Of the big four banks, which is the best?

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Which of the big four banks do you use?

Chase
21
37%
Citi
4
7%
Citi
4
7%
Wells Fargo
28
49%
 
Total votes: 57

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kirent
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Of the big four banks, which is the best?

Post by kirent » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:36 pm

I currently only have credit union accounts but want to start up a checking account at one of the big four banks. Of the people who use one of the big banks, I just wanted to hear some of your experiences with them, which one you use, and which you like best.

Thanks!

I can tell someone is going to think they are really smart and say none.
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hsv_climber
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Post by hsv_climber » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:41 pm

Why?

Lumpr
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Post by Lumpr » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:47 pm

hsv_climber wrote:Why?
+1

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kirent
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Post by kirent » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:48 pm

hsv_climber wrote:Why?
NFCU doesn't offer safety deposit boxes.
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rec7
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Post by rec7 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:01 pm

stives wrote:
hsv_climber wrote:Why?
NFCU doesn't offer safety deposit boxes.
Other local credit unions will have a safety deposit boxes. I am a huge credit union fan. And aside from the safety deposit boxes NFCU is one of the best credit unions in the US.
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kirent
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Post by kirent » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:06 pm

rec7 wrote:
stives wrote:
hsv_climber wrote:Why?
NFCU doesn't offer safety deposit boxes.
Other local credit unions will have a safety deposit boxes. I am a huge credit union fan. And aside from the safety deposit boxes NFCU is one of the best credit unions in the US.
The ones I can join do not unfortunately. The only option is one of the big four banks. And just because I'm opening up another account does not mean I'm closing the other ones.
Last edited by kirent on Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HomerJ
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Post by HomerJ » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:08 pm

If all you want is a safety deposit box, join the one that has a branch closest to your house or work.

rec7
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Post by rec7 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:25 pm

Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack

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kirent
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Post by kirent » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:31 pm

rec7 wrote:Have you tried this link

http://www.creditunion.coop/cu_locator/quickfind.php
I used findacreditunion.com but the results are mostly the same.
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rec7
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Post by rec7 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:33 pm

Well I tried.
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Post by Lumpr » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:38 pm

stives wrote:
hsv_climber wrote:Why?
NFCU doesn't offer safety deposit boxes.
Didn't see that coming

Sidney
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Post by Sidney » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:48 pm

didn't realize you need a checking account to get a safe deposit box.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Post by treypar » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:49 pm

I have used Bank of America with no problems. I really like their Bill Pay.

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CABob
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Post by CABob » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:21 pm

Why limit your search to one of the big four banks? I would think that perhaps a local or regional bank would be as good and perhaps better for safety deposit box and maybe other services also. From what I have been reading you may experience smaller or no fees from a smaller bank.
Bob

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Post by KLM14 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:06 am

Bank of America for banking and Wells Fargo for mortgages (and neither has ever tried to seriously cross-market the services of the other which makes me suspect of their marketing capabilities...)
I have used Bank of America with no problems. I really like their Bill Pay.
I too think their integration with Quicken and into BillPay is and has been seamless for years. Their customer service has been better (they have increased holding thresholds on some premium customer service offerings) but I can usually get to the right person when I need them.
Why limit your search to one of the big four banks? I would think that perhaps a local or regional bank would be as good and perhaps better for safety deposit box and maybe other services also. From what I have been reading you may experience smaller or no fees from a smaller bank.
Over the years, I tried to stay away from the big banks but BofA consumed the two other banks I had so I gave up. With regard to small banks, with Georgia leading the country in bank closures since 2008 at 57 (with 2 more yesterday) - we don't even think about going down that path.

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Post by nisiprius » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:24 pm

We have our safe deposit box at a small local bank (50 employees, one location, $350 million in assets, three out of five stars BankRate rating) that is within walking distance of our house.

I don't know why anyone wants a big bank.

Do you really have credit unions nearby, but no small banks?

I've had accounts at various financial institutions. I had one at a bank that had about twenty locations, that was gobbled up by a big statewide bank, that was gobbled up by a major regional bank with a logo that gave it the nickname "the three sharks," that was gobbled up by Bank of America. Each acquisition and size increase was accompanied by decreases in customer service and increases in fees. Candor compels me to say I bailed on the third bank, so I don't know for sure what Bank of America is like.

It was a small bank in a neighboring town that gave us a mortgage, after a big bank teased us by making us fill out all the paperwork and saying we were pre-approved, only to tell us a week before closing that, surprise, surprise, they'd changed their mind.

