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Banking

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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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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Moving Away From Banks and Other Companies “Too Big to Fail”

by Luke Landes

The FDIC is progressing in its development of new rules that will apply to financial firms — not just banks — deemed “too big to fail.” The rules would establish procedures for unwinding companies whose failure would pose a threat to the economy, when that failure appears to be imminent. The government organization approved a […]

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Chase to Limit Debit Card Transactions to $50?

by Luke Landes

CNN Money is breaking this story right now. According to a company insider, Chase Bank is considering limiting debit card transactions at either $50 or $100. Any purchase you plan to make with your debit card that exceeds the amount — for example, your weekly groceries at the super market — would be declined if […]

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AAA Members Earn More Interest at Discover Bank

by Luke Landes

I’m a member of AAA, paying once a year for benefits like roadside service, travel assistance, and in some cases, discounts. AAA members can now earn a higher interest rate at Discover Bank than non-members. Currently, the rate for AAA members is 5 basis points (0.05 percentage points) higher than the standard Discover Bank online […]

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