“I saw a bank that said "24 Hour Banking", but I don't have that much time”
March 3, 2010 6:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a new primary bank in NYC. Open to brick and mortar and/or internet banks.

Read this, this and thisthis, among others, looking for an update in this changing bank world.

I've been with Citibank for ~10 years as my primary with Chase as my secondary for about two years due to their prevalence in the city and ATMs in Duane Reades. I'm happy with Chase, no issues there however I'm getting more and more disillusioned with Citi. Last straw is an expired debit and when I called they said that yes, replacement cards were on the way but they hadn't been all sent out yet. Branch was no help. I'm tired of crap customer service and I think it's time to move. Tempted to make Chase primary, but I'm hesitant to have all my eggs in one basket despite being well under the FDIC limits.

I'm familiar with and have used bankrate.com, but I'm also interested in recommendations. B of A is also close the office, and TD Bank is near my apartment, but I've heard mixed reviews. Then again, I think any banks have issues - and it's taken me about a decade to get fully irritated with Citibank. My main reason for Citi was when I lived overseas but with banking improvements and traveling less, that's less of an issue to stay primary. No access to a credit union, excellent credit, want it to be somewhere with multiple locations so I don't have to pay ATM fees, though keeping Chase secondary takes care of most of that.

Only absolute no is HSBC. Given them two chances and I don't believe 3rd time is a charm. More like screw me once...

Thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions? Thanks!
posted by TravellingCari to Work & Money (31 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: eta: suppose I should have added. What I'm after is a checking and savings product. No fees if possible. I'm able to maintain a balance to avoid many fees.
posted by TravellingCari at 6:39 PM on March 3, 2010

Best answer: Chase has been excellent to me, to the point of going the extra mile when something beyond anyone's control happened. An ATM ate a check I deposited - they gave me the credit immediately, and kept me informed while they researched it. In the end, I got a letter saying that they verified the issue, and the credit was made permanent, and that they proactively went back to check and waive any fees that may have happened during the dispute.

I honestly feel that they are going the extra mile to be good to customers, in this day and age when people distrust banks more and more. Shifting your assets to make Chase primary should be easy to accomplish, as well.

TD is not bad, from what I have seen - I've walked in, used their coin counter (charge-free), and walked out with nothing but smiles from them. I don't have anything beyond that, but I have yet to hear anything bad about them.

Avoid BofA like the plague. Everyone I know who has an account with them has regretted it, usually to the tune of deposits timed and delayed to cause a maximum amount of penalty fees, which are then used to cause even more penalty fees. Deposited checks delayed for 2 weeks "just because" is not uncommon with them.
posted by GJSchaller at 7:04 PM on March 3, 2010

Bank of America: NOOOOOOOOOO
posted by sallybrown at 7:08 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I may be the first to suggest USAA, but I won't be the last.
posted by InsanePenguin at 7:44 PM on March 3, 2010

Our household is swapping away from Citibank as well, due to the myriad of shitty fees that they started imposing in February. We eventually settled on a Charles Schwab investment/checking/savings account. No monthly, minimum, or ATM fees!

I've never had to deal with them, but I've heard nothing but bad things about Bank of America's service. Consumerist's rap sheet on them is miles long. When scouting around, I got the worst reception from Capital One, who wouldn't tell me what fees were associated with what accounts. TD Bank I have no opinion on, ditto for Chase.
posted by greenland at 8:11 PM on March 3, 2010

I've had very good luck with TD Bank, particularly with regards to finding locations when I need them and the customer service provided there. Everyone I've dealt with has been helpful and courteous, and all of my problems have been resolved quickly and with a minimum of hassle.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:18 PM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all. I got a Noooooo from some friends with whom I raised this question as well re: B of A.

GJSchaller/Narrative Priorities: totally agreed re: TD's smiling staff and free coin counter. Actually reminds me I need to make a return trip before I go on vacation to cash in my coin jar. Maybe can see about account requirements then. We have a workplace agreement with Chase and they're in our building lobby so it's certainly convenient.

