DFA Weekly Link Rally: What is your favorite bank?

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Capital One 360 changed my view of personal banking

You may have heard me mention this before… but I am a total Capital One 360 fanboy.  Before making the switch to Capital One 360 back in February, 2009 I hated banking.  I didn’t like buying checks,  I didn’t like writing checks, I didn’t like going to the bank, but most of all… I didn’t like how banks tried to charge me fees every time I turned around!

Even though I was not the most responsible manager of money, it was obvious to me that banks dedicated 10 times more resources developing new fees than they did attempting to create satisfied customers.  Back in the early 2000’s I set out in search of “the perfect bank.”  Six years and four banks later I was more tainted than when I began.  Honestly… by the end of that banking marathon I had given up and had resigned to the fact that I would never actually like my bank.  Then I started Debt Free Adventure.

After starting my blog I saw a lot of the personal finance bloggers talking about Capital One 360, and what a great bank they were.  At first I thought they were just pushing affiliate links… but the more I looked into the bank itself, and the more I began talked with the bloggers I was getting to know, the more hopeful I became.  In February of last year (2009,) I decided to take the leap and open an Capital One 360 Capital One 360 Savings account – and I never looked back.

Now-a-days we use Capital One 360 for our one joint checking along with eight savings accounts (Capital One 360 makes it easy to break your savings goals down into separate accounts.)  After a year banking with Capital One 360, I have nothing but positive things to say… and recommend you make the switch if you’re in the market for a new bank.

What is your favorite bank?

Do you have a favorite bank?  Do you still hate banks, like I did a few years back?  Or are you indifferent?

And now on to our Weekly DFA Link Rally!

Link rally for this week

Financial Samurai offers up The Curse Of Making Too Much Money And Not Pursuing Your Dreams

Peter offers up Ways To Make Extra Money Series: Guide To Diversifying Your Sources Of Income

Paul @ FiscalGeek offers up Quicken Essentials Review

Brad Chaffee offers up Manage Your Money: Wants Versus Needs

MD @ Studenomics offers up Interesting Findings From a Time Management Experiment

Patrenia Spears offers up What Can We All Learn About Financial Contentment?

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog offers up How I Got $8 Glasses

Ryan offers up How to Organize Small Business Finances

PT from PT Money offers up You Need a Budget 3: A Principles-Based, Powerful Budgeting Tool

Elle offers up Check Your Bills!

Craig offers up New Credit Card Rules Take Effect

Jeff Rose, CFP® offers up How to pay quarterly income tax payments

Consumer Boomer offers up Don’t Miss The IRA Contribution Deadline For 2010

Joe Plemon offers up People Are Begging for Financial Help. Five Things You Can Do

Madison offers up How to File an Amended Tax Return



Betterment is one of my two favorite ways to earn interest on my savings! They have an awesome program for the Average Joe to save and invest simply and effectively. There are no minimum balance requirements and no transaction fees. Read my Betterment Review or open an account to get started earning now.

1 Joe Plemon

Hey Matt,
Thanks for including me in your link rally.

2 Ernest S.

I recently made the switch from ING Direct to Alliant Credit Union, and have not looked back. Alliant has been paying 2.0% interest on their savings accounts, and 1.75% on their checking (without an outrageous minimum balance) for the past eight months. To top it off, they also give you the ability to deposit checks at home (using a scanner) and at many 7-11s using the V-Com ATMs (which is extremely efficient and convenient). Outstanding customer service as well.

The online interface is nowhere near as nice as ING’s, but they are supposedly rolling out a redesigned interface in May. Their commitment to high deposit interest rates, innovative deposit features, customer service and ability to select beneficiaries has convinced me to stay.

3 Matt Jabs

Hey Ernest. That scanning feature sounds very intriguing. What I do to combat ING’s lack of deposit strategy is to carry a clearing house account at our local credit union. All we have it for is to deposit paper checks… then we just move the money into ING. Pretty sweet.

