Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bank fees at record levels, says Bankrate


Bank fees have hit all-time highs in several areas, especially ATM surcharges, bounced check fees, and monthly service fees, according to Bankrate's fall 2007 Checking Study released Wednesday.

The survey examined accounts at the largest banks and thrifts in 25 large markets or 249 institutions plus 16 Internet banks. Credit unions were not included, but the results may make members love their low or no-fees credit unions even more. In almost all categories, fees hit a record.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Motley Fool Says Get a Good Credit Card From a Credit Union

Next to signing up for the military, which makes you eligible for the very best credit card deals, The Motley Fool says go to a credit union to get the best card terms.

It says Consumer Reports asked 36,298 credit card users to talk about the 61,944 cards they stuff into their pockets. Cards from USAA Federal Savings and Navy Fedearl Credit Union ranked the number 1 and 2 best out of 100 cards in the survey. But, hey, you've got to be part of the military to get them. For the rest of us? The Fool says ranked number 3 are the good deals available with all the "plain old 'other credit union cards.'" Click here to see more about this.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Consumer Dude: 'bank at a credit union, not at a bank'

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has in its crosshairs Bank of America's recently boosted ATM $3! Consumer hero Ed Mierzwinski on his blog says consumers have an alternative:
So bank at a credit union, not at a bank. Most credit unions waive surcharges on other credit union members. There aren't as many credit union ATMs, but there are some, especially in metropolitan areas. And plan your trips so you have enough cash so you don't need to stick your card into one of Bank of America's or some other big bank's double-dipping ATMs.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Banks Move Like a 'School of Fish' on Fees

Did they mean fish or sharks?

More rankle and furvor over BofA's decision to bump ATM fees to $3 per transaction. This from the Sept. 13 USA Today:
The development will likely lead other banks to raise their ATM fees, too. "Banks often move like a school of fish on punitive charges such as ATM surcharges and credit card late fees, so it's just a matter of time before others follow suit," says Greg McBride, a senior analyst at (RATE).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CNN: CU Deposit Insurance 'As Good or Better'

CNNMoney's Answer Guy fields a question about why credit unions are ommitted in his lineup of great CD rates. The query wonders if it has to do with deposit insurance.

On they contrary says Answer's because of credit unions' exclusive membership requirements--not everyone can access the rates. He also adds:
In any case, insurance on credit union CDs and other deposits is as good as or better than what you'd get through the FDIC. And credit unions often beat your neighborhood bank on the rates they pay on deposits (or charge for loans).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blogger Fumes About Bank Charges

Well, "fumed" wasn't really the word this artist and college student used when describing her experience with one big bank's fee-for-all. She was already in the process of switching to a credit union, and had deposited cash in an out of state branch. The bank told her they put a "HOLD" on the deposit. She fumes about the accumulating fees:
That will be $175 in fees if they charge me - I will fight them to the death on this - I live next door and will sit in their bank everyday for hours until they give me a credit. I am beyond pissed off.

The funny thing is I was planning on changing accounts anyway and not because of anything they had done - just because the credit union has much better deals. Oh well - another dissatisfied Bank of America customer.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You shop locally--why not bank locally too?

Scanning the Internet over this morning's coffee, my mouth salivated at the mention of zucchini pancakes in a story in today's San Francisco Chronicle. But what really got my tummy growling was the story's buy-local perspective on belonging to a credit union:
While she flipped the zucchini pancakes, she laid out her best argument, "I say to people: So you shop at a farmer's market. You use alternative fuel or bike or take public transportation. But you still bank at Bank of America?" She laughed at the paradox of the small- is-beautiful crowd supporting a global corporation.

And for dessert:
"With banks, it's a business and all your money goes to make someone you don't know rich -- but with credit unions, all the money goes back into the community," Jessica explained. "It's people banding together to share the abundance."

Read Radical banking: You shop locally -- why not bank locally too?

Best card deals on campus at credit unions

The Sept. 4 edition of BusinessWeek advises college students to looking for a credit card "to keep walking past the tables loaded with freebies and into the credit union, assuming there is one on campus."
While credit union membership at colleges used to be limited to employees, the requirements for joining are much looser than they used to be. At some schools, such as the University of Southern California, these financial institutions open their doors to students and offer credit cards to students, among the other financial products. Credit unions are much easier to deal with if you have problems, and they are much less likely to jerk you around on interest rates."

Read BusinessWeek's complete story for yourself.