Greenland: the fees irritated me too. I'm still not 100% sure the fees won't hit me but even so, they're still annoying.

Penguin: first in this thread maybe. Heard good things re USAA, but I don't think I'm eligible. Need to look further into it and what their rqurements are.
posted by TravellingCari at 8:29 PM on March 3, 2010

Best answer: haven't had any problems with TD Bank, albeit in banking in MA. while in Manhattan, I only used their branches for the coin counters (loved them...). a nice feature of TD which I have not needed yet is that if you were to lose your ATM card, or need a new number due to fraud, etc., they 'print' the cards 'on location'. so we opened our accounts and walked out with our atm cards, and if we ever need new ones, there is no waiting in the mail.. i would ask if this is true of all branches, but we just bank at a local branch outside worcester, ma.

I've had accounts with Chase, no problems, no big love. They took over my WaMu accounts when WaMu failed, and I already had account wtih Chase. I found the whole process unnecessarily confusing but I didn't lose any money over it.

seconding your no on HSBC. the branch on 68th and 3rd - complete rudeness when I inquired as to what accounts they had available a few years ago. guess they don't need any business.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:34 PM on March 3, 2010

I love TD bank. I want TD bank to bear my children. I'm going to name my dog after TD bank. TD bank is the apotheosis of awesomeness.
posted by dfriedman at 8:44 PM on March 3, 2010

Response by poster: Tandem Affinity : wow the ATM on location would be a plus since what has me most annoyed with Citi right now is the debit card issue referenced above. I'm OK, because I have the Chase account with some $$ in it, and I can write a check on my Citi account and deposit it in Chase, but it's still a hassle. 7-10 days is what they need to mail me a card. That's insane. HSBC on 48th and Madison is just as useless.

dfriedman: so in short you hate TD, right? :-D

Thanks all. Great answers so far. Looks like it might be TD but I'm going to wait a few days for any more input.
posted by TravellingCari at 8:58 PM on March 3, 2010

Find a credit union
posted by lalochezia at 9:43 PM on March 3, 2010

Best answer: I'm currently with TD bank and very happy with it (started an account with Commerce Bank just before it got bought out). I've never had any problems with fees or anything like that. In fact, they refund my ATM fees when I go to a non-TD ATM, if that makes a difference.

I had a Chase Student account during undergrad. They took every opportunity to try to milk as much money as possible from me in fees back then. I got that account because Chase seemed ubiquitous in Manhattan. Of course, I have a fair amount more money in my accounts than I did with the Chase account so that may be a part of it. I'm not sure you could pay me to bank with Chase now.

The only (potential) issue is locations. There happens to be a branch right by my grad school so it's very convenient. But there is not one to be found in my neighborhood (Bed-Stuy). I'm not sure if I'd think as highly of it if I had to make a pilgrimage to the bank every time I wanted cash (although the ATM fee refund might negate that).
posted by ChutneyFerret at 10:11 PM on March 3, 2010

Find a credit union

Very difficult in NYC if you don't have the right employer and aren't part of the right union.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 4:37 AM on March 4, 2010

Best answer: I've heard great things about USAA too and will probably join soon.

I currently have TD, I'm happy with service and locations but they just hit me with a large fee for electronically transferring money to them from another account, so that may not last much longer. But I'll still go in for the change machines and dog treats.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:08 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: one more dead town's last parade: exactly my issue with credit union. I used to be a member of one through a previous employer but the CU got bought out and those of us who were no longer employees were no longer eligible.

ChutneyFerret: totally know what you mean re: the pilgrimage to an ATM. No matter what I'd keep my Chase active and since there are branches/Duane Reades every 2 feet, that's not an issue. Good to know re: fee for electronic transfer. Love the change machines, and the bonus for guessing right :-D
posted by TravellingCari at 6:15 AM on March 4, 2010

As far as I know, USAA banking products are available to everyone, not just military folks.

