Showing posts with label Banking Services. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banking Services. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2012

How Best to Manage Your Bank Account Through Retirement

An example of a cheque.
a cheque. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you finally reach and surpass the age of fifty, hopefully you understand your personal finances. Still, handling your finances can take a respectable amount of time, and planning for retirement is, for most, people a confusing prospect. You should compare current accounts to see which one can provide the necessary tools to help you. Luckily, the Internet provides a number of tools to assist those older than 50 manage their money more easily and effectively. Here are some great tools to employ.

Online Banking Websites

Everybody passed the age of 50 recalls a time when all your banking was done out of a checkbook. The sole way to get any information was to go to the bank or to wait for your monthly statements to arrive in the mail. You would carefully read your checkbook statement and use it to manage your monthly budgets. Banks now have websites that provides their customers instant access to account information. By using these tools, it is possible to keep a check on how much money is in your account. These online resources allow customers to transfer money between accounts and even to other people. Incorporating these tools into your day-to-day financial dealings can save many trips to the bank. All banks have somewhat different online features, finding the best bank account with the features you need will make your online experience go smoothly.

Online Bill Pay

Most people pay bills by check or through the mail. Now, banks are allowing customers to pay online, which saves both postage and time. In addition, these sites also allow people to set up automatic bill payment schedules. People often travel more after reaching the age of 50, and avoiding the hassles of paying bills while traveling can be a tremendous relief. Some companies are even offering discounts to those who pay their bills online, and for those who are looking to help the environment, online bill pay can help eliminate unnecessary paper usage.

Online Planning Tools

Planning for retirement can be a major hassle; the financial calculations can be difficult, and many have to adjust their lifestyle when retirement comes. Still, there are a number of online tools that are far easier to use than financial calculators. These tools give information in a manner that is easy to understand, and many tools can even offer hints and suggestions to users. When meeting with a financial advisor is useful for most, these tools can eliminate the need for some meetings. Financial experts can even offer advice about using these tools more effectively.

Network With Other People

Internet discussion boards can be a great resource for those searching for financial advice. Almost everyone who's passed the age of 50 has some knowledge of managing their finances, and many communicate in online forums to share their knowledge and tips with each other. Ranging from retirement advice to saving money on bills and food, these tips can help people spend as little as possible. These small savings add up, and a lot of people use them to enjoy the retirement of their dreams.

At and beyond 50, the demands placed by children often drop, and many can begin to taste independence for the first time in years. With some detailed planning, those who are 50 or older can use online tools to enjoy the lifestyles they would like to live.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What You Need in Order to Set up a High Interest Savings Account

State Savings Bank building in Martin Place, S...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In this day and age, where jobs are only safe today and incomes fluctuate wildly, saving is perhaps one’s best bet at securing a future and also making one or two long-held wishes come true along the way. The problem is that the practice and habit of savings is changing as the world around us changes, too, and technologies are updated. 

Another deciding factor in this respect is what to look for in such an account. An inexperienced banking service client can even end up making poor decisions in such a scenario. The ideal picture, when you’re looking to save money, is that you will also be making money out of your good idea and wise caution. How so? 

Essentially because you will be helping to make the bank more secure, by providing it with much-needed liquidities. As such, before signing on with any particular bank, it’s wise for you to look into several options, read up on current trends on and decide for a quality product, such as a high interest savings account. In what follows, we will be telling you all you need to know before opening such an account. What do you need? What factors should you be taking into consideration? Read on to find out. 

Personal Identification Documents

As with setting up any type of account, be it a banking account or an online platform account, you will need to provide certain types of identification information. As per usual, banks require you to provide one form of identification with a picture, or, alternatively, a primary source of identification with a picture and one without. You will need to fill in forms with all your personal details. If you’re setting up an account which also allows for another holder, you will also be required to provide their details, too. The most valuable piece of information required in this stage is your tax file number, also known as the TFN, which will allow you to no longer pay the withholding tax on your new account. Also, if you plan on linking several accounts, you will have to provide information on all the other accounts, too. 

Setting up the Specifics

The main question you need to ask yourself before setting up the savings account is how much money you’re willing to set aside each week, and, respectively, how much money you want to see piling up in your account by the time your savings span is over. These two factors are interconnected and require some preliminary thought. You can’t jump in head first and hope everything is going to be all right when it comes to money—not even when it’s about saving money, instead of spending it. 

You need to know precisely what your monthly costs are, from bills to rent to what you spend on food and other current items. Once you’ve established your margins, you’ll be able to set yourself much more at ease with such an important decision. You will be able to focus exclusively on your high interest, which you need to remember is the main perk of such an account. Remember never to set up a savings account with a given bank if you believe a different institution could give you a better interest rate.

