AboveAverage

Bank of America or Washington Mutual? Who should gets my direct deposit?

Recommended Posts

Right now I have a mid-size bank that pretty much covers the NorthEast. I had them before I had another large-size bank that I fell on bad times with. Long story short, I had these ridiculous fees with large bank and had to pull out of them. They put me on Chexsystems. Thanks to the beautiful site that is CIC I dispusted Chexsystems and won with one of the sample letters from this site! (YAY!).

So today I open up an account with Wamu and BOA. Wamu gave me an account and so did BOA. I opened with the bare minimum (Wamu $1 and BOA $25) and there are no monthly maintenance fees. I now want to figure out who do I give my direct deposit to? WAMU I hear has good customer service but BOA is the bank my payroll checks are drawn from (so Direct Deposit might be a bit quicker). Both are near my work and house and just want to get a feel for which one I should go with based on anyone's experience. This will also give me some time as I don't want to disrupt my bill paying from my regular bank right now. Any feedback will be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have BoA and have had no problems with them except from when I got a credit card and checking account with them and tried making payments. The problem was because of how I prefer to pay my bills and their bank could not read any transfers from my savings. All is good now that I've used a roundabout way to bypass this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I will probably switch to BOA. They're everywhere, so finding an ATM with them shouldn't be a problem. Since I started using Bill Pay, I haven't really used the ATM (keeps me from having to worry about overdrafting). Monday is a holiday...so the payroll run will probably finish on Thursday instead of Wednesday. So Thursday I will make arrangements to switch my direct deposit so it will be in the next pay anyway. I then have to print out my current Bill Pay schedule to move that over to BOA.

Just curious to hear from the WAMU folks...I'm going to keep my $1 in there (as well as $1 in my regular checking account--in case I have to get out of BOA because they did something sucky).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I HATE BOA.

Had them for about a year, and closed it because they were fee crazy.

I had checking and savings. They were linked, and I kept most of my money in savings, and transfered funds to checking for paying bills.

When I went to Europe, I transfered over funds into checking since I was going to be using the ATM card for getting cash over there. I logged in online several times to get an idea of the exchange, how much I was actually spending, etc. All was ok.

A few weeks after I got back, my account overdrafted over $600. Why? Because they started charging tons of transaction fees for every purchase/withdrawal I made overseas. Each one was a separate line item corresponding to the transaction in Europe. The fees were small, like a few dollars each, but in the end they totaled over $100. I wasn't expecting them, and for some reason BOA never pulled the money from my savings account, so they charged me 5-$35 NSF fees a day, for four days in a row. They refused to credit any back, despite the fact that more than enough money was sitting there in a linked account.

No bank has ever charged me the fees they did. Even without the costly error, I probably would have dumped them anyway.

What about Commerce Bank? They're in NJ. They're my favorite by far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I HATE BOA.

Had them for about a year, and closed it because they were fee crazy.

I had checking and savings. They were linked, and I kept most of my money in savings, and transfered funds to checking for paying bills.

When I went to Europe, I transfered over funds into checking since I was going to be using the ATM card for getting cash over there. I logged in online several times to get an idea of the exchange, how much I was actually spending, etc. All was ok.

A few weeks after I got back, my account overdrafted over $600. Why? Because they started charging tons of transaction fees for every purchase/withdrawal I made overseas. Each one was a separate line item corresponding to the transaction in Europe. The fees were small, like a few dollars each, but in the end they totaled over $100. I wasn't expecting them, and for some reason BOA never pulled the money from my savings account, so they charged me 5-$35 NSF fees a day, for four days in a row. They refused to credit any back, despite the fact that more than enough money was sitting there in a linked account.

No bank has ever charged me the fees they did. Even without the costly error, I probably would have dumped them anyway.

What about Commerce Bank? They're in NJ. They're my favorite by far.

I love Commerce!! And I was going to suggest it, but it seemed like AA wanted a "national" bank. I haven't had any experience with BOA or WaMu, other than them turning me down for CCs, I just love Commerce that much. They are incredibly helpful and give you every benefit of the doubt. They've refunded scads of overdraft fees for me "as a courtesy". Back in the day, when I was going through drama with payday loan people (who started dinging my account multiple times on payday, racking up huge overdraft charges), Commerce was on my side, refunded the $$$ they took out and removed the fees, switched over my account so they couldn't do it again. I've read and heard about how other banks responded to similar situations, so I know how downright decent Commerce was. I'll always be loyal to them for that. BTW, I don't deal with payday loans or bounce checks anymore.;)

Aside from helping out obviously shady characters like me, Commerce is just always there, you can always get a hold of someone day or night if you have questions about your account

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All things being equal, go with the one that pays you a higher interest rate. They are making money on your deposits and you should too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All things being equal, go with the one that pays you a higher interest rate. They are making money on your deposits and you should too.