Personally, I have an online reward checking account that pays around 4% interest as long as I keep up a DD, don't get paper statements, and use the debit card 10x a month or something. And I keep an HSBC account for the rare instances when I have a paper check / cash to deposit.
posted by jckll at 7:01 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: jckll it seems that you have to be a member for even the banking products - and I'm not eligible according to their reqs. Maybe I'm missing something?
posted by TravellingCari at 7:36 AM on March 4, 2010

Best answer: I think so:

Who can become a member?

Under "Other Individuals:"

USAA's investment products, most checking and savings products, credit cards, life insurance, and shopping and discounts are available to other individuals.
posted by jckll at 7:42 AM on March 4, 2010

Best answer: I am not a member of the military and none of my family is. I have USAA for checking, savings, credit, and investments. I love, love, love it.

I started using them in college when I needed access to a bank at home and at school. Because they have such a presence with the military, they were one of the first banks to have a fully-functional website and phone service. They have an iPhone app and I've heard that soon you'll be able to email a picture of a check in order to deposit it immediately.

I love their customer service. I can always get someone on the phone easily and quickly. They are very helpful.

Also, they pay your ATM fees up to $15 a month.

USAA may not make sense if you have to make a lot of cash deposits. I think they have ways to do it, but I never need to, so I haven't looked into it.
posted by valeries at 7:58 AM on March 4, 2010

Best answer: Chiming in to second Charles Schwab bank- I have the investor checking account, which comes linked with a brokerage account. If you don't mind mailing deposits, the perks (to me) are huge. They automatically refund all ATM fees monthly as a direct deposit into my account. The checking account has a .6% interest rate (Down from about 1.25% when I opened the account 18 months ago) Customer service has been great, especially when I was traveling overseas.

And fyi, you don't have to be a member of TD bank to use their coin counting machines- I walk in and use them regularly.
posted by alight at 8:00 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: jckll/valeries: apparent reading fail for me this morning, and I've had my coffee. Thanks for the additional information.
The cash deposit isn't an issue as I can easily do that at Chase ATMs and if needed, write myself a check or something to transfer it to USAA

The big benefit that I see of USAA/Schwab etc. is I'm not tied to locations as I might be with TD. Right now non issue with Chase in NYC, but I could move one day and don't really want to have to go through finding all new banks again.

Thanks all! Lots of best answers, although I'm still reading
posted by TravellingCari at 8:16 AM on March 4, 2010

TD Bank, when they were Commerce, tried to pull a fast one on me with three consecutive overdraft charges and some other tomfoolery. It took a four-page letter to document it all, and when someone at the bank finally read it (that was another ordeal - they want everything in email, which wasn't enough room, and I wanted it sent certified return receipt), I IMMEDIATELY got an instant refund for everything they had taken out of my account because the abuse was so rampant. Add to that some other poor treatment when I tried to open a business account (they were insisting on a letter from the company I was contracting with, which had nothing to do with the business - really treated me like crap despite me walking in there with a redwell full of documentation and a letter from my accountant), and the fact that after the first year, the per-month charge for 'free checking' is $15 unless you keep $$ in the account, I bailed. I don't need a bank that's open 7 days a week.

I am a happy ING Orange Checking customer. You can take money out of an ATM at any Duane Reade in the city. I use Chase as my local account so I have somewhere to deposit the very occasional check, and that's free since I just funnel $25 a paycheck in there via direct deposit. ING has been very fair, and when I sent a letter once complaining about a CS rep, I got a personal response within 48 hours where they made it clear they had listened to the call and agreed with my complaint (the dude tried to upsell me when I was calling to cancel my ATM card b/c I thought it went walkies). I also like that the overdraft protection is fair in that they just charge you interest on what you use. Yes, we all want to be responsible, but sometimes people do dumb things. I prefer that my dumb things cost me 15 cents as opposed to $35.
posted by micawber at 8:22 AM on March 4, 2010

Chase has absolutely abysmal interest rates on their savings accounts. Unfortunately, convenience has left me with a Chase savings account earning an incredible 0.01% interest. I'm continuing my quest to locate a better interest rate with the same convenience and assurance that Chase provides, but thus far I haven't been swayed enough.