Monday, October 1, 2012

4 Ways to Make Money with Certificates Of Deposit

Certificate of Deposit is the safest and the surest way to earn money by way of investment. It offers you more interest than the savings account and is devoid of the risks involved in stocks. You can open the Certificate of Deposit in any bank or financial institution of your choice. Given below are 4 ways in which you can earn money with Certificates of Deposit -
Invest In A Long Term CD

The easiest way to ensure that you earn money from your certificate of deposit is to invest in a long term CD than a short term one. CDs will require you to keep your money for certain duration before you can withdraw from it. This period can vary between six months to five years. It is known that the CD, which is valid for a longer period of time, earns you high CD interest rates than a CD that is valid for a few days or months. For example, a six-month CD can give you 3% interest as compared to a 5 year CD that gives you 5% interest.
High Yield CDs Are Not Always Beneficial

The U.S Exchange Commission warns investors from being influenced by CDs that have a high yield. Also, be wary of CDs that have variable interest rates. These CDs usually depend on the stock market and this can affect how much you earn from the Certificate of Deposit. CDs with low rates of interest usually have less risk since they do not depend on the financial market.

You should also make sure if your CD has a call feature. The banks terminate CDs with call features when the financial market dips and this can stop you from earning the full potential of the CD. This feature is usually present in high yielding CDs.
Let Your CD Mature

You should never withdraw from your CD before it matures if you want to earn from it. Access it only to withdraw money after its maturity. If you withdraw money from the CD before it matures, you may end up losing interest earned in the prior months. If you haven’t earned enough interest to pay the penalty, the bank will then deduct the amount from your principal. Thus, you end up losing more than what you would have earned.
Be Clear About How You Will Earn The Interest

When you open a certificate of deposit, the bank will give you a disclosure document that will state the features of your CD, the rate of interest that you would earn and how you will receive the payment. It is better to have the interest amount electronically transferred to your bank account rather than opting to receive a cheque.

If you want to earn money from the CD, keep in mind that it is best to invest in long-term schemes and not to touch your CD before it matures. Be clear about the rates you earn and the mode of payment.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Consumer Outrage Makes Bank Transfer Day a Big Success

Banking customers from all over the country took their money out of the big mega banks and open new accounts in their local credit union. This is occurring because of the national movement called Bank Transfer Day, started by 27 year old Kristen Christian. It's a grassroots protest started on Facebook on October 4th in response to Bank of America's planned $5 debit fee increase. 

The Credit Union National Association has stated their usual new accounts per month averaged 80,000 but during October new accounts topped 650,000. 

According to Tropical Financial Credit Union marketing vice president Amy McGraw, "It's an opportunity for us to educate people about what a credit union is because 60 percent of consumers don't know." McGraw reports in this credit union alone new members opening accounts almost doubled.

Credit unions are finally getting the broad respect they deserve. The big banks are starting to see that lousy customer service, nickel and diming the customer, and treating the customer poorly will drive customers away to to banks that treat them with respect. 

How much of an effect this will take on the big banks we will eventually find out. Even if it only effects them 1%, thats still billions they lose over time. 

Bank Transfer Day was a big success because it gave the mega banks a public spanking for the way they mistreat their customers. Maybe they will learn something from it. Also, we should all thank Kristen Christian for efforts. Why not go over to her facebook page and write a note of appreciation.

Go to Credit Union Look-up for a credit union near you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Banks Are Backing Off Debit Card Fees

Mega banks Chase and Wells Fargo are reversing their decision to charge customers for using debit cards. Sun-Trust Banks and Regions Financial were charging debit card fees for some time now but it was when Bank of America announced it's $5 debit card fee, public outrage went off the charts.

Banks have blamed the new fees on the loss of revenue they suffered when new federal regulations kicked in. The new regulations that limit the fees they can collect from retailers for handling debit card transactions.

When the announcement was made Sen. Richard Durbin, D.-Ill, called the fee an "outrage" on the floor of the Senate. Sen. Durbin was one of the authors of the new regulations that started the whole process. Durbin encouraged customers of banks that charge fees to "vote with their feet," but consumers were already ahead of him. Credit unions and community banks nationwide are reporting huge spikes in new accounts as consumers seek no-fee options.

Related:  How To Move Your Checking Account In 7 Easy Steps

Now Bank of America has announced, through an unidentified source, that they are going to eliminate the debit card fee. But the damage is already done. Many consumers are so angry that they will never do business with the big banks again. The have switched to credit unions that don't charge fees. According to

What to Do Now.

