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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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American Express Personal Savings Review

by Luke Landes
AmEx Logo

By far, the most requested review on Consumerism Commentary that I have yet to write is for the American Express Personal Savings Account. American Express offers one of the highest interest rates available with this savings account, making it very attractive from the surface. Once you own an account, how does it hold up against […]

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Fifth Third Bank Changes Debit Procedure

by Luke Landes

Some good news has come out of the class action lawsuits dealing with overdraft fees. The lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank still has one more hurdle to overcome, but most likely, customers who have paid overdraft fees for debit card transactions may see some or all of these fees refunded. Also as a result of […]

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My Business Bank Accounts: Checking and Savings

by Luke Landes

The economic environment is still not great for savers. Those who were smart or financially stable enough to have emergency funds and other savings accounts have been rewarded with low interest rates for the past few years. Take a look at these historical interest rates to see how low we’ve come. The good news is […]

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