In forty years, there have only been two times when I've been inconvenienced by using a small bank. Once was when I wanted to make an overseas wire transfer. The other was a couple of months ago--my granddaughter's French class is going on a trip to Quebec City and I thought it would be cool to give her some actual Canadian currency. Small local bank had to order it, which took three days, whereas the big bank had a limited stash available right in the bank.
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Post by FafnerMorell » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:34 pm

I've used Chase for quite awhile (after they bought up the smaller bank I was at), and they've been tolerable. My wife used BofA for her business and found it a disaster when dealing with an identity theft issue - she's now at Wells Fargo and, despite a lot of missteps, they seem OK. No experience with Citi.

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Post by livesoft » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:34 pm

nisiprius wrote:...
I don't know why anyone wants a big bank.
In our area, the big banks have branches in all the grocery stores. They also have numerous local branches. Now that WF bought Wachovia, there are even branches next door to each other. There are 4 actual WF brick & mortar buildings within 4 miles of my house. One is close enough to do banking during a dog walk.

Furthermore, the folks who work in these banks live in the community. Their kids go to school with my kids.

The big bank can leverage their size to give a superior online experience, superior online bill pay, medallion signature guarantees, more offices locally, more ATMS, free cookies and popcorn in the branches, free dog treats, etc.

Folks can write about how friendly their local bank is, but even the big banks can act like local banks if they want to. In the end, folks choose a bank for convenience, then for no fees. The big banks do well on both counts.
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Post by kirent » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:43 pm

There are community banks in the area, but if I'm going to use a financial institution that has their shareholder's interest over mine, I'd rather have the added convenience that big banks offer. Remember it was community banks that came up with the concept of overdraft fees.
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Post by stan1 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:56 pm

I have used BofA and NFCU checking accounts and a Chase credit card for years. BofA does have a few useful services such as foreign currency conversion (including small bills) and no-fee ATM withdrawals at several major European banks. I'm generally happy with all three and require no human interaction with them (no problems).

I would use NFCU more but they do not support Quicken one step updates.

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Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:45 pm

Quite honestly, I don't know which is best but I voted for BofA because they have done well for me.

I have a no cost checking account with them that requires at least one auto deposit. I just schedule it from my Vanguard money market. It also requires that I use a teller no more that four times per month, at least I think it's four, I almost never use a teller anyway.

With the free checking I am able to take advantage of their excellent online banking and bill pay system at no charge. I have an airline card through them which they have given me excellent service on. I like their Shopsafe system which assigns virtual credit card numbers, especially for online purchases. And I like the fact that most anywhere I go in the country their cash machines are ubiquitous.

The only thing I don't like is that they only maintain images of my cancelled checks online for six months. It should be more like eighteen.

So for my particular needs BofA is an excellent fit.
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Post by sscritic » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:27 pm

Counting credit cards, I use all four. As banks, I use Bank of America and Wells Fargo. I have a safe deposit box at each.

My real relationship has been with BofA, and I have gotten good service. They have medallion guarantees, the box, and they had the purchase forms for I-bonds last year (perhaps not this year). In at least two branches, I got to know the people well so they would say hello to me by name (I have moved yet again and don't have that relationship at my current local branch). I use bill pay and two BofA credit cards. The one thing I don't like about BofA is the number of sales calls I get for other products (credit monitoring, accidental death life insurance, etc).* This has only been for the last two years or so.

The Wells Fargo relationship started as an account at World Savings, which became Wachovia, which became Wells Fargo. Many years ago, I had a credit card with a bank I don't remember (Crocker?), but it became Wells Fargo as well (or WF just bought their credit card business - it was probably 25 years ago), so the credit card relationship started many years before the banking relationship.

* In another thread on brokerages, people asked about Merrill Lynch and BofA and wondered about the free trades. It's all about relationships. If you bank at BofA and have your trading account at ML, you are more likely to get credit cards, take out mortgages, buy insurance, and use other products under the BofA umbrella. Free trades are a form of advertising that lead to cross-selling. ML doesn't have to make a profit on you for your business to be profitable. [I am speaking about the generic mass you, not you the specific you.]

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Post by Jake46 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:36 pm

I was with a Chase predecessor (Texas Commerce Bank) for many years & found it to be a good relationship. I stayed on when it finally morphed into Chase. Then I was assigned four different "Personal Bankers" in five years. I moved to Washington Mutual & really enjoyed it. Of course, now I'm back to Chase. I endure it.

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Post by Chuck T » Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:05 am

I don't use any of the 4 banks you mentioned. I bank at BB&T and have a safety deposit box with them. I am very pleased banking with BB&T.
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Post by Bobalude » Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:27 pm

Been with WF for years for checking/credit card and have always had excellent customer service (both in person and on the phone). Never had a problem that wasn't resolved immediately so I have never found a need to switch.

