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Love Bethpage so far. Switched to them recently from my old bank when they added so many account fees I could no longer have a free checking account with them. Bethpage has fee-free checking without any requirements – no minimum deposit amount needed, no direct deposit requirements, no other hoops to jump through. Just fee-free checking. They even offer interest on the account if you meet certain guidelines each month (if you don't meet the requirements you just don't earn interest that month, no fees). Everyone I've interacted with has been friendly and helpful. Online banking is simple, and they have smartphone apps, at least for Android and iOS, and the Android app is easy to use. They have lots of locations, plus tons of free ATMs and a network with other credit unions for when you're out of state.
My experience with Bank of America was short-lived. I opened an account while in California visiting my father, because he wanted me to have an account at a bank that was local to him (my usual bank is on the east coast only) so that he could easily deposit money when needed, as he prefers to give me cash instead of items for presents. The problems started when I returned home to NY. I set up one of my direct deposits to go into the account so it wouldn't charge me any fees, but when I went to use my debit card after every 2nd time I used it my card would be flagged as stolen and I wouldn't be able to use it until I called the 800 number. I explained the situation multiple times and asked each time to have a note added to the account saying that I was a student and the card was not stolen every time it was used in NY, and was told each time this was not possible, and my options were either to close the account, wait, and then open a new one in NY and hope that someone depositing cash from California wouldn't get my account flagged, or deal with my debit card being shut down every other time I used the card. Some of the customer service folks I spoke to were friendly and sympathetic, some however were very rude and couldn't understand why anyone would ever spend time in a different state than the one they had opened a bank account in - I guess they've never heard of college students or people who live by state borders or move! I closed the account after 3 months, there were no benefits to the account that were worth putting up with the hassle.
I opened a checking account at People's United because I wanted a seperate account to use only for expenses and payment for one of my contract jobs and they were offering a special of a fee-free account for two years for new customers. As of now, after the two years it will stay fee-free if I have a direct deposit going into it each month or keep a minimum balance on it, which isn't amazing but itsn't any worse than most banks nowadays. I haven't had any issues with anything yet, so I don't know how they are dealing with things, but I always get really friendly service from the tellers, which I appreciate. They're only in the North East I believe, but that isn't an issue for me and they have locations in Stop and Shops in my area that are open evenings and on weekends which I love since I work different days and hours each week.
I have a Chase Freedom credit card. I have this card because it started out as a card from another company that no longer exists a number of years ago and eventually the account ended up owned by Chase after a few different mergers/buy outs. The terms are fine, on par with most non-secure cards for people with good credit. It has a rewards program (Ultimate Rewards). Base reward is 1% on all purchases, but there are quarterly categories that will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500, though you have to sign up each quarter to get the 5%. You can get rewards as either cash back, or as gift cards or items. 2,000 points gets $20 cash back, gift cards seem to use the same ratio (2,500 points = $25 gift card). Not a bad rewards program at all if you're one to pay the balance in full each month. I've never had any issues with my card, although I've also never had to call customer service for anything other than activating new cards and have never payed late or anything, so I can't comment on that.
The Citi Platinum Select Visa card was my first ever credit card, opened as a college student card many years ago. It's always been good to me. Paperless statements, which I prefer, and an easy to use online banking system. It has a rewards program, Extra Cash, which is ok - you earn 10% of all eligible purchases, and later can purchase gift cards or other goods at full price and apply your extra cash rewards towards the price ($10 in rewards would get you a $50 gift card for $40). Not an amazing program, but it's something, and this is a decent card all around. I also have a Citi Thank You credit card. This card is what my old college student "Car Rewards" credit card turned into when I guess they ended that card/program a few years ago. It's your standard credit card - I've never had to contact customer service for anything other than activating a new card or payed late or gone over my limit, so I can't comment on any of those situations personally. The rewards program is "Thank You Rewards." To earn points you can either buy thing on-line through the website, or buy items in stores at certain stores, so you don't get rewards on all purchases and how many points you get per dollar depends on the offer at the specific store. Rewards are your standard gift cards or items from a list for a certain amount of points. It's not a terrible rewards program, but there are better out there, so I don't use this card much, it's mainly one of my back ups.
It seems there isn't much to say about this company. I have a credit card issued by them, for the MyPoints rewards website program, I don't know anything about them beyond that. All of my experiences with the credit card have been OK - the website isn't the easiest to use, charges take a few days to show up on the website, compared to all my other cards where most charges show up pretty quickly. The rewards program is based on MyPoints, every dollar charged on the card gives you 1 point on that website's program. It's nice to use when making a MyPoints purchase to up how many points I get, but because it has such a high interest rate along with everything else, I don't use it otherwise usually. It's obviously only worth getting if you use MyPoints already, but it's good for what it's intended for.