If you have already switched and are happy with your new bank, stay put. Many people are enjoying the more personal touch of credit unions. Stay with your new bank for six months and reevaluate then. revealed that more than 3 out of 10 consumers will switch from a national bank to a local credit union. The tide has not turned on the motivation to abandon the big banks. Even Bank Transfer Day and Occupy Wall Street protesters are still proposing to bail out on the big banks, so to speak.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3 Banks Where Checking and Debit Cards Are Still Free

Lately who isn't  upset  about bank fees like few other personal finance issues in memory.

Bank of America's announcement of a $5 monthly fee for debit card transactions was the last straw for many who feel they're being nickel and dimed in a tough economy.

There's an increasing frustration that seemingly any banking activity may now incur an extra charge. PNC Bank, for example, docks some customers $2 to $3 if they call a representative to transfer money.

The fees are still going up at more banks. All told, 60 percent more bank accounts carry fees and balance requirements than a year ago, an August survey by found.

It's up to consumers to tackle their own fees head on.

The new charges have at least accomplished one positive thing: serving as a virtual call to arms for consumers to take action by changing accounts, switching banks or otherwise trying to get around or reduce fees.

There are safe alternatives to your local banks online. Most have no monthy fee or debit card charges. They give free checks and reimburse your fees for using other banks ATM's.
Below are 3 online banks that I believe are at the top of the list.

1. EverBank

This was a late addition, but EverBank has perhaps the best offering right now with no fees, an interest bearing account, reimbursed ATM fees and they’ll even pay you $60 to switch to them!

  • Monthly Account Fee: $0
  • Debit Card Fee: $0
  • Opening Deposit: $1,500 deposit to open
  • Checks: free checks
  • ATM Fees: zero ATM fees – if your balance is over $5,000 they will reimburse you the ATM fees from other banks.
  • Interest: EverBank guarantees that you will earn interest that is in the top 5% of what all banks offer.
  • Cashback Rewards on Debit Card: n/a

Official EverBank Site, FDIC-Insured, High-Yield CDs, Safely Secure Large Deposits,

Image representing PerkStreet Financial as dep...Image via CrunchBase

2. PerkStreet Financial

PerkStreet Financial offers a no fee MasterCard debit card and checking account. With PerkStreet, online bill pay and banking and banking are free and there is:

  • Monthly Account Fee: $0 monthly account fee if you have at least one debit card transaction.
  • Debit Card Fee: $0
  • Opening Deposit: A$25 deposit will get you started.
  • Checks: free checks
  • ATM fees: 37,000 ATM’s nationally that you can withdraw from without surcharge, otherwise $2 surcharge.
  • Interest: no interest earned on your balance.
  • Cashback Rewards on Debit Card: Perkstreet’s biggest appeal is that at a time when other banks are beginning to charge you for debit cards, they offer you cash back! If you maintain a $5,000 balance, you get an outstanding 2% cashback. If under $5,000, you’ll get 1%. There are also 5% cash back categories throughout the year with PerkStreet.

PerkStreet FinancialSM offers you the only unlimited 2% cash back debit card. Instead of creating more debt when you're shopping, you're creating more cash. So be Super Smart and sign up today.

Logo for Ally BankImage via Wikipedia3. Ally Bank

I’m a big fan of Ally Bank because they don’t do business like other large, national banks. They create appealing products that don’t take advantage of their customers. Ally Bank Interest Checking offers:

  • Monthly Account Fee: $0
  • Debit Card Fee: $0
  • Opening Deposit: $0 deposit to open
  • Checks: free checks
  • ATM Fees: zero ATM fees – they actually pay for fees charged by other banks!
  • Interest: you earn interest on your balance.
  • Cashback Rewards on Debit Card: n/a
Open an Interest Checking Account from Ally Bank today!

These big bank fee increases are the blow back for changing government regulations. Like always the consumer gets stuck with the bill when Washington trys to help us. Don't stand for the fee increases and send the big banks a message.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are You Joining Bank Transfer Day on Nov. 5

Alright, who is fed up with their bank? The anger at banks these days is incredible high. Bank of America probably never could of realized just how much of an uproar its planned $5/month debit fee would cause. 

Other banks had already announced such fees, but the fees were smaller and were only introduced in select markets. It was Bank of America's announcement that was the last straw. People are mad and they are closing account and doing their banking elsewhere. One consumer, Kristen Christian, has decided to do something about it.

Christian launched the now viral Bank Transfer Day movement. On Nov. 5, Christian and her thousands of followers have vowed to close their accounts at big banks and transfer their money to credit unions, banking institutions known to provide more personalized customer service.

