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We had been with Wells Fargo for a number of years and had worried about going from the luxuries of a bigger bank to a smaller local bank. We decided on American State for the ease of drop off(it is on Main Ave). The lobby is clean and very nice looking. They have a reception desk to direct customers where to go before you even get to the tellers. Everyone is usually smiling and helpful. And if for whatever reason you have to wait, they have a waiting area with a TV and toys for the kids. We have never had a major problem with them, the few minor problems we have had were dealt with quickly and professionally. The services offered are comparable to a big chain bank. The level of service is perfect, professional capability of a large bank, but the friendliness of a local bank.
We were moving to Sioux Center and American State Bank was recommended. Shirley was our loan officer. We had a lot of little snags, some of them stemmed from a contract sale of a previous house, but some were oversights on Shirley's part. After the first day we walked out with one number, picked a house, had to go come back down and re-look at houses after her first approval proved to be wrong. So we had wasted one full weekend of house-shopping on a bad number. We did pick a house, Shirley was nice, but she was slow to respond and had to have us refile paperwork a few times, because she had told us something incorrect. She wasn't bad, she just wasn't exceptional on anything. American State Bank as a whole helped a lot with the loan, and from what I have heard, this was very much a fluke, but our experience was mediocre at best.
Originally, I just went in to look at a quote for my wife's car. However, after talking to Kathy, and how she handled a call, while I was talking to her, I agreed to meet again about my car. After 30 minutes, I had all of the same features I had with my past insurance and was going to save nearly $40/month. She commented that I qualified for deductions, because I was over 30(freshly, I'm 31) and because we moved closer to our jobs. Kathy was willing to put me(a potential sale) on hold to deal with a current customer. I like the idea that a sale is less valuable than a customer. It's only been 3 weeks, but thus far we have had a good experience.
Our former agency broker went out of business so we consulted with Mr. Highfill he was courteous polite and professional. He wasn't overly charismatic, but he was very genuine in his dealings with us. He could have pushed us towards a different insurance, but he was our needs and admitted our current insurance was exactly what we needed. So he put in a few hours of work, just to tell us we had what we needed. That showed a lot of integrity and it was appreciated!!!
My cousin who is living with us, recently needed to get a bank account for his job. He looked around and opted to go to Des Moines to get the account set-up because they offered some benefits they were on his work's list for automatic deposit. We went in and set-up the account and I co-signed just in case, as he is under 18. The clerk was mostly kind and respectful…she did seem to struggle with seriousness due to my cousin’s harsh brogue yet. He is a bit self-concious of it but he is doing better…anyways… she was helpful efficient and fast. We had three-quarters of it set-up in about 15 minutes, then we had to wait on an account manager to sign off on everything. We were done within 45 minutes, there were two people waiting on the account manager ahead of us, he was polite and helpful...overall good service. No complaints or problems so far!
My wife and I had met with BJ a few times, about other matters with our bank account, options, account requirement changes, etc.. So when we were looking to refinance our home we were happy to work with BJ about it. We wound up getting a new loan through Wells Fargo and getting off our original loan. It helped that we had dealt with BJ so he knew exactly the types of questions we would have and had prepared accordingly. The whole process was pretty quick and relatively easy. BJ was perfect, he was familiar with our situation and was that perfect balance of personable and professional.
We have very recently switched because of an issue with our old credit union. There was a minor issue when we made our initial deposit. The amount of our transfer check was different than the original deposit they had, we called and had it fixed in less than 20 minutes. The associate who made the error, called personally and apologized!! The supervisor had apologized, and we understood, mistakes happen, they took care of it, no arguing, just a “yes, we made an error, we will fix it!” It was nice and then the personal accountability to call was an especially nice touch! Good overall. I haven’t had too much experience, but it seems to be well managed and the employees were friendly and obviously were willing to take their job seriously!
Overall, the Capital One Platinum Card looks like it has a lot of nice features, one problem I have is the yearly fee. The travel and international benefits look nice, but not everyone will use them. Personally, I use the Capital One Sony Rewards Card. My spending on monthly expenses and the minor business traveling I do, helps me rack up huge points. By only spending half of the points I earn each year, I am set up for a great Playstation 4 release party, since I have the points to purchase that plus a new TV. The big thing is while this card(the Platinum) isn’t for me, it doesn’t mean, people who travel more, might not enjoy that more than my preference. Capital One has tons of options, do your homework and pick what works for you.
The Toys R Us Store Card is great for us, we originally, got it, when my oldest was born, anticipating a decade of toys for presents. Buying presents for our boys and their friends, as well as relatives who have had kids, means we accumulate tons of points regularly. On the downside, the rate is pretty high, but if you pay it off each month, it’s not a problem. The rewards apply a crossed the board and can be used on pretty much anything in store. My wife and I have taken to the process of me buying my annual sports video games from Toys R Us using our points. The baby discounts and toy discounts are hugely beneficial, especially if you get the card with your first kid and hold it over on subsequent children. Makes points accumulate amazingly fast.
I have had this card for three years. I use it since I travel at least twice a month for my job. I have traveled as much as 40 weeks out of the year, so I understand the benefits of having a card that offers rewards for hotels. As I get reimbursed for all of my travel expenses, it’s really nice to have benefits from work that extend to private use. I accrue tens of thousands of points each year and use it for family vacations and once for an anniversary get-away for my wife and I. When I consider the annual fee, and that I get reimbursed for so much of my travel expenses, the yearly fee, really is worth it for me. I get lots of personal trips from the points so the annual fee, is really tiny compared to the benefits. However, it is something for people to be aware of if they aren’t getting so much of their costs covered. Great card for business travelers. Amazing perks for the cost if you have a good work travel program.