The downside is that they do not have the best rates (mortgage, CD/savings interest, or credit card rewards) and try to upsell other products a lot. Recently opened a set of WellsTrade accounts for the 100 free trades and to consolidate accounts to one institution.

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Post by LadyGeek » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:27 pm

I selected Chase because they're the current holder of my mortgage, which is the only account I "have" with them. Not by choice.

My real bank is a small community bank. We get excellent customer service, including support of my spouse's coin collecting hobby. He calls in advance for what he needs (rolls of coins), then goes to pick them up later.

Online, it's ING.
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Post by wlpotts » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:43 am

I have banked with with BofA for the past 13 years. I opened a saftey Deposit Box in 2004. The bank offered it for free as a benefit for customers with premium balance accounts.

I've gone into the box twice othe rthe course of the years since I had opened the box. This past Thursday I decided to check on the contents of the safety Deposit Box. The bank branch teller responded by saying that they have no record of me me having a safety deposit box or do they have a card record with my name. I have the keys and the origonal envelope with the account and box number identified, but they contest the validity since they have no records.

They state that someone else owns the box since the keys are stamped with box code and do not match my name and thier records.

I've spent the past 30+ hours going through my records in an effort to come up with records, contacts and any supporting documentation in order to provide substance to my claim.

They stated that records for saftey deposits are registered with the State of California and they will have to check with them, but the response from the bank branch personnel today responded that this state organization has no record of me ever having a safety deposit box in California.

I'm trying to remain calm through this process since this is a weekend and I cannot address the situation or the banks management personnel fully.

I had placed in the box my Will and Last Testimony, personal items, titles to property, and a substantial number of US Treasury Savings Bonds. (Series I or Ibonds)

What am I to do????

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kirent
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Post by kirent » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:59 am

wlpotts wrote:I have banked with with BofA for the past 13 years. I opened a saftey Deposit Box in 2004. The bank offered it for free as a benefit for customers with premium balance accounts.

I've gone into the box twice othe rthe course of the years since I had opened the box. This past Thursday I decided to check on the contents of the safety Deposit Box. The bank branch teller responded by saying that they have no record of me me having a safety deposit box or do they have a card record with my name. I have the keys and the origonal envelope with the account and box number identified, but they contest the validity since they have no records.

They state that someone else owns the box since the keys are stamped with box code and do not match my name and thier records.

I've spent the past 30+ hours going through my records in an effort to come up with records, contacts and any supporting documentation in order to provide substance to my claim.

They stated that records for saftey deposits are registered with the State of California and they will have to check with them, but the response from the bank branch personnel today responded that this state organization has no record of me ever having a safety deposit box in California.

I'm trying to remain calm through this process since this is a weekend and I cannot address the situation or the banks management personnel fully.

I had placed in the box my Will and Last Testimony, personal items, titles to property, and a substantial number of US Treasury Savings Bonds. (Series I or Ibonds)

What am I to do????

Warren
I believe a few states have a law that you are required to access your safety deposit box every 3 years or else it becomes abandoned property. If that is the case, you will have to work it out with the state and hope they did not auction off your items. I am not sure though, and you should read up on it to be safe.
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kirent
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Post by kirent » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:16 am

I found an article on it here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... OPERTY.TMP

On a side note, apparently the State of California is granted immunity against legal action.
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Post by shoetrip » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:45 pm

U can get a safe deposit box in switzerland. U can easily get a swiss bank acct and take a nice holiday over there to setup ur safe deposit box. Unlike US laws u have to be dead for anyone to gain access to ur box other than u(assuming theres have been no new treaties). Swiss accts are not "secret" anymore but if creditors don't know about them then they can't go after them; whereas in the US at the merest whiff of a lawsuit or legal act a bank will divulge all of your financial documentation.

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Post by midareff » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:31 pm

I have a credit union that offers a Debit card with free Cirrus anywhere in the world they advertise Cirrus. I had a "vault box" there and while the physical location was not convenient thaqt got me to change the box to Wachovia, now Wells Fargo who gave it to me free with a minimum $1K in a checking account. They paid me 34 cents in interest last year LOL .. so pitiful. Since I have an apartment safe in a very secure condo building I decided to give that up. Ally paid me more interest last month than Wachovia did last year. With 2% cash back Ax and Visa cards I am afraid cash is becoming a bit obsolete, at least for me and thge rest is all online stuff. Thanks to this smart folks on this board I have a way to transfer electronically into the Bank of Thailand NY branch and take out Baht in Thailand.