4 Ted

I use ING for my savings account but 5/3rd for the local bank. I have a love hate relationships with them. As long as I have cash in the bank- they are great. But I had troubles with them approving my paycheck in a quick manner (even after putting it in 10 times). I do love having someone to talk to when I walk in the door. But I honestly just use them as an ATM with people that can talk to me. Thats all. If I ever move- I might just switch to ING if 5/3rd is to far to drive to.

5 Matt Jabs

Yeah, I used 5/3 for a few years and had to terminate that toxic relationship… they were by far the worst bank I ever had to deal with!

6 Financial Samurai

There’s something about USAA’s service that makes them simply the best bank in my mind. I’ve been with them for 10+ years now with car and home insurance, and they are just good.

Like the Nordstrom’s of banks. Good rates, good service = happy customers.

Thanks for the highlight!

7 Matt Jabs

I’ve never used USAA… I’ll have to check into it.

8 MD

Being in Canada, we don’t have as many online banking options as you guys. I was iffy about ING, but last summer I joined and have had no issues ever since (well the rates are now nothing special). I do enjoy the ease of use and the fact that I can create sub-accounts in seconds.

9 Matt Jabs

Rates don’t deserve nearly the attention we pay them… unless someone has $100,000+ in the account, interest paid is so minimal. The amount of interest people earn is typically way less than the amount of money they squander by not having a firm budget in place.

I’m not saying rates don’t matter, I’m just saying most peoples time is better spent focusing elsewhere. I should write a post about this… I think I will.

10 Ryan@TheFinancialStudent

ING Direct for me!

The only negative thing I can say is that they don’t allow minors to open the Electric Orange checking account, even with an adult on the account. That was frustrating, but now that I’m 18 it obviously isn’t an issue.

For local banking, I have a checking account at Fifth Third. No complaints there either.

11 Matt Jabs

Wow, no complaints with 5/3? That’s a first! 🙂

12 PT

I like em all. ING DIRECT is my all time fav though. It’s great that there are others though, like Ally, to keep the pressure in ING to perform. Thanks for including me this week.

13 Matt Jabs

I used Ally for savings back when they were GMAC… never had any qualms.

14 DB

I love my credit union: Wildfire CU (www.wildfirecu.org). There are two branches nearby, with another two under construction and due up by this summer. They even have a satellite branch in my school (I teach middle school) every Friday during our lunch hours, and every day of the week at the local high school during lunch. And they hire many local high school students and graduates to work at their offices.

They know me, they treat me well, the online interface is excellent, I have a no-hassle, no-fee VISA through them…it’s all good!

15 Matt Jabs

Awesome DB… don’t ever take them for granted. A great bank is like a great spouse… they’re very hard to come by!

16 Anthony

I have my online savings, money market account, and ladder CDs with Ally Bank. Great customer service, great rates, clean web layout.

My brick and mortar solution is with a local credit union, which is also a Credit Union Service Center. I am using its reward checking, earning 4.00% right now, as a hub for all of my bills and savings.

17 Matt Jabs

I use ING & a local CU. CU is used mostly as a clearinghouse for paper deposits.

18 Arthur @ FinancialBondage.org

can’t say that I like any bank really. They all leave a bad taste in my mouth.

19 Matt Jabs

Have you ever tried ING Direct? I encourage you to… I hated most every bank until dealing with them. I am very happy there.

20 Ronnie

I also love ING, I have an Electric Orange account and 3 savings accounts. I also love my GUASFCU (Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union) credit union account, and my boyfriend and I have a joint PNC account, and I’ve had absolutely no problems with them since we’ve opened it.

21 Matt Jabs

Awesome. Sounds similar to our set up.

22 BibleDebt

ING Direct has also treated me well over the last couple of years. Unfortunately interest rates have plummeted. The best rates on savings accounts are the 1.1% you would get from ING Direct or HSBC Direct. It hurts to save, but hurts even more to be in debt. Don’t stop saving!

