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I've used Wells Fargo's checking account for just a few months now but I've been very happy with it. Although the minimum balance is kind of high, it's super easy to avoid it by having my husband's check directly deposited and by automatically transferring $$ to our linked savings account each month. We can even go right in and transfer it back if we need to and this still helps us avoid the fee for not maintaining the minimum balance. I also like how convenient it is to zip to the bank and the number of ATMs in my city. This makes it overall very convenient to use this checking account.
I've used the REI Visa card for over 7 years now. I shop at REI regularly and love having the high dividend that I earn from using this card. Not only do I get 10% from