It is a great Sunday, I will retire next year and am drinking a glass of Bogle Merlot .. LOL...

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Post by jimbone » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:40 pm

We had BoA for our business banking, and couldn't be happier to be a past customer. For the day to day transactions they were okay, but when it came to relationship banking they sucked out loud.

The first indication they sucked came shortly after they had acquired Fleet. The branch personnel that we knew for years through different mergers began to disappear, but a few tellers stuck around. One of the tellers lost her son in Iraq. A year after he was killed, his unit was to be honored at a monument ceremony in Hawaii, which the Dept. of Defense was flying her to so she could be there to accept. Bank of America refused her the time off to go. They told her it would set a precedent and they couldn't do that. She quit.

Not surprising though, this is the same Bank of America who tore American flags out of the ground that lined a parade route for a Marine killed in combat.

The final straw was how they handled matters when my father passed away. He held a personal guarantee on the commercial mortgage for the business, and they demanded immediate payment when notified of his death. Of course his personal guarantee was just a formality - the business actually made the mortgage payments. They didn't care that the business put over $10M through their bank every year, or that the business had been their customer for over a decade. The lawyer in Boston who handled everything was a real a$$, even began a lien process on the widow's estate - while we were still working out how to possibly stay their customer despite pissing us off at every turn.

The outstanding loan balance you ask? Under $120K on a building appraised at over $1M.

When it was obvious we weren't valued as a customer, we cut them a check for it and moved all of our accounts, credit card processing, and LOC's to PNC Bank.

Granted, these are issues that have emotion tied to them. But they just didn't seem like the reasonable folks we were used to having a banking relationship with. They were the exact opposite.

But it wasn't just us. The branch that served our area has lost nearly all its business customers in the last three years. Word on the street is the branch will be closing because of it.

BoA - Bend Over America.

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Post by Atilla » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:47 pm

I use Chase for my credit card and also a checking account where I use my debit card. The checking account gives me higher payback rewards on the credit card. The credit card pays me back nicely about every month to the tune of $25 to $75 bucks. The checking account is free. Chase has branches everywhere including a handful here in my little Midwestern city.

No problems so far after several years and I have the advantage of access to one of my banks nationwide.

The checking account holds just enough to cover 2 weeks of debit charges. Chase is basically my bank to launder monthly expenses through and earn some decent money back.

My paycheck is direct deposited to a regional bank and all my real cash is at an online only bank.

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Post by scrabbler1 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:30 pm

I use BofA for my checking and as a conduit for my cash inflows and day-to-day expenses including my ATM card. The local branch (walking distance) used to be Fleet in the late 1990s which used to be NatWest before that. The bank personnel there have been very friendly to me and have changed my type of small checking account whenever I wanted to and helped me set up online banking last year.

I use Citibank for my credit card. The credit card's bank used to be a small, out-of-state bank which had a no-annual-fee credit card back in 1989, a ratiy at the time. When Citibank replaced EAB at a local (also walking distance) bank about 10 years ago, I could now pay my rare CC bill in person there. When I had a CC dispute about 10 years ago it was resolved quickly in my favor.

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Re: Big

Post by shoetrip » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:04 pm

midareff wrote:I have a credit union that offers a Debit card with free Cirrus anywhere in the world they advertise Cirrus. I had a "vault box" there and while the physical location was not convenient thaqt got me to change the box to Wachovia, now Wells Fargo who gave it to me free with a minimum $1K in a checking account. They paid me 34 cents in interest last year LOL .. so pitiful. Since I have an apartment safe in a very secure condo building I decided to give that up. Ally paid me more interest last month than Wachovia did last year. With 2% cash back Ax and Visa cards I am afraid cash is becoming a bit obsolete, at least for me and thge rest is all online stuff. Thanks to this smart folks on this board I have a way to transfer electronically into the Bank of Thailand NY branch and take out Baht in Thailand.

It is a great Sunday, I will retire next year and am drinking a glass of Bogle Merlot .. LOL...
If u are planning on retiring in Thailand be careful with regards to your assets. I used to live here and saw retiree after retiree get scammed out of their life savings or go through their cash so quick they had to repatriate and look for work.

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Post by shoetrip » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:08 pm

I have credit cards with all of the above mentioned banks andrefuse to use them for any checking or savings due to years of fees and changing fee policies. I use USAA as my primary bank--no fees! TD bank is my local bank that I use for day to day cash type of transactions or f I needed to use a safe deposit box because they are open 7 days a week and have late hours, also no fees if u keep a minimum balance.

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Post by manuvns » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:51 pm

i voted for wells Fargo as they have branches in my area .

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