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Choosing an internet bank

Choosing an internet bank

Old Feb 27th 2004, 12:36 pm
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Question Choosing an internet bank

Hi, this is my first post to the forum. Just starting out on the long road and have been lurking here for a while. Hopefully this won't be a duplicate question...

In the UK I have an account with an internet-only bank. The big advantage is being able to withdraw money from any cash machine without incurring penalties. I'd like to know if there are similar options in the US where money can be withdrawn FOC from a broad range of ATMs (basically something like 'Link' in the UK).

Any other thoughts / recommendations on US bank accounts would be much appreciated.

TIA
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Old Feb 27th 2004, 1:32 pm
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If you find one let me know. I was looking for one for ages but with no luck.
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Old Feb 27th 2004, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: Choosing an internet bank

Originally posted by dawnrazor
Hi, this is my first post to the forum. Just starting out on the long road and have been lurking here for a while. Hopefully this won't be a duplicate question...

In the UK I have an account with an internet-only bank. The big advantage is being able to withdraw money from any cash machine without incurring penalties. I'd like to know if there are similar options in the US where money can be withdrawn FOC from a broad range of ATMs (basically something like 'Link' in the UK).

Any other thoughts / recommendations on US bank accounts would be much appreciated.

TIA
Not re: US banks, but I suggest keeping at least one current and one savings account open in the UK - it's almost impossible to open a new UK current a/c when you are living in the US, even if you are a UK citizen.
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Old Feb 29th 2004, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Choosing an internet bank

Originally posted by dawnrazor
.... Any other thoughts / recommendations on US bank accounts would be much appreciated.
There is no such thing as Link or other networks that are common in the UK - or at least I have never seen one advertised. The US banking market is fiercely competitive - with an estimated 10,000 banks open for business! .... Not that that makes it cheap for customers as most banks seem to want to charge for everything, and "free" current ("checking") accounts have only recently become common place. Banks however are not going to give a competitor bank a leg-up by sharing their ATM network. If you use an ATM outside your bank's network you will pay for the transaction.

I have also not seen a "full sevice" internent bank advertised here in the US - the closest that I am aware of is ING.com.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 29th 2004 at 1:41 pm.
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Old Mar 16th 2004, 12:59 am
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Saw this thread a bit late...

I highly recommend First Internet Bank of Indiana (www.firstib.com) - they're an internet-only bank based in Indianapolis (they are FDIC insured). I've been banking with them for over 3 years, and they've been wonderful! They have excellent customer service and you can do everything through their website. Fees are minimal, off the top of my head there is a $5 charge per month if there is less than $500 in the account. Since they are internet only and don't have their own ATM's they will give you a rebate of up to $6 per month on any ATM charges you pay.

Last edited by saraliz; Mar 16th 2004 at 4:06 am.
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Old Mar 16th 2004, 2:31 pm
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Some things that I found out:

You really need an account with a bank in your locality, reminded me of the market when I first opened an account in the UK 30 years ago. I sometimes think that US States operate akin to EU countries. I have heard some banks will not open accounts for non residents. Or without the SSN.

Most, all?, US online services want your Social Security Number. You will no get that until you get here. Same with Insurance as well as Banks.

The interest rates are half what you would get in the UK. Lots of hidden Bank charges on 'free' accounts.

A lot of people I know use Credit Unions, seems similar to the old Building Society format, but you need to have some affiliation usually to join.

One thing I would have looked at in retrospect was to get an account with a US bank in the UK with a Credit Card that could be converted to a US Credit Card. If this is possible. Would have kick started building the Credit Rating here which is a V BIG THING.

I must admit I ignored my other half's comments about her high Credit Rating, but now I know better. I think her Dog has a higher rating than I have. Impacts on all sorts of things.
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Old Mar 16th 2004, 5:34 pm
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I have an account with HSBC in the UK, and I managed to get a HSBC account over here with relatively little trouble (you can sort this out before you leave the UK). US banks will require a SSN, so I do recommend sorting a bank before you leave. Cash machine fees are not too high, I think HSBC will refund a certain amount each month, and I do all my banking over the Internet and deposit checks by mail - works fine (so far!!)

As for credit cards AMEX were great in transferring my UK card (and membership reward points!) over to a US card, I don't know of any other US/UK bank that offer the same facility.

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Old Mar 16th 2004, 5:48 pm
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i bank with bank of america - mainly because they seem to be the least 'regional centric' of the institutions out here

where I am there are no citibank or chase etc, only us bank and amsouth

i doubt very much you will be able to get an account that does not screw you for atm charges - over here typically both your bank and the owner of the atm charge you

for example if i use an amsouth atm , b of a and amsouth will both charge me 3$ - total $6 - ouch!

I would go with the bank who has the best saturation in the areas you live and travel regularly in

Also, you don't neccessarily need a SSN to open a bank in the US - I went to Bank of America downtown and they opened one in 30 mins with my passport and birthcerificate

online banking also kicked in a day or so later
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Old Mar 23rd 2004, 12:01 pm
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Originally posted by BritGuyTN
i bank with bank of america - mainly because they seem to be the least 'regional centric' of the institutions out here

where I am there are no citibank or chase etc, only us bank and amsouth

i doubt very much you will be able to get an account that does not screw you for atm charges - over here typically both your bank and the owner of the atm charge you

for example if i use an amsouth atm , b of a and amsouth will both charge me 3$ - total $6 - ouch!

I would go with the bank who has the best saturation in the areas you live and travel regularly in

Also, you don't neccessarily need a SSN to open a bank in the US - I went to Bank of America downtown and they opened one in 30 mins with my passport and birthcerificate online banking also kicked in a day or so later
I think you have a fairly unique experience as I tried about 5 US banks and none would let me open an account without a SSN which still had not arrived. HSBC was fine as I had a UK account and so I they got references etc from UK and so allowed me to open one.

HSBC has good internet options facilities and charges have not been bad so far (over a year), only pay the ATM fee, HSBC do not apply a seperate charge to withdraw cash and so far has been a free account with no hidden extras (min amount needs to be in account for this).
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