Bank Transfer Day has its very own Facebook page filled with information about the day and what you can do to help spread the message. The page already has more than 21,000 Likes.

So why did Christian decide to do more than simply close her own account?

Kristen Christian says, "I started this because I felt like many of you do. I was tired — tired of the fee increases, tired of not being able to access my money when I need to, tired of them using what little money I have to oppress my brothers & sisters. So I stood up. I've been shocked at how many people have stood up alongside me. 

With each person who RSVPs to this event, my heart swells. Me closing my account all on my lonesome wouldn't have made a difference to these fat cats. But each of YOU standing up with me ... they can't drown out the noise we'll make." Source: Facebook.

Join Christian on facebook at "Bank Transfer Day"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How To Move Your Checking Account In 7 Easy Steps

An assortment of United States coins, includin...Image via Wikipedia
There is a lot of anger out there between banks and their customers these days. The announcement of increased ATM fees has put the public on the war path. People want to move their accounts to a bank that has free checking and no fees. It's going to be hard to find such a thing from now on.

Over the last few years the banking industry has just continued to keep the general public angry at them. These new fees and signs of even more fees is driving an even bigger wedge between the two. What other industry continues to work so hard to maintain such a low opinion of themselves.

Related Post Your Bank Fees Are Increasing - Here's Why

Over this last year and increasing the last two months credit unions have seen a 300 percent rise in new accounts being opened. People are leaving Bank of America and other banks also.

If your thinking about moving to another bank, double check with your present bank if you can change to an account that will not have any fees. Don't be in a hurry. Do your research into the new institution first.

Some resources that might prove helpful when looking for another bank include,, and

Moving Your Money to a New Checking Account. Steps to Make it Safe and Easy

1.Open your new bank account with a small deposit.

Why? Once you choose a bank or credit union, make sure to open a new account before taking any steps to close your old account. Deposit just enough to open the account and avoid any fees the bank may charge for maintaining a low balance.

2. Make a list of all the automatic payments and deposits that are scheduled to go in and out of your old account each month. See the chart below as an example.

Why? This is to help you organize and keep track of all of the automatic transfers that are tied to your old account, so that you can make sure there is enough money in the old account for all your payments to clear during the process of moving your money to your new account.

3. If you have direct deposit, ask your employer to reroute your paychecks to your new account. Ask what date the first deposit will occur and use this date to guide you through Step 4.

Why? Sometimes it can take more than one pay cycle to complete the rerouting. If so, you should make sure that your automatic payments are not transferred to the new account until your paycheck is transferred.

4. Once you know what date your direct deposits will transfer, reschedule each automatic payment or debit to come out of your new account. Make sure to ask the company what date the change will apply.

Why? Sometimes it could take one whole statement period to reflect the change. If
this is the case, make sure you leave enough money in the old account to
cover the payment when it occurs.
BudgetingImage by RambergMediaImages via Flickr

5.Leave at least a small amount of cash in your old checking account for at least one more month.

Why? This will ensure that every payment will be covered if you happen to forget about something. The amount you leave may depend on whether your old bank or credit union charges you a fee for maintaining a low balance. If so, try to leave the required amount to avoid a charge.

6. Once you are sure that all automatic payments and all direct deposits are coming and going from your new account, electronically transfer the final funds from your old account into the new account.

Why? Though it may take a few days before an electronic transfer clears, transferring money electronically is generally the fastest, cheapest, and safest way to move money from one account to another.

7. Once the transfer clears in your new account, follow the procedures for closing an account at your old financial institution. Make sure to obtain written confirmation that your account is closed.

Why? Your account does not automatically close when you withdraw all of the money; you must follow the process laid out by your financial institution to make sure you close the account properly. By obtaining written confirmation that your account is closed, you can rest easy that you’ve taken the appropriate steps. If you don’t close the account, you might get hit with a monthly account maintenance fee even after you stop using it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Your Bank Fees Are Increasing - Here's Why

Lincoln memorial cent, with the S mintmark of ...Image via WikipediaIt’s time to add free checking to the endangered species list. No-cost access to your own money may soon go the way of the passenger pigeon. But this extinction can’t be blamed on global climate change or habitat loss. Blame the shaky status of free checking on regulatory climate change and profit loss for banks.

Recently enacted federal banking regulations restrict previously profitable practices by banks such as big overdraft fees and jacking up credit card interest rates for customers who are late on a payment. And earlier this summer, efforts by the banking industry to block a cap on debit card swipe fees failed. The fees banks charge grocery stores, restaurants, big box stores and other businesses every time they swipe a customer’s debit card will drop from about 45 cents a swipe to 12 cent swipes. That change, set to go into effect on Oct. 1, adds up to a loss of revenue of billions of dollars for the nation’s banks.