I had Progressive for my car insurance for a year a few years ago. They were easy to sign up with, offered me a good rate for decent coverage, and the customer service reps were generally fine to deal with. I never had to make any claims with them, so I can't comment on how they handle issues and claims personally, but my partner currently used Progressive and when he had to file a claim within the past year they handled it well. I did have one issue were I did not make a payment on time due to a stupid error on my part (my checking account number had changed and I forgot to change it in their system), and I got three phone calls from them about it the next day. I paid right away and they didn't call again, but it was a little excessive for a payment that was one day late. I don't know if that's normal for them or if it was a fluke though and the fact that I was in a class and couldn't answer the first two calls may have influenced the number of calls too. Overall, I was happy with them and only switched because after moving back in with my parents (lucky me), it was cheaper to add my car back onto their insurance than keep my own.
I switched to Geico for a short while about 2 years ago for their lower rates. My experience wasn't terrible, but was annoying and drawn out for no reason. There were some issues when I switched over, minor things like an error on the proof of insurance card I received and for some reason it took me talking to way more people than it should have required to get the problems fixed. I also once had to deal with calls telling me I was late on my payment when I wasn't - I never found out what the issue was with that, after talking to 3 or 4 people I guess they fixed it and I stopped hearing from them about it. At least it never ended up on my credit report or anything. I never had to file a claim with them, I switched back to my old company after a few months because after all the issues dealing with them already, I didn't want to risk having to deal with even bigger problems if I ever did file a claim and decided the extra $20/month was worth being with a company I knew from experience would handle claims well. I admit I may have just had some bad luck with my experiences, but I just didn't want to risk dealing with silly issues taking forever to get fixed anymore.
My family has had all our cars covered by State Farm for years now, and for the most part they've been very helpful and a good company. Almost any time one of us has had a claim they've been helpful, one time a little slow when dealing with things, but overall very good. They tend to be reasonable with situations - when another driver ran a red light and totaled my car a number of years ago, they waived my deductible because two witnesses from outside either car said they saw the other driver run the light. They offer a number of discounts (multi-car, good student, for combining insurance types, and others) and their rates are generally reasonable. I'm in a no-fault state so rates tend to be higher here no matter what, and State Farm has been in line with the cost of other companies in the area for the same level of coverage. The only complaint I have is that they will occasionally raise our rates across the board slightly (4 cars on the policy) for literally no reason that anyone can give us. They haven't raised rates enough yet to consider switching companies, but if they keep raising our rates for no reasons it may eventually reach that point. For now though, we'd rather pay a bit more each month for a good company than go with the cheapest plan around, and so far State Farm has been a good option for us for a reasonably priced company that offers good service when we've needed them.
I've had a Bank of America credit card for at least 5 years now. It's currently a Platinum Plus card, I'm not sure if it always went by that name though. I have never had any issues with my account, although I've also never paid late, gone over the limit, or anything else like that. This is my main credit card that I use, since although it has a lower limit than many of my other cards, it has the lowest interest rate and a rewards program. It has periods where certain purchases get you more points, but since I only use credit cards for emergencies and things that will get reimbursed from my job I don't really pay attention to it and just let whatever points I end up setting accrue and use them for a $50 gift whenever I have enough for one. The on-line banking is organized well, and I have yet to hit a limit on how many payments I can make on my balance in a month, which is nice since some other companies do cap the number of payments and I tend to make lots of small payments each month as each reimbursement comes in.
I've been with TD Bank since they acquired Commerce bank, where I had a checking account to begin with since turning 18. 8 years later, my experiences have been mostly good, but only because I qualified for their student checking account, which has no minimum balance requirement. Once I no longer qualify for that, I'll most likely be closing the account. Perks that accounts used to have have been lost one by one over time. I received a letter just a few days ago saying that student accounts, which used to refund one overdraft per year, will no longer do so. I've only over drafted once, by less than $1 and I put money in the same day, and I appreciated the break on the $35 fee for them having to "loan" me 20 cents for the hour it took me to notice the balance and drive to the bank. For a big bank, TD is OK, so long as you qualify for a fee free account. They're not worth paying any fees for though. The extended hours are nice, as is the free coin counting machine for account holders (used to be for anyone), but I wouldn't open an account here now if I didn't already have one.
I've been with ING since 2006, when I opened a savings account to get a bonus for doing so. Best decision I ever made. I later opened a checking account and now that they allow check deposit by photo upload they are the primary bank I use. They're only on-line, but the website is easy to use and makes transferring money between accounts simple. They allow you to have multiple savings accounts with designated names (I believe I have 6 at the moment), which is so helpful for savings for things. I have only ever had one issue with them, when a check that was sent to them via mail was misplaced, but they were friendly and resolved the issues and found the check quickly. I can't recommend them enough.