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True to State Farm's motto (Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there), Erika has always been there when we needed her. We switched our car and home insurance to State Farm about four years ago and have been extremely impressed with the service that Erika's office has provided. When we first met her, she was friendly, polite, and easy to talk to. After five minutes, we were chatting like we had known one another our whole lives. About a year after we switched to her insurance we had a flood in our basement due to heavy rains and a failed sump pump. We called her to see if this was covered under our plan and she informed us that it was. The day after we called her, she had an adjuster at our home and in less than a week we had a check for damages. I have never had an insurance agent respond so quickly to a claim before. Late last year my wife was rear-ended by an un-insured driver. We contacted Erika again to see what our options were and she immediately filed a claim on our un-insured driver policy (which did not affect our rate) and collected information on the other driver so that State Farm could take him to court in order to recoup their costs. She immediately took action, which is how she always does things. She also periodically calls us throughout the year in order to make sure that things are okay, to see if we have any questions, and just to say hello. Our rates are a little higher with State Farm than they were with our previous insurance company, but the service that we receive from Erika and her staff easily offsets this minor cost difference. I highly recommend Erika Hancock if you live in the Frankfort area.
Belinda has been an outstanding loan officer to my family. When we were applying for our mortgage loan, she carefully and thoroughly explained the entire process, how much we would pay, and so forth. Her best asset is that she can do this like a normal person. She does not come across as being condescending, arrogant, or negative in any way. It is like you are talking to an old friend. She is very trustworthy and sincere. She repeatedly told us to call her anytime that we had questions and really went out of her way to make sure that we understood our mortgage and were satisfied with the loan before we signed anything. I would not hesitate to recommend her to others or go back to her when it is time to buy another house.
The Brooks Brothers credit card is a solid choice for a store credit card. The initial bonus point reward of 15% is on par with similar store cards and the bonus point earning is very generous at 4 points per dollar spent at Brooks Brothers. This card is very similar to the Banana Republic Visa card that I have used in the past. Both have the same initial 15% bonus, although Banana Republic gives the 15% to you immediately off your first purchase instead of loading the card with points. The Banana Republic card does offer more maximum points (5) if you shop at any of the Gap family of stores. That being said, the Brooks Brothers card potentially offers more “free money,” which I like, since it rewards you with two $20 discount cards per year for your birthday and, if you are married, for your anniversary. The reward structure is slightly different between the two cards: you have to accumulate 2,000 points with the Brooks Brothers card to receive a $20 discount, whereas the Banana Republic card rewards you more quickly with a $10 discount after 1,000 points. The Brooks Brothers card has a significantly better APR, varying between 14% and 24% depending on your credit worthiness, while the Banana Republic card is fixed at 23%, no matter how good your credit is. In my opinion, this potentially lower APR and the extra $40 in discounts gives the Brooks Brothers the edge as far as these two store cards go.
The Virgin America card is obviously designed for people who frequently fly on Virgin Airlines, but also offers enough incentives to entice other airline users to give it and Virgin Airlines a shot. I have a Skypass Visa Signature card, and this Virgin America card is better in several ways. With the Skypass Visa I received 15,000 bonus miles after my first purchase, instead of the 10,000 offered by Virgin. However, even though I received more bonus miles, I am paying $30 more in annual fees ($80 for Skypass, $49 for Virgin). The Virgin America card also has a very appealing 0% intro rate, which the Skypass lacks, and you can earn up to 3 points per dollar spent, versus the 2 per dollar with Skypass. The Skypass Visa potentially has a better APR, but most consumers are not going to get the best rate on either card, so the APR difference between the cards is negligible. The Virgin America card is a strong credit card choice if you are looking for a card with travel incentives.
My wife and I are state employees and about a year ago we decided to join Commonwealth Credit Union in order to open a checking and savings account devoted to putting money back for our daughter. The application process is simple and it was no problem opening the accounts. They have numerous locations and have convenient banking hours during the week. The only complaint I have is that the locations that are open on Saturdays do not open until 9:00 AM, while many banks open earlier than that on Saturdays. That's a minor issue, though, and I do not feel this affects the quality of their service in any way. We also recently took out a car loan here and received a better rate than we ever could have through dealer financing. From now on we will likely financing all of our cars through CCU for the better rate and accessible, local customer service. The online banking service is also top-notch and I have never had any problems accessing or using it. Its use is very intuitive and there is basically no way to accidentally mess up your account.
If you are a government worker for the state of Kentucky, then you really do not have a good reason not to join this credit union. Their service has always been excellent. We moved to Frankfort about three years ago and transferred our checking and savings accounts here and have not regretted it since. The process to join and then open an account was simple and only took a few minutes. The staff at the main branch has always been nice and pleasant. There are ATMs all over Frankfort for ease of use, and there are also ATMs located in every major surrounding city/town (Lexington, Shelbyville, and Lawrenceburg). They also offer a “shared credit union” experience if you are outside of the Frankfort area - meaning, you can go to a different credit union that they partner with in order to withdraw or deposit your money, so you almost always have a way to get funds if you need them. We have yet to have a complaint about KECU and are planning on refinancing our house in the near future and transferring our mortgage over to them as well.