The Banks’ Loss Is Your Loss. 

The banks need to make up that loss of revenue somewhere and many banks have plans to recover it up by hitting you with new fees: checking account maintenance fees, ATM fees, debit card use fees.

Fight Back!

With a little due diligence, you can keep money in the bank without paying money to the bank. Most bank customers — 71 percent — find ways to avoid paying any bank fees, according to a survey by the American Bankers Association (ABA) released Sept. 1. The survey also shows that 82 percent of consumers spend $3 or less in monthly bank fees for services such as checking account maintenance and ATM access.

"It's impressive that so many customers avoid paying any bank fees," said Nessa Feddis, ABA vice president. "It shows that consumers are savvy and able to navigate the new banking landscape with skill. Often, avoiding bank fees can be as simple as maintaining a minimum balance or accepting a paycheck by direct deposit.”

But … the annual survey of 2,000 adults was conducted in mid-August. Many of the new fees announced by some big banks don’t kick in until fall. For example, SunTrust, a major player in the South, will begin imposing $5-a-month charge for debit card use in November. Regions Bank will impose a $4-a-month fee for debit-card use starting Oct. 1. Wells Fargo — a large national bank — will begin charging a monthly $3 fee for debit cards in October for purchases in Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

More Fees Coming

Banks have an assortment of other tactics to get some of your money — charging for a paper monthly statement or receiving a wire transfer. Another example, Bank of America charges a $3 fee if you make more than three transfers a month from your savings account to your checking account. It pays to read the fine print when opening your checking account and asking questions about fees.

What To Do

Getting a deal on bank fees — like finding a deal at the mall — requires a bit of legwork. Online banks still offer free checking and if virtual banking fits you, that is an option. Moving your account to a credit union is another option. Credit unions are nonprofit and typically offer better deals on checking accounts, consumer loans and interest rates on deposits. 

Some resources that might prove helpful when looking for another bank include,, and

You may also avoid bank fees by giving your present bank more business. Many banks offer better deals to customers who maintain a higher checking account and/or savings account balance. You may also get the bank to waive fees if you have an automobile loan or home mortgage at the bank.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bank of America, Your New $5 Fee Doesn't Scare Me

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...Image via WikipediaBank of America is initiating a $5 monthly fee on people who want to use their debit cards for purchases. Customers using their card just at the ATM will not have to pay the fee. Already Wells Fargo, the other giant mega bank, has said it plans to test a $3 fee, which they say is because of new federal rules that made the cards less profitable for banks.

Out of all the banks, Bank of America has the most financial problems. It has more problems with bad mortgages, fallout from the sales of bonds made from those loans and questions about how it serviced its home mortgages. So it was inevitable they would be the first bank to try and recoup some of those losses.

The only way around not paying the fee is to have your mortgage with them or have more than $20,000 in account balances. So for the average customer, the fee will have an impact.

What should you do?

You can change banks and find one that doesn't have the fees. Many people are looking not to other banks but to an alternative thats been under the radar for many years, credit unions. These institutions main purpose is to serve the community. They are mostly local and sometimes regional. They are run under a non-profit business plan. So the fees are low or non-existent. The interest rates charged on loans and mortgages are lower than normal. Also the interest rates they pay are higher. They run the business totally for the benefit of the customer. In the U.S. you have the choice of many credit unions.

Go to to find a credit union near you

Why not just pay the $5 fee?

If you have been at a bank for many years the hassle of finding and moving to another bank is just not worth the hassle over $5. I spend that much on one Starbucks coffee. Many people already have a bank they are happy with. They know where every branch is, the hours of operation, the ATM's, etc. It's not like they are charging you a exorbitant fee. For the price of a movie rental, you have the convenience you are already use to.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New July PowerPerks At PerkStreet Financial

Summers here and PerkStreet Financial PowerPerks took the fun path this month. Thinking you deserved a little relaxation for the hot summer months PerkStreet is going to give you back 5% when you purchase these cool summer treats. 

This months Powerperks that will give you 5% back in rewards are:

  1. Ben & Jerry’s
  2. Diary Queen
  3. Cold Stone Creamery
  4. Old Navy
  5. Movie Tickets

Remember even if you don't get to use these PowerPerk companies you still receive 1% to 2% cash back rewards (depending on your balance) on all your regular purchases. I like using the PerkStreet Mastercard because unlike a credit card there is never an interest charge or a late fee. You get all the benefits of a credit card without all the negatives.