23 Matt Jabs

Yeah, like I said in an earlier comment… for most people rate differences don’t deserve nearly the attention we normally pay them, because for the average saver the difference is so minimal. Ten times the interest earnings can typically be realized from simple monthly budgeting… but few people pay it as much attention.

24 The Rat

For me it’s Bank of Nova Scotia!

25 Jamel Finsurance

I LOVE US Bank. It’s the fifth largest bank in the USA and they’ve been really, really good to me. Far better than WaMu ever was, so…

26 Craig/FFB

ING Direct has awesome customer service! I’ve been with them for years and never had a problem.

27 David

My least favorite bank is HSBC Direct. They have some of the worst customer experience I’ve encountered since Dell went full steam ahead with their outsourcing of technical support.

ING remains my favorite just because it is extremely simple to use and rates on a whole have been generous since the beginning. I use Wachovia simply because I have roommates and need to deposit their checks quickly, but then I initiate the EFT transfers through ING to get it in my account to start earning some extra bucks.

28 Matt Jabs

I had HSBC as a credit card back in the day, but I’ve never used them for banking…

29 Janice

I’ve been happily banking at ING for five years now, and I have absolutely no complaints. It’s true, ING makes banking fun! However, I’ve come to realize there are other options that have advanced online banking, and these options are quite relevant for me. After exhaustive research on my part, I’ve decided to make the switch this month to Ally. Ally offers everything ING offers – and more. Yes, Ally has higher interest rates, but I agree with Matt in that this alone would not entice me to switch banks. So what is it about Ally? Ally lets you write paper checks from your online account. And they furnish them for free – forever, not just your first order. This eliminates my having to keep a brick and mortar bank (I was using Wells Fargo – it pleases me to no end to be able to close that account). Additionally, while ING offers free ATM usage at Allpoint ATM’s (which for me entails parking and trotting into Target for cash), Ally lets you use any ATM’s – as often as you want to – and they will refund all fees into your account at the end of the month. In my opinion, these additional services make Ally a better option than ING.

30 Matt Jabs

Hmmm, I used to use Ally back when they were GMAC… I’ll have to check into them again and write a review on them. Thanks Janice.

31 Robert Espe

I use ALLY bank, and have a local bank account for check deposit, and access to cash. No complaints, but people should be aware that ALLY does not have ING’s sub-account feature, and that their MMA accounts with the best rates only allow 6 withdrawls a month, so planning is a must. The contract they send you really is written in plain English, which is kinda cool.

Also relevant is that since ALLY is GMAC reorganized after collapse, most of their good rates exist to attract new customers, and will likely be unsustainable (and probably will be gone in another year), and only time will tell if they will fail again. The money is still FDIC insured, but some people don’t want the hassle.

32 myfinancialobjectives

I too started my ING savings account a while back due to the buzz. I keep my Checking with Wachovia to take advantage of their Way2Save feature (which I love and just wrote an article about yesterday), but I do love my ING.

I’m thinking of looking into Navy Federal being in the Navy and all, I hear they have some nice perks.

33 BG

Bank of America never gets any love, so I’ll give them some.

I’ve been using them for 15 years now, and they have a very nice setup for checking accounts. It is _the_ nicest web GUI that I’ve seen so far. For general purpose, “free” checking, online-bill-pay, BofA will always be my choice. However, I don’t like their loan rates / CD-rates / savings-rates, etc…

Hence why I use a bunch of banks — one for checking, one for short-term savings, one for loans, one for CDs, etc — pick the best back to suit the job.

34 W.T.

I really like Wright-Patt Credit Union. They have great products, great rates, great service and I find their Internet banking to be really easy to use, both their site and the accessibility via other tools (I use mint.com to keep a snapshot of all of my accounts).

I have used Chase, but will shut that account down in the next few weeks.

35 Matt Jabs

Welcome W.T. – it seems like using online banking and local credit unions is the preferred option for a lot of folks… myself included. 🙂

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