Moving to SF-Bay Area: Which local bank/credit union should I switch to?
July 8, 2014 3:33 PM   Subscribe

We are moving from Florida to San Francisco and need to change banks- we're not super knowledgeable about this stuff and will definitely research more, but I'd like to get some on-the-ground opinions on how various local banks/credit unions have worked for them. Great customer service and low fees are of course stuff we care about a lot.

Me and my partner are moving from Florida, where I have checking and savings accounts with my family at MidFlorida and she has a checking account with Regions, to San Francisco, where we would like to use the same bank/credit union.

I would really appreciate any personal experiences, especially with local credit unions.
posted by drd to Work & Money (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a super satisfied customer of San Francisco Fire Credit Union. You don't have to be a fireman to join--merely a resident of SF or San Mateo county.
posted by mollymayhem at 3:36 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding SF Fire Credit Union.
posted by chbrooks at 4:19 PM on July 8, 2014

I'm also a super-happy member of the SF Fire Credit Union. Their customer service is fantastic and they refund your ATM transaction fees for the first 10 transactions a month (partner and I have never gone over). Check deposits via their app and the option for internet chat customer service make my banking very convenient.
posted by quince at 4:20 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love Mechanics Bank, and if you are moving to the East Bay, I highly recommend them.

Family owned, bank clerks will remember you, all ATM fees from other banks are refunded and real humans answer the phone. I've had them for about 20 years and would never go back to Wells Fargo.
posted by latkes at 5:03 PM on July 8, 2014

Ditto on Mechanics Bank. I've used them for around 10 years, living both in the East Bay & San Francisco, and A++++ will continue to bank with.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:19 PM on July 8, 2014

i've been a member of keypoint credit union since 2000, and they've been great. a friend is a member of tech cu and he also loves them.
posted by koroshiya at 5:20 PM on July 8, 2014

We are actually using Simple these days. No account or ATM fees. It's all online, and there are no checks, but you can have them cut one for you that will take a few days. Super love them.
posted by waitangi at 5:55 PM on July 8, 2014

We use the SF Federal Credit Union and are very happy with them. We went with this one over the SF Fire Credit Union because of the federal insurance, but if that's not an issue, I know a lot of people who use that one and are very happy with it.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:37 PM on July 8, 2014

Chase and Wells Fargo appear to both have branches in Florida and in San Francisco. I have experience with them both. I like them both.

It is possible to arrange free checking with both, though they each have different terms for how that happens. IIRC: Wells Fargo allows for free checking if you also arrange a savings account and agree to certain other terms. Chase allows for free checking if you have direct deposit(s) totaling at least $500/month.
posted by Michele in California at 6:43 PM on July 8, 2014

I have accounts at both Chase and Wells Fargo, neither of which I've had a problem with. Both have a lot of branches in the city. And both have good apps with mobile deposit which is great.
posted by radioamy at 7:47 PM on July 8, 2014

Patelco Credit Union. No fee basic checking, free ATM, interest checking, everything you want in a bank without the unnecessary fees. And solid customer service, too!
posted by Pocahontas at 9:31 PM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Patelco. Note that in California, credit unions can opt for private deposit insurance rather then federal insurance. I switched to Patelco (which is federally insured) when my prior credit union switched to private insurance.
posted by zombiedance at 12:21 AM on July 9, 2014

A third vote for Patelco. They are always super nice when I go in there, and ever since I switched I have been kicking myself for having stayed with BofA for so many years out of sheer laziness, meanwhile paying BofA $8.50 per month for the privilege of being treated terribly. Free checking, free ATM, I can deposit my checks on the scanner, all good.
posted by ambrosia at 9:18 AM on July 9, 2014

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