PerkStreet customers can earn 2% cash back on all non-PIN debit card purchases when they have a daily opening balance of at least $5,000 in their checking account. Customers will continue to earn PerkStreet’s standard 1 percent cash back on all non-PIN debit card purchases even when their account balance is less than $5,000.

PerkStreet has calculated you will get back at least $600 per year by using their account. There are no fees or long list of exceptions to gaining rewards.

Though the amount you can earn via regular rewards (1% or 2% depending on your account balance) is unlimited, the amount you can earn at the 5% cash back bonus rate is limited to $250 per household annually (starting on the day your account was opened). The total amount of cash back you can earn remains unlimited.

Sign up today for PerkStreet Financial and start earning rewards today!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goodby ING Direct, Hello Perkstreet Financial

Image representing PerkStreet Financial as dep...Image via CrunchBaseLike a lot of ING Direct customers I am very disappointed in the decision to sell the company to Capital One. Capital One is acquiring one of the finest banking companies on the web. I believe that Capital One will not keep the fine customer service and great fee structure that ING Direct delivered for so many years. It may be premature to abandon ship at so early a time but am not going to wait around and see what happens.

Without ING what are my alternatives. I need a bank with free checking and a free ATM. The ATM card must also let me use it for making charges. It also has to have a reward program.

The only bank that suits all those requirements is PerkStreet Financial. I have been using PerkStreet  Financial for a while and have found that it lives up to its claims.

What I like about PerkStreet is they have a 2% unlimited cash rebate on purchases for your first 3 months (and longer, if you maintain more than a $5,000 balance). If you keep less than $5,000 on hand, they will still give you 1% cash back after the initial offering.

The rest of the year they offer 5% (with a $250 annual limit) on various categories and retailers. Not bad for a checking account.

I also use the Chase Amazon Card which gives me 1% back on purchases and 3% when used at Amazon. Now I use the PerkStreet Debit MasterCard for more and more bill payments so I can add to my reward total.

I don't have direct deposit, so I use my other bank to transfer the cash to PerkStreet, all at no charge. I like to pay my utilities and repeating monthly bills through PerkStreet to also add to my cash back total.

It's very easy to apply for an account online and you can fund your account through your current bank account. You can sign up for an account today with the details below.

Improve your financial life with the PerkStreet FinancialSM Debit MasterCard®. Save money, have fun and stay on budget with the only unlimited 2% cash back debit card. Don't miss out. Sign up today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Backlash to Capital One's Acquisition of ING Still Raging

Amsterdam Zuidoost, ING BuildingImage via WikipediaMany people may have not heard that Capital One has purchased online bank ING Direct for $9 billion . 

Under the terms of the deal, Netherlands-based ING Groep will receive $6.2 billion in cash and $2.8 billion in the form of Capital One shares. That will make ING the largest single shareholder in Capital One after the deal closes.

ING will also have the right to be represented by a member of Capital One's board of directors.

Capital One is best known for its portfolio of credit cards. But the company also has about 1,000 branches, mostly in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Acquisitions like this happen all the time but the reaction because of it has rarely been seen. Many social media sites like Facebook have seen the backlash first hand of customer complaints of this sale. In chat rooms, forums, and blogs ING customers are venting their frustration. Their reactions are almost like they have lost heir best friend. The amount of emotion and dejection is almost unheard of in this type of news. It only goes to show of how a company can find the needs of it's customers and successfully fulfill them. Thus creating happy customers and a prosperous company.

The reason for the sale of the company is European regulators, as a condition of financial assistance given to ING's Dutch parent company during the bank crisis, demanded that they sell off the ING Direct division of the company. ING Direct, headquartered in Wilmington, Del., offers savings accounts, checking accounts, mortgages and brokerage services to 7.7 million customers.

The problem many people have with the sale is that they are worried that ING's reputation, low fees, low maintenance, and great customer service would be thrown to the wayside because of the new ownership.

ING is so popular because they offer a basic savings account with no minimum balance and great interest rates. Combined with no monthly fee, customers have flocked to the bank and made it one of the most popular online banks. It has become the gold standard of online banks.

Thus lies the problem people have. Capital One's dismal reputation proceeds it. Capital One has a reputation of a terrible fee structure and poor customer support. ING customers know this and are rightly upset. They have enjoyed a great banking experience and now are worried it will all disappear. How many ING customers will leave the online bank, will be determined as time goes by.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why Use an Online Bank Instead of a Brick and Mortar Bank

Lincoln memorial cent, with the S mintmark of ...Image via WikipediaThe main reason people don't use an online bank is that they are afraid of losing control of their money. This is simply wrong. An online bank will give you the same or added control of you money. If you have made a purchase online you have used the same process that online banks use. 