Citibank has a higher interest rate, but I'm still leery of them after they nearly collapsed along with Bank of America last year. Despite evidence to the contrary, I have doubts about the fortitude of online only banks like Ally and ING.

(sigh) It'd be nice to earn more than a few pennies a month.
posted by Raze2k at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2010

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a question for USAA customers in here if OP doesn't mind. I know you can't get their insurance products if you're not a military person, but what about loans? Auto, home, etc? Or are they military-only as well?
posted by jckll at 8:30 AM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster:
Sorry to hijack the thread, but I have a question for USAA customers in here if OP doesn't mind.

As far as I'm concerned, the more info the better
posted by TravellingCari at 8:33 AM on March 4, 2010

Let me add to the Schwab-loving people. We have had a checking and savings account there for a few years (as well as a credit card that does a 2% cash back into your brokerage account -- but you can transfer it out the day it goes in) and have only good things to say about it. Service is invariably excellent.
posted by gaspode at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2010

Like ChutneyFerret, I opened a Commerce bank account before the TD switch and I have had no problem. I have the basic account which is free with a minimum of something ridiculously low (like $100 or something). Never any problems, and any time I have ever had to make a transaction in person, which I loathe with every fiber of my being, they have always been nice to me and rarely a long line.

In addition, they're all over the place and when I use Google maps they are usually within a 5 minute walk of where I am going to be.

The coin counter is especially convenient. If you are within $1.99 of your guess before you start counting you win a prize! I won a TD Bank coin purse, but there were other prizes like a plastic coffee mug and a plastic bank. They were all kind of cheesy but it's fun to win anything.

I'm not sure I would stay with them for more complicated things (business banking, mortgages, loans, etc) because I haven't researched it. But for a simple checking/savings account, I've been with them for 2 years and it's been convenient.
posted by amicamentis at 1:01 PM on March 4, 2010

Oh, also, I think a lot of banks do this but every TD bank I've seen has a vestibule that you can access 24 hours a day with your card.
posted by amicamentis at 1:02 PM on March 4, 2010

Response by poster: For those who come on this later.

I ended up going with USAA for the following reasons: simplicity (I'm already up and running), convenience and all the good recommendations here and elsewhere.

I considered the following but didn't didn't go with them because:
- TD Bank - they are very common in the North East which is great for now but there's always a chance I might end up moving and really don't want to have to change banks again. Also my local branch gives me the heebie jeebies when I walk in and if I don't feel comfortable using it, I won't negating any convenience. That said, I still do use it for the coin counting, which I did today.

-Schwab - I got a hard sell when I called for info. No thanks. I'll pass.

-Chase - still my secondary but as I mentioned upthread, I'm hesitant to have all my business with one bank in case something like what happened this week with my debit card not working happens again. I always want to have access to secondary money. Since I was already making one bank move, I didn't want to make two in setting up a new one and changing Chase to primary.

Thanks all for your input. Hope this thread is helpful for others as well.
posted by TravellingCari at 3:44 PM on March 6, 2010

Response by poster: As a follow up for anyone - couldn't be happier with USAA. It did just what I needed. The postage paid envelopes are a sanity saver and their customer service is amazing.
posted by TravellingCari at 6:13 PM on July 19, 2010

Response by poster: further follow up, still loving USAA. Love the ATM fee reimbursement when I can't get to a Chase ATM and their web site is amazing. Highly recommend.
posted by TravellingCari at 2:32 PM on October 23, 2010

« Older Book ID: creepy fungi & a girl who falls down...   |   Guns & Shopping Cart Video from the 80's Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.