Then he should go with a credit union. None of the regular commercial banks are paying anywhere near what the CUs are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

15 years ago WAMU was awesome. Now they're just another biggie.

I left BofA years ago due to the fee crazy syndrome, only to find Wachovia and Suntrust are both the same way. The only way to receive any sort of mercy when things are tight is to stick with a credit union. With plenty of safety money, any bank is fine, when close to zero, all the big monsters will present it in the worst and most expensive manner that will send you in a letter-writing frenzy, to which they are immune.

They used to kick you when you were down, now they shoot you in survivable parts of the anatomy.

...and it's getting worse... at least a short while ago the "dust would settle" and at least you knew what you were looking at... the latest thing is charging the NSF's all over again each week the account remains negative. It could go on forever, and no chance of closing an account that is negative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about Commerce Bank? They're in NJ. They're my favorite by far.

Commerce will be Canadian soon (Toronton-Dominion bought them a few months ago). I know a couple of people who are customers and they like the fact that (currently) they are open on Sundays. I dunno when Commerce will be fully merged but I suspect they will be soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like there is no advantage to going over to the big bank. My bank (Sovereign but was with them when they were Independence then Sovereign took over) is actually ok. When I got a fee, they are ok with refunding it when I needed it. I have been a customer since 2003 (and that was only because my sister had them). The thing with them though is that the closest ATM to me is at a CVS (every CVS has a Sovereign ATM) and the closest branch is about 5-7 miles away. I'm so used to having a bank near me regardless of where I am. I have gotten very disciplined in managing my money whereas I haven't seen any NSFs in quite sometime [prior to that I was a true scumbag, I guess...8-) ].

I like that Wamu and BOA does soft pulls to tell me I have no shot at unsecured credit (right now) though BOA seems to have nice rates on their Secured Cards (10.99 APR and $29 annual fee). I'm considering putting $1500 from my Tax Refund with that and use that strictly for bills and then put low util on the smaller cards in my sig (I have high util on them but I PIF every paycheck...but the lack of low util on those cards seems to be dinging hard on my FAKOs. all I use them for is paying for things I would anyway like bills. I guess I got more digging to do.

I will say one thing, Wachovia will never be an option. They are truly fee-mongorers and I am truly surprised they don't charge me a fee when I cash a check that's drawn from them (aside from leaving my thumbprint). I heard they charge $2-5 in Texas though. They truly are bastards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will say one thing, Wachovia will never be an option. They are truly fee-mongorers and I am truly surprised they don't charge me a fee when I cash a check that's drawn from them (aside from leaving my thumbprint). I heard they charge $2-5 in Texas though. They truly are bastards.

Wachovia totally screwed my DF, so I'll never be a fan of them. The man had overdraft protection and they seemed to take glee in overdrafting checks, even ones that ought not be, just so they could get their overdraft usury. The final straw was when they allowed ACHs to go through that the man did not authorize and instead of notfiying him about his overdraft status they just kept taking out more and more in overdraft fees and putting them on his "bill" (so to speak). Even when the man told them about it and tried to get his $$$ back they wouldn't back down and refund even a tiny bit of the mess. No more Wachovia ever!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wachovia totally screwed my DF, so I'll never be a fan of them. The man had overdraft protection and they seemed to take glee in overdrafting checks, even ones that ought not be, just so they could get their overdraft usury. The final straw was when they allowed ACHs to go through that the man did not authorize and instead of notfiying him about his overdraft status they just kept taking out more and more in overdraft fees and putting them on his "bill" (so to speak). Even when the man told them about it and tried to get his $$$ back they wouldn't back down and refund even a tiny bit of the mess. No more Wachovia ever!!

Yeah...watch-over-ya just sucks period. They sucked when they were First Union (though First Fidelity was actually ok....). Nah....will never deal with them.

I can't deal with a CU for my primary banking needs, despite their great rates (would only deal with a $25 deposit just so I can get a loan). But not for the everyday banking. I need that comfort of a big bank if it's after hours. But I don't want to be raped either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the OP will make out okay either way. However, take it from someone who has been through just about every big bank in the tri-state area: they do not care about individual small-time customers. Its not a bad thing, just reality. Wachovia, Commerce, BoA, WaMu, etc. They are just too large. You'll get mediocrity at best.

