Hello Fools...I am seeking some expert advice selfishly catered to my specific financial situation. As of now, I currently hold a 'Value' account with Wells Fargo. Holy $@#% the fees are choking me to death. $7-$10 per month! I could use that $84-$120/yr for investments elsewhere, 400 McDonalds hamburgers, or a pet monkey.I also hold an account with Vanguard for their 500 Index Fund and a Tax-Exmpt MM Fund for various rare brokerage transactions.I have a very small income and my avg. balance is usually below $2000 in my W.Fargo accounts, however I have zero debt (aside from a low 3.64% interest student loan).I've considered shifting my banking to NetBank, but I have read little about deposit options. Are there any other ways to deposit money aside from snail mail and direct-deposit without incurring fees? And what if I choose to write checks instead of Bill-Pay? Is it a nuisance? Finally, if I'm DRiP'ing through a ShareBuilder account, does anyone have any experience with transfering money from NetBank to ShareBuilder? Basically I'm trying to see if a B&M is for me, or if I can manage with NetBank or one of its evil step-cousins and avoid these darned fees.Thanks!--mwp
Are there any other ways to deposit money aside from snail mail and direct-deposit without incurring fees? And what if I choose to write checks instead of Bill-Pay? Is it a nuisance? NetBank has a contract with a bunch of ATM operators who will accept deposits on Netbank's behalf and then forward the checks to NetBank. It's 1 or 2 days slower than sending in the mail yourself. Call up Netbank and ask them if they have any ATMs near you.Writing checks is not a nuisance.Just make sure you study the NetBank fee schedule and understand when each of the fees apply. There are some "land mines" but you should be able to avoid stepping on them with a bit of care. As a result of these fees I don't recommend NetBank to my friends any more.You can inform Sharebuilder about your Netbank account number and they will be happy to suck money out of it.
In my opinion, NetBank stinks. Switched to E*Trade bank and am happy with their service.
Here's my 2 cents:NetBank (www.netbank.com):NetBank is basically an ok bank. They have no monthly fees on their NetValue Checking account, no minimum balance requirements, and you get free bill pay. You also get the first order of checks free. However, their internet banking system is not fully real-time; when you log in, you see your balance as of the previous night's posting. You have to hit an "Update" button to see real-time information, and if you navigate away from the updated page, it reverts back to posted balances and you have to hit the "Update" button again. They also have an inactivity fee after 3 months of inactivity, and a bill pay inactivity fee after 3 months of no bill pay (you can avoid the bill pay inactivity fee by paying at least bill per month or not signing up for it at all). They do not reimburse ATM surcharges. If these things don't bother you, then NetBank may not be that bad a choice. You can always use c2it.com, Yahoo Funds Transfer, or MSN Bill Pay/Transfer Funds to move money there.First Internet Bank of Indiana (www.firstib.com):First IB's internet banking system is fully real-time (at least it was before the vendor was bought out). In fact, not only is their internet banking system real-time, but they also have real-time processing, meaning they don't batch process items at night. Their checking interest rate is higher than NetBank's NetValue Checking, but you have to keep an average balance of $500 in the account to earn the interest and avoid a $4.00 monthly fee. They reimburse ATM surcharges (up to $6.00 per month), and they also have free bill pay. You can move money to First IB through ACH transfers online or through VISA deposits (you could use a local bank's check card to do this) with no fees. Their customer service is better than NetBank's.State Farm Bank (www.statefarm.com/bank):State Farm Bank has a checking account and savings account with no balance requirements and no monthly fees. Their savings account is currently paying interest at 2.63%APY. They have free bill pay, free first order of checks, and they reimburse the first 5 surcharges you pay during the month (up to $1.50 each). If I'm not mistaken, they reimburse the surcharge the same day it's incurred, not all at once at the end of the month. They are probably one of the most stable online banks, because they are owned by one of the largest insurers around.Bank of Internet USA (www.bofi.com):This bank is located in San Diego, CA. It has several checking accounts that may be of interest to you, depending on how old you are. Check out their accounts at http://www.bankofinternet.com/open/checking.asp.Hope this helps.
Hmmm...If at all possible, I would like to keep my accounts to a minimum so as to minimize paperwork and confusion. Having to open and transfer money to and from other accounts to deposit and withdraw from an online banking service seems like a pain in the ass. It's possible that online banks aren't for me, although if I do go to another B&M I'd need to have online access to my account. Are there any B&M branches that offer free checking? I'm guessing that it's practically impossible to find one due to higher costs, but any suggestions appreciated! Thanks again,--mwp
MWP,I have 2 NetBank and a 2 ShareBuilder accounts (1 is a ROTH IRA). I have it set up for both ShareBuilder accounts pull money from my NetBank accounts automatically the first 4 Mondays of every month. It was easy to set up through ShareBuilder and I've had no problems with NetBank.I've had 2 NetBank accounts (checking and money market) for nearly 3 years now. It's simplified my banking and I've received good service with them.PRMADM
Go to www.bankrate.com and look up their survey of checking accounts.Washington Mutual isn't in every state, but they often have attractive checking products.
manwithapipe,If you truly are in Southern California, Bank of America has a no-fee account called either "My Access Checking" or "Versatel Checking" (if you are willing to do the majority of your business on-line or at one of their near 15,000 ATM's). While it's not as attractive as some of those interest-bearing offerings my good friend GoCowboys posted earlier, at least access won't be an issue for you.Good luck, and stay tuned! ;-)SJJ
Also consider a Credit Union account. One of mine has no fees what-so-ever for banking and bill pay (with direct deposit) and the other CU only charges for bill pay. It is not a choice between b&m banks and on- line banks, almost all b&m banks and credit unions are now on line. Ak, in the rainey hills north of Fairbanks.
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