A credit transaction is basically a money transfer you are responsible for. You trust your credit card company to complete the transfer of money to the online store so you will receive your purchase through the mail. The online banking system uses the same transfers and safety protocols that the credit card companies use.

Everyday when I go to work I pass by my bank. The only time I stop by is to use the ATM. My income is directly deposited into the bank weekly. I never go in the bank. Over the last 15 years I have used this bank I have gone in 3 times. It's not necessary. All my transactions are done by computer. I check my balance, deposits, and my online billpay on my computer at home. If I need checks, I order them online and they are delivered by mail. There is no reason to go to the bank for anything but my ATM use.

Benefits to Online Banking.
Interest on your account balance. The bulk of brick and mortar banks give little or no interest. Online banks give over 1% interest and even more on their CD's. When you don't have a physical building to maintain and pay for you have more money to pay interest and give rewards on checking accounts.

Automation for your finances.
Automation of your finances means using the banks online billpay services. These free services allow you to pay your bills with a few clicks of your mouse. Billpay does all the work when paying your bills online. It's easy to set up. You can set up billpay to pay your bills for any day or any month way in advance. You can even set up billpay to pay your bills a year in advance if you wish.

Automation of your saving.
Just like setting up your bills to be paid online, you can set up your saving to be automatic. Set a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly transfer of money to your savings account. You can even set up transfers to your stock and mutual fund accounts.

How to find an Online bank.

Google has an online comparison site that shows the details on different banking an saving accounts. Got to Google Comparison Savings Accounts to see what's available.

An online bank I use is PerkStreet Financial. PerkStreet Financial is the only checking account that has rewards for using your debit card. Customers have the choice of cash back, music downloads, or a free coffee. PerkStreets claim to fame is that just by using your debit card on just your normal purchases, you can easily earn $600 cash back every year.

Improve your financial life with the PerkStreet FinancialSM Debit MasterCard®. Save money, have fun and stay on budget with the only unlimited 2% cash back debit card. Don't miss out. Sign up today.

Friday, June 17, 2011

PerkStreet Financial & Ally Bank: Who's Got The Better Checking Account

If you look on any personal finance website you will see ads for PerkStreet Financial and Ally Bank. Each have much to offer, each have free accounts, and each are easy to use. Let's see what each one has to offer.

PerkStreet Financial

PerkStreet Financial is the only checking account that has rewards for using your debit card. Customers have the choice of cash back, music downloads, or a free coffee.PerkStreets claim to fame is that just by using your debit card on just your normal purchases, you can easily earn $600 cash back every year.

How to make deposits with Perkstreet:
  • Regular mail: Using a postage-paid envelopes.
  • Free overnight delivery: Send your checks overnight for free from 3,400 UPS Stores and Mailboxes Etc. locations nationwide (get a tracking number to ensure delivery).
  • Direct deposit: Sign up for direct deposit with your employer and have all or a portion of your paycheck deposited into your account automatically.
  • Online transfers: Move money easily between your PerkStreet account and outside accounts.
  • MoneyGram® ExpressPayment: Deposit cash free at 18,000 locations nationwide, including Wal-Mart stores. You’ll need some specific information from Perkstreet to use this deposit method.
How to withdraw money

You can withdraw money without a charge at one of 37,000 ATMs within the STAR®surcharge-free network or at any merchant that offers cash back with purchases such as grocery stores or department stores like Walmart or Target. You may also use ATMs outside of the network but you’ll pay a $2 fee plus any fee the ATM owner may charge.

Another benefit of opening a PerkStreet Financial Checking account is that they don't do a credit check on you. If you ever have walked away from overdraft charges and your old bank, you know any other bank won't give you a checking account because they do a credit check.

Other exciting services are about to come out at PerkStreet.

  • Increasing the amount of cash back they can earn;
  • Connecting with an expanded community to share secrets for saving;
  • Accessing an expanded set of financial services from PerkStreet (To the thousands of customers who have asked for savings accounts — we hear you!);
  • Using a groundbreaking set of online tools to identify additional ways to save and reach financial goals faster.

    Sign up today for one of the most rewarding checking accounts and get the 
    PerkStreet Financial Debit MasterCard® - the debit card that helps you get debt free. It gives you 5% cash back on certain categories and 2% on everything else.

