex because the 6% back on groceries allows me to purchase Amazon.com giftcards. I can max out the cashback (first $6k in spending) which gives you $360 and covers the annual fee and is $60 greater than discover even during the 5% period. It also offers 3% at gas stations, department stores and 1% on everything else. The specific card is the cashback blue preferred.

But by doing that you're losing out on 5% cash back with the no-annual-fee Citi Forward card (amazon has a bookstore MCC). So your gain is only 1% by doing this ($60).  You'd be better off purchasing gift cards for stores that aren't covered by another card's MCC, you'd have less opportunity lost.


Citi forward points don't directly translate to cashback: if you go the statement credit route, $1,500 in spending on the top categories will get you the $50 credit, for a 3.3% rate.    As of this year it also pays out 1 point is worth .8 cents at amazon.com so 4% making the amex a better deal since it is a straight 6% cahsback.

Nerdwallet already did a comparison of when the preferred card makes sense

The Citi site says they also limit the forward card to enrolled college students as of 2013. I have no idea if they actually check but if so it makes it even less useful.
 
2013-08-26 04:53:41 PM

nickerj1: Big Merl: freak7: Ally is better than any credit union. If you don't need a branch to go to, they're the best thing going.

This.  I love their any ATM policy.  Plus their customer service team is so awesome.

Ally is only OK.  Here's why:


Will I pay a fee for using an ATM in a foreign country?

If you use an ATM in a foreign country, you may be charged a fee of up to 1% of the transaction amount for the currency conversion and/or cross border transaction. Ally only reimburses ATM fees charged by other banks if the ATM is in the US.


TD Bank is better.  Here's why (for their premier checking account, which requires $2.5k balance to avoid fees or whatev):
Non-TD ATMs: TD fees waived regardless of balance, and non-TD fees reimbursed when minimum daily balance is at least $2,5002.

TDBank is the only bank to my knowledge that reimburses all international ATM transaction fees.  I believe HSBC used to do it at one point, but no longer does.

If you don't have multiple banks/CUs for each financial exercise, you're doing it wrong, because no single bank/CU is the best for each.  Use TDBank solely for ATM withdrawals, especially when traveling abroad.

Use a CU for any CDs because they have the best rates you can generally find.  They also have great loan rates if you ever need a loan.  Have another bank for liquid HYS investing to maintain a reasonable amount of value liquid.

You should be opening and closing bank/CU accounts whenever possible to optimize your returns.  You should have almost no bank loyalty.


If you're not a big spender and don't really travel internationally, like me, you probably just stick with your CU because they've never reached into your wallet (with fees). Their rates have been competitive the times I've bothered to check.

Good enough for me. I don't make enough to really gain much in rewards, but it is nice not to worry about triggering fees. They don't try to fark me, I don't leave.

I can see where Citi might have a nice program, but if I farked up one time it would negate any benefit.
 
2013-08-26 10:00:26 PM
My CU has a horrible requirement for membership

You MUST keep at least $5 in a savings account.
 
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