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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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5137 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Aug 2013 at 2:24 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



66 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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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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