    Ally Bank

    Instead of a rewards plan Ally Bank offers interest on your balance. The details of their checking account:

    • $0 monthly fee
    • $0 to open and no minimum balance – you can open it today and begin using it when you want
    • Free checks
    • No ATM fees at any ATM
    • Variable rate account where balances $15,000 or more get an even higher rate
    • Ally Bank has a nice feature for people who have trouble with overdrafts. If you set up an Ally Bank On-line Savings account and link it to your Interest Checking Account, every time you go into over draft Ally will transfer the funds to cover the overdraft all at no charge. The amount of money you will save on fees is tremendous. Other banks normally charge you for this service.
    How Do I Make Deposits?
    • Ally has something called eCheck Deposit, you simply scan your check and transmit it to Ally Bank. 
    • Send a check using special prepaid envelopes made avaiable by Ally Bank.
    • Move funds between accounts at other banks to your Ally Bank account.
    • Set up Direct Deposit for your payroll check.
    • Use a wire transfer at no charge.
    How Do I Withdraw Money From Ally Bank?

    You can use any ATM in the nation and you will not be charged. And if you are charged, ALLY will reimburse you. They have more than 400,000 ATM locations and when you use your debit card you can receive cash back.

    To open a ALLY Checking Account Click Here.

    What's The Verdict? ALLY or PerkStreet?

    If you don't want to bother with cashback go with ALLY. They give you interst ony your balance with no hassle. If you want cashback then PerkStreet Financial is the way to go. If you only have a small amount of money to use in these accounts, you results will not be great. But if you depositing at least $50,000 or more through your account then you will see some cashback money when using PerkStreet.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    The New Google Advisor Is Your One-Stop Source For Financial Products.

    Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseGoogle has launched a website where you can get information on mortgage, credit card, CD, or checking and savings accounts. This type of information has been the life blood of many personal finance blogs for many years. Now here is a one stop place to get all types of financial products.

    We’ve all experienced the hit and miss associated with comparing financial products such as mortgages or credit cards. Often information is presented in an incomplete or otherwise opaque manner, and comparison between businesses and offers is confusing. Google has taken up the challenge of simplifying the process by creating a new service, Google Advisor, that makes it easy for users to compare products side by side.

    Quote from the Official Google Blog

    Financial decisions may be some of the most difficult decisions we face—whether it’s finding the right credit card or understanding the impact of paying an extra point on a mortgage. And these days, it seems like we have more financial options than ever.To help solve these problems, we began testing a mortgage comparison tool in 2009 and have added other financial products such as credit cards, CDs, checking, and savings accounts. Today, we’re rolling these tools into one place: Google Advisor, a site designed to help you quickly find relevant financial products from many providers and compare them side-by-side. Google Advisor is currently only available in the U.S.
    Mortgage Results Page

    I tried out the Mortgage function by entering my information. I clicked on refinance. Then value of the home, mortgage balance, cash out, loan type, and points. My state, county, home type was already entered magically. I was given 21 results. The list consisted of mortgage lender, interest rate, APR, Fees, points, and Contact details. As I enter different details the page updated dynamically. If I found one I wanted to pursue the contact details had links to email or phone numbers, and hours of operation. Overall a very thorough and well laid out page.

    Credit Card
     Results Page

    The Credit Card section results was divided by balance transferred, Intro purchase APR, Cash back, Air Miles, And Points. There was a total of 87 credit cards offered on this page. It states on the page that Google receives no commission from when you click on an offer. Also that the credit card information is updated twice a week for accuracy. The credit card results page can be sorted by intro APR, Ongoing APR, Annual Fee, and Reward Type.

     Results Page

    The CD section results allows you to enter the amount to deposit, maximum term,and account type. Whether it's a regular account or an IRA. The results page is divided up into columns APY, Minimum Opening Balance, Term Length, Actual interest earned for the term, Early Withdrawal penalty, and Apply details. There is a link to apply online.

     Results Page

    The Savings Section asks for savings amount, regular savings or money market, and zip code. The results are displayed by name of institution, APY, Minimum to open, Monthly fee, Interest earned, and details with a link to apply online.

    Checking Results Page

    The Checking Section wants your initial deposit, a check box for no monthly fee and interest checking, and zip code. There is a check box if you want to exclude Internet only banks. The results give you Bank name, APY, Minimum, monthly fee and details with an apply online link. In the checking and Savings account section you can also search by a specific bank.

    Again, Google is saying they receive no compensation on the credit card, CD's, checking, and savings applications. But on the mortgage page, Google does admit they get paid when you contact a lender through the site.

    I like the overall experience of Google Advisor. It's laid out well for navigation. The search results are many. I also especially like the link to apply for the products, it takes you to the actual site to make an online application, making the application progress almost painless.

    The only other competition to Google Advisor is has more bells and whistles than Google. But I'll have to give it to Google for an easier to navigate interface. Bankrate's interface is a little dated and could use a little modifying.

    Give Google Advisor a try.

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