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USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Old Nov 15th 2017, 10:22 am
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Default USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Pretty much what it says in the title. Does such a thing as an American MSE exist?
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 10:57 am
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Strangely, this question was asked last month: http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...ent-us-905149/

The short answer is "only for some aspects".

What did you want to know, more specifically?
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 11:15 am
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
Strangely, this question was asked last month: http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...ent-us-905149/

The short answer is "only for some aspects".

What did you want to know, more specifically?
Not the same, but Clark Howard can be helpful:

Clark Howard | Advice You Can Trust. Money in Your Pocket
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
Strangely, this question was asked last month: http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...ent-us-905149/

The short answer is "only for some aspects".

What did you want to know, more specifically?
Ah. I'm not surprised that the question came up. It seems there is a question for everything on this forum!

Well, primarily to get an idea of the best bank/checking accounts in the US. I think I'll have a choice of who to go with. My employer points new expats towards Chase, as we have a contact there who helps people. But there are also options with Advancial and I believe Wells Fargo happily open bank accounts to expats.

But it's not just bank accounts. Learning about best credit cards/rates, utilities, saving tips etc.

I'll have a look at the other thread
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Not the same, but Clark Howard can be helpful:

Clark Howard | Advice You Can Trust. Money in Your Pocket
Interesting I'll have a look. Thanks
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by petepete99 View Post
Ah. I'm not surprised that the question came up. It seems there is a question for everything on this forum!

Well, primarily to get an idea of the best bank/checking accounts in the US. I think I'll have a choice of who to go with. My employer points new expats towards Chase, as we have a contact there who helps people. But there are also options with Advancial and I believe Wells Fargo happily open bank accounts to expats.

But it's not just bank accounts. Learning about best credit cards/rates, utilities, saving tips etc.

I'll have a look at the other thread
Banks - this highlights why MSE or equivalent is not so simple in the US. US is 50 different jurisdictions, plus most businesses and services are regional or state based, not national. For instance, my electricity, landline, cable choices are going to be county specific, not even the same as other parts of New York. Banks, there are regional players as well as Savings & Loans and Credit Unions that may have only one or two branches.
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
.... Banks, there are regional players as well as Savings & Loans and Credit Unions that may have only one or two branches.
I believe the average (median) bank in the US still only has two branches.
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

So what would be your advice for coming up with some form of decision-making criteria? If I were in a fortunate enough position to choose who I want to bank with (which, I think I might be), what questions do I need to ask myself?
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by petepete99 View Post
So what would be your advice for coming up with some form of decision-making criteria? If I were in a fortunate enough position to choose who I want to bank with (which, I think I might be), what questions do I need to ask myself?
One of the adjustments I had to make was realizing in practice how big the US is and how much variation there is across the country, including differences in state law. So what might be a good bank/utility/insurance company/cable provider/medical insurer etc in one place is not so good, or doesn't even exist in another part.

You might find these helpful for financial institutions:

https://www.depositaccounts.com/

Bankrate.com - Compare mortgage, refinance, insurance, CD rates
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by petepete99 View Post
So what would be your advice for coming up with some form of decision-making criteria? If I were in a fortunate enough position to choose who I want to bank with (which, I think I might be), what questions do I need to ask myself?
Not sure why you need to be in a fortunate position to decide who to bank with. The decision is yours of who to give your business to. An employer won't dictate this for your checking/savings/money market. They may force you to open up a HSA or similar with a certain bank if that's what you decide.

Questions to ask yourself may be:
  • Do I need a local branch?
  • Do I need to use ATMs frequently or can I survive on cash back?
  • What benefits the bank has?
  • What fees are involved?
  • What interest do they pay or do they have added perks such as travel insurance?
  • Do they have any fees for spending money abroad?

Also don't be fooled into thinking you need to bank with a bank. Credit unions are financially insured too and may well give you a better experience!
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Here is the link I normally provide for US banks.
J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study | J.D. Power

Scroll down to the chart for Florida.
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by petepete99 View Post
So what would be your advice for coming up with some form of decision-making criteria? If I were in a fortunate enough position to choose who I want to bank with (which, I think I might be), what questions do I need to ask myself?
Depends on your banking needs and how you use a bank. For myself, these features of my bank are winners; no fees ever, they refund any ATM fees (up to a limit,) they pay a decent rate of interest on the checking account, I can talk to the bank manager and the CEO anytime (they both have offices right in the banking hall.) This is a hometown S&L with just four branches.
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
Here is the link I normally provide for US banks.
J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study | J.D. Power

Scroll down to the chart for Florida.
This is really useful, thanks
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Old Nov 15th 2017, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: USA equivalent of MoneySavingExpert. Does it exist?

You can't open a credit union account or any interest bearing account until you have your social security number - unless your employer has their own credit union. If they do, then jump at this one!

Ideally you want a bank branch that is familiar with opening accounts for new foreign residents. They will need to be able to navigate their software/opening requirements to get a bank account.

If your salary is being paid in, then make sure your account will be free to operate.
Branches around you are useful, certainly at the beginning when you may not know where you will end up living in 6 months. Good supply of own branch atms.

I wouldn't get too fussy right now about a bank. Just do your best to get an account opened asap. It's the FIRST thing I do with my clients. Look for minimum account operating times - ie will you be charged anything if you close the account in 3/6/12 months. If Chase has given you any incentives to open the account then they will ask for it back if you close the account within a certain time frame ( ?6 months?) but that's probably true for all banks.
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