Monthly Archives: January 2011

Change Your Bank (or dump it!)

Find yourself a new bank with these helpful tools. And fuck the “Too big to fail” banks! That ship’s sinking. The timing’s perfect- my large commercial bank failed me for the 3rd time in 6 months, and dammit, I’m making the switch!

Find Rates, Deals, Reviews For Banks

Everything these days is tried and reviewed, by undercover journalists, afficcionados or the average consumer. From hotels, to car rentals, to public terminals, so why not banks? In the wake of the economic collapse of 2008, many large commercial banks went belly up including Wall St. They got their federal bail-outs, and still fucked it all up. But guess what? They’re not the only drink in town. So I went looking for knowledge, and whaddaya know?

my bank tracker

MyBankTracker.com

Every bank has different fees for different things. Every bank has different reviews. So making the switch is no light decision. But I’ve managed to find the right tools to help me gauge each one’s credentials/ reputation/ pros & cons.

MyBankTracker.com offers a wealth of information on just about every bank. Best feature is the Deals tab. It tells you what each bank is offering when you open up an account with them. Some were even offering free iPods- wacky!

Know Your Banking Rights

So when you open or close bank accounts, there’s some rights you have that you may not be aware of:

PrivacyRightsClearingHouse.com

PrivacyRightsClearingHouse.com is AMAZING at informing the consumer how to protect themselves from shitty practices, such as these highlights:

  • Junk Mail
  • Harassment & Stalking
  • Online Privacy & Technology
  • Identity Theft & Data Breaches

And that link I provided takes you to the page that tells you what you do when you shut down a bank account. From Opt-outs to getting rejected from opening an acct. to the 7 Step Checklist. Your welcome!

Find A New Bank

So you can find yourself another commercial bank, or, a credit union, OR, a strictly online bank. It’s not a 1-size fits all. Everyone’s needs are different so now’s the time to do a little research.

Seems the good folks over at HelloWallet.com helped put together MoveYourMoney.info as a consumer watchgroup. They help you select best local banks with a A-D grade-ratings system:

MoveYourMoney.org

As you can see, it finds banks, credit unions, or both!

I tried it out. Verdict? Awesome. It pulls up a list of graded banks (with a B grade or better as was in my case) with each bank’s address and an accompanying Google map.  Just wished it was listed in alphabetical order, but whatever. Plus it prints out quite nicely.

Find A Credit Union

If you’re particularly picky about this, try www.findacreditunion.com. Same as above but more detailed.

findacreditunion.com

What You Should Know About Online Banking

Last but not least, if you wish to forego the entire brick & mortar method of banking…trading up for strictly online banking? From all I’ve read, this method yields the highest interest for your account and many refund your ATM fees at other banks, BUT, it’s not as easily accessible in terms of cash or liquidity as a regular bank. This is cuz they discourage constant withdrawals, otherwise your account doesn’t build up. Get it? Also, they have weird delays in wire transfers and such, often by several days.

Here’s a great link for more info: 3 Reasons Not To Use Online Bank Accounts

I’m not discouraging you from one option or another, just letting you know there’s more than meets the eye. Ask all the right questions and you won’t be disappointed.

So the general rule for online banking  is this: Have a regular bank account for daily transactions, and your online account for greater long-term growth. As I always say, never put all your ca$h eggs into one basket, FDIC-insured or not! Happy banking, happy hunting!

Xtra Linkage:
http://www.hellowallet.com/what-we-do/find-better-bank-products/local-information/
httpp://www.findabetterbank.com