We have a Disney Rewards Visa and have had it for going on 4 years now. We are planning to take a trip to Disney World or Disney Land when our two boys are older. The card gets paid off each month so we don’t have to worry about the interest rate, which isn’t the worst for our cards anyways. It’s distinctive even half-hidden in a pocket in my wallet and my kids know which one it is(my oldest, 3, sometimes fetches my wallet so I can make an online purchase for him). While I can’t say the card gets a lot of usage, it sees some use and I have had zero issues with it. So in terms of cards it is pretty reliable.
I have used my Sony Card for 2 years now. I put almost everything on it and pay it off each month. I put 3,000/month on it so I get serious rewards very quickly. I have supplemented the purchase of an upgraded PS3, 2 televisions and a Blu-Ray player with the cards points. The whole experience has been great and I have had absolutely no problems. My bill is pretty standard and gives me a good idea of how I am doing for points. Capital One has always been OK for service with me, but this card seems to be the exception as I have had no issues. The few times I call and have a question I get a person who can answer it on the first try. If you know how to use a credit card to build credit you will appreciate the rewards this card gives you. A great addition to your wallet.
I spend 2 weeks at my cousin’s in Ireland every year. I was looking for a card that offered some decent traveling perks. One of the things I loved about American Express was the rental car insurance they offered. I applied for the card and got it and went on my yearly trip to Ireland. I spent a little more than usual and generally had a decent experience. Since that initial trip the card has supplemented the costs of each successive trip. The customer service is superb, not just good, but superb. Every call has been dealt with professionally and courteously. Overall, it’s a great card, but for a specialty card it has the drawback of having a high rate, not the worst, but it’s up there. As long as you are financially secure and travel this card will benefit you.
We initially signed up for an American Express to help lay a good foundation for our Credit usage. We already had good credit scores, but we wanted to have a more history for when we got older. The only thing we used it for was once a month we bought a week’s worth of groceries with it, so we could easily pay it off each month. Once our first year was up, we decided to pay the fee to keep it only to continue to build credit. We had no problems with the card, but after that second year, we decided against keeping it. They offer good programs, but unless you travel most of them aren’t that great. We couldn’t justify the cost each year to keep the card, when it’s only purpose was to build credit. However, if we decide later to travel, we will likely pick it back up.
A few years ago we moved to Armstrong, IA and chose to try Bank Midwest on a recommendation. The nice thing about the branch we used was that there were a large number of professionals there to help with a variety of services. They have insurance agents, housing and realty specialists and notaries. On the whole the service is great, you have the occasional issue with a new teller or an older teller who just isn't in the right mood, but overall customer service is pretty good. We still use the insurance agent, through them as he is solid and skilled, but I believe if you are in that area, it is a good branch to use. We used it with no problems and continue to use one of their services.
We lived in Fenton and wanted to have a bank that we could use in town. This limited our options to West Iowa Bank. As such we opened a checking and savings account there. We were pretty close to the location, so convenience to get there was easy. One of the biggest drawbacks were the hours. They were open a few hours in the morning and a few hours a couple of afternoons a week. The hours weren't the most convenient, but the location wasn't bad. The tellers were hit or miss as they were either very friendly or kind of grouchy. There were a couple who were just matter of fact and were neither happy nor grouchy. Because there was never more than one teller at a time it was kind of hard to choose a good teller over the one you had. As far as banks go, we never had any major problems with the bank, but we never really had a great experience either.
Recently, I had to open part of a savings account with my employer. The savings account was a secondary retirement package that I had negotiated with my boss for and had received as part of my new contract with the company. As such I had to use a bank that they had worked with for automatic transfers, we opted for Rolling Hills Bank and Trust. We went into the bank on a Friday to get the account set up and get the papers signed for the access and privacy issues. The gentleman who helped us was amazing, we had showed up a few minutes early and he was ready for us. He took us in his office and had everything ready to go. He was sociable, professional and very efficient, he multi-tasked through the paperwork getting our signatures and talking to us. When the paperwork was done, he gave us a quick run-down of how the account would build and projections based on what I planned on contributing and how much my contract specified got put in also. He was very thorough and very good about keeping the fiscal terms to a reasonable level. The service (both the meeting and the little bit I have needed after) have been great. Just a great bank to work with..
We decided to open an account for our eldest son's College fund and after doing a little research in our area we found that First Whitney had the majority of what we were looking for in one package. We scheduled an appointment with an accountant manager and went in 15 minutes early. Our time came and went and nothing happened as we waited, we wound up waiting 30 minutes passed our appointment time without a word. Once the lady with whom we were supposed to meet approached us, she was friendly and knowledgeable, no word on what had taken so long. While we were frustrated with the initial situation, we were happy with the account details and the ease of use. When it came time to open a second account for our youngest, we opted for the same account type and same bank. We scheduled the appointment again and this time had absolutely no problems, the person who helped us this time was right on time and was just as knowledgeable and friendly. The knowledge of the account managers was exceptional as they rarely had to look up information and had detailed knowledge of the accounts and had a good grasp on how to explain details to non-financial professionals.
We switched to Wells Fargo, because we like having a branch in the town we live. For 2 years overall, we have had good service in store, but have had some occasions where we had to call in to get problems addressed, particularly when they recently switched requirements about free checking. Calling in to get the clarification led to a lot of trying to get to a real person as we kept getting machine service. As it was, we wound up having to go into the local branch anyways and talk to an account specialist. It took 2 weeks to get the appointment, and once we got in we had no problems getting in and out and the guy helped us quickly and clearly. Wells Fargo has had great in-branch service, while the automation leaves something to be desired, that is normal and to be expected. If they switched to less automation, I would be far happier with the overall services they provide.