Just a suggestion, but the small time banks in and around your area will really love you and your money. They do not have huge corporate accounts- they need your funds and need you as a customer.

Here in my neck of the woods, I forged a relationship with St. Edmond's Bank. THEY ARE STILL GIVING ME 4.01%apr ON MY CHECKING ACCOUNT DEPOSITS. That is a return on my money comparable to a CD with only a $100 minimum and no fees of any kind. Why? Because they need my (and every other small time individual customer's) deposits to survive. They do not have $10,000,000 in deposits of XXXX Incorporated to draw from.

If I call, I know the first name of who answers the phone and they know me. They ask me how the wife is and so on. It is a 100% improvement- both in customer service and financially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure the OP will make out okay either way. However, take it from someone who has been through just about every big bank in the tri-state area: they do not care about individual small-time customers. Its not a bad thing, just reality. Wachovia, Commerce, BoA, WaMu, etc. They are just too large. You'll get mediocrity at best.

Just a suggestion, but the small time banks in and around your area will really love you and your money. They do not have huge corporate accounts- they need your funds and need you as a customer.

Here in my neck of the woods, I forged a relationship with St. Edmond's Bank. THEY ARE STILL GIVING ME 4.01%apr ON MY CHECKING ACCOUNT DEPOSITS. That is a return on my money comparable to a CD with only a $100 minimum and no fees of any kind. Why? Because they need my (and every other small time individual customer's) deposits to survive. They do not have $10,000,000 in deposits of XXXX Incorporated to draw from.

If I call, I know the first name of who answers the phone and they know me. They ask me how the wife is and so on. It is a 100% improvement- both in customer service and financially.

I really understand what you're saying. Take the local credit union that I qualify for as an example of why I am afraid to everyday-bank with them. The website looks like someone learned HTML in prison (it is that bad). I am afraid to deal with online banking (which I find very convienient) at this particular CU when I am used to online banking from regular banks. I understand that small time banks and that customer service is really good, but suppose I am out of town? I know most places I have ever been to will have a BOA, Wamu, etc that I can just go in and get my situation dealt with if I needed cash. I try very hard to avoid ATM fees (very hard). I know banks now are rebating the fees you get but I can't help but wonder if they will stop doing that soon. I guess that's why I want a big bank (that and because I would have had to wait about 2 years to get one anyway...I guess maybe I suffer from "I-want-it-but-you-wouldn't-let-me-have-it-so-I-want-it-even-more" syndrome....LMAO).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah...watch-over-ya just sucks period. They sucked when they were First Union (though First Fidelity was actually ok....). Nah....will never deal with them.

I can't deal with a CU for my primary banking needs, despite their great rates (would only deal with a $25 deposit just so I can get a loan). But not for the everyday banking. I need that comfort of a big bank if it's after hours. But I don't want to be raped either.

Weren't they Core States at some point in time too?? In either case, I've heard enough about them and read enough on the Rip-Off Report to be wary of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Weren't they Core States at some point in time too?? In either case, I've heard enough about them and read enough on the Rip-Off Report to be wary of them.

That sounds very familiar....they might have been before First Fidelity...and First Fidelity was when I opened up an account. Then they became FU (I always giggle when I heard FU Stadium...go Eagles (NOT!), then the evil Wachovia....

Only time I deal with them is when I get a state check from my refund (NJ uses Wachovia...and all they want from me is a thumb print) and then I deposit it so it can be used right away. I guess Check 21 might have changed that, but why bother....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That sounds very familiar....they might have been before First Fidelity...and First Fidelity was when I opened up an account. Then they became FU (I always giggle when I heard FU Stadium...go Eagles (NOT!), then the evil Wachovia....

Only time I deal with them is when I get a state check from my refund (NJ uses Wachovia...and all they want from me is a thumb print) and then I deposit it so it can be used right away. I guess Check 21 might have changed that, but why bother....

You get refunds in NJ? PA is a straight percentage and there are really no deductions (unreimbursed employee expenses is about it), so people rarely get refunds. Well, if you make little enough there's tax forgiveness, but that's like 6K or 7K/year income.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You get refunds in NJ? PA is a straight percentage and there are really no deductions (unreimbursed employee expenses is about it), so people rarely get refunds. Well, if you make little enough there's tax forgiveness, but that's like 6K or 7K/year income.

NJ in recent memory even started applying rent as paying local property tax. If you are a tenant, NJ assumes (probably correctly, unless your landlord/lady is rich) that your rent goes to pay local property tax. So I get a deduction for that as well.

Speaking of which, if it was convenient, I would love to live in the schticks of PA just for the sake of not having to pay huge property taxes. It is a fact that homes of similar sizes and neighborhoods are cheaper both in price and taxes in PA than NJ. In that respect, I am always jealous. I know the Poconos are starting to get price-prohibitive though as folks started wising up, but it seems to be better as you start going more west. But then that starts becoming a hellish commute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NJ in recent memory even started applying rent as paying local property tax. If you are a tenant, NJ assumes (probably correctly, unless your landlord/lady is rich) that your rent goes to pay local property tax. So I get a deduction for that as well.

Speaking of which, if it was convenient, I would love to live in the schticks of PA just for the sake of not having to pay huge property taxes. It is a fact that homes of similar sizes and neighborhoods are cheaper both in price and taxes in PA than NJ. In that respect, I am always jealous. I know the Poconos are starting to get price-prohibitive though as folks started wising up, but it seems to be better as you start going more west. But then that starts becoming a hellish commute.

Even where I am (outside of Philly), I've heard that the property taxes here are cheaper than Jersey's. Of course, we grumble about it. Now the people who live in "better suburbs" (mine's an old mill town) pay a lot more than we do.

You're right though, my dad and brother who live in the Northeast just west of the Poconos pay about half what the people here pay. They grumble too, though.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad lives in Cherry Hill in a rancher. Pays almost $8000 in real estate tax per year. Because of this, his house is worth about $100k LESS than it would be in an equidistant location from Philly in Pennsylvania (home prices are, to some extent set my monthly payment affordability- higher taxes = lower home prices).

Living in the sticks is a totally different thing. Its just that in PA, 80% of the state is the "sticks" where in NJ, the only rural areas left are in South Jersey.

NJ taxes are ridiculous. I wouldn't live there if you paid me. Twice the property taxes and two to three times the amount of income tax as PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My dad lives in Cherry Hill in a rancher. Pays almost $8000 in real estate tax per year. Because of this, his house is worth about $100k LESS than it would be in an equidistant location from Philly in Pennsylvania (home prices are, to some extent set my monthly payment affordability- higher taxes = lower home prices).

Living in the sticks is a totally different thing. Its just that in PA, 80% of the state is the "sticks" where in NJ, the only rural areas left are in South Jersey.

NJ taxes are ridiculous. I wouldn't live there if you paid me. Twice the property taxes and two to three times the amount of income tax as PA.

Very very northwest Jersey (e.g. Sussex County) is very rural (you will see cows there). But South Jersey is definitely more rural.

If I had it my way, I would totally migrate to Texas. Especially if I could find a place to work where it would match my current salary. Then I'd live like a king. And it is, after all, a debtor-friendly state.

Cherry Hill is very nice. Right outside of Philly, lotta hotels and beautiful homes and neighborhoods. But because of it's proximity to Philly....the prices are jacked up. Other places in South Jersey are definitely cheaper as you move away from the Philly area, but New Jersey as a whole will soon be prohibitive to live in, even for those who have lived here all of their lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Other places in South Jersey are definitely cheaper as you move away from the Philly area, but New Jersey as a whole will soon be prohibitive to live in, even for those who have lived here all of their lives.
I agree. Look at 90% of California. $1,000,000 for 3000sq foot homes on a postage stamp of land. I know someone who lived out there, sold his ridiculously inflated assets (two homes), cashed out and moved to Utah. Bought a home and some investements with the cash and retired at 45 years old.

Sort of similar to what you are looking to do with Texas (except you'd work).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree. Look at 90% of California. $1,000,000 for 3000sq foot homes on a postage stamp of land. I know someone who lived out there, sold his ridiculously inflated assets (two homes), cashed out and moved to Utah. Bought a home and some investements with the cash and retired at 45 years old.

Sort of similar to what you are looking to do with Texas (except you'd work).

Utah does have a ridiculous low cost of living...but really, what's over there? One other place in Texas I can think of besides S.L.C., is Provo, which I hear is quite nice. Texas at least has some major cities with suburbs that are very affordable (though I always wonder for how long). I've been to Houston, Galveston and Austin, with Austin being my number one choice going to. Houston is nice, but man...certain parts make North Philly look like a great suburb to live in. Dallas will never be an option because I neither wish to kill nor be killed by Cowboys fans (I would wear my Giants bomber every day in the hottest of days...lmao).

It isn't like I want to work, but until I get my own ridiculous inflated assets, I'm gonna have to make due with a 9-5 for at least a little while longer. If I do things right, I myself may retire at the earliest 50, latest 60.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.