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Banking

Student Checking Accounts Comparison, May 2012

by Luke Landes
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As we head into summer, thousands of young adults will be heading to college for the first time. It’s important to get started on the right financial foot, and a free student checking account is an essential tool, particularly when combined with a savings account. Obtaining a student checking account that’s convenient for both students […]

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The Difference Between Savings Accounts and Money Market Accounts

by Luke Landes
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Savings accounts and money market accounts are different from each other practically in name only. From a saver’s perspective, there is no difference between these types of accounts. There are many misconceptions about the supposed differences between savings accounts and money market accounts, and if you’ve ever tried to learn about these differences online, even […]

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Are Online Banks Safe?

by Luke Landes

Anyone who is accustomed to being able to walk into the local bank branch, access accounts through a teller, and discuss banking options with an account manager on-site might still have reservations about moving money to an online-only bank. The benefits are big. Usually, online-only banks offer higher interest rates on savings and certificate of […]

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Ally Bank in Talks to Buy ING Direct

by Luke Landes

Update: Capital One has purchased ING Direct. A little less than eighteen months ago, I mentioned that ING Direct was scheduled to be sold off. The online bank’s parent company, ING Group, received taxpayer assistance. The plan is for ING Group to sell ING Direct USA to pay back the European Commission. The New York […]

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US Bank Offers Free Rewards Account, Then Cancels Offer

by Luke Landes

Xenocid is having a frustrating experience with US Bank. A customer service representative moved his account into a new tier, offering a free account with cash back rewards when using his debit card. Xenocid promptly received a letter saying they would start charging $25 per month for this free account. Here’s his side of the […]

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ING Direct Electric Orange Checking $50 Bonus

by Luke Landes

(Ed. note: ING Direct became Capital One 360 in 2013.) I’m aware that many regular Consumerism Commentary readers already have ING Direct savings accounts. Those who have been reading this website since the beginning know that I’m a fan. Their interest rates may not be at the top of the chart these days, and there […]

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The Saver’s Dilemma

by Luke Landes

At Consumerism Commentary, I’ve been writing about putting money into high-yield savings accounts for as long as this website has been around. Just as people started getting the message, banks pulled the rug out from under their customers. The Federal Reserve made cash easy and cheap from banks to access, and since the low federal […]

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Citibank Changes Overdraft Procedure: Fewer Fees

by Luke Landes

At the end of March, Fifth Third Bank changed its procedure for dealing with overdraft fees. When a customer has many debits (withdrawals) posting on the same day, and they are not real-time debits, banks often start with the largest amount. Ordering the debits from largest to smallest ensures that customers who do not have […]

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ING Direct Electric Orange Raising Credit and Margin Rates

by Luke Landes

On May 16, ING Direct will change the rate is uses to determine the cost of overdrawing the Electric Orange checking account. ING Direct’s overdraft system is a little like Passover, where we ask how this bank is different than all other banks. Rather than charging an overdraft fee if you send an electronic check […]

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Chase Increasing ATM Fee to $5

by Luke Landes

Chase Bank can’t seem to stay out of the news. Last week, I mentioned that the bank was considering limiting debit card transactions to $50 or $100 as a protest against the industry’s regulation of interchange (swipe) fees. Today, there is news that the bank has increased the ATM fee for non-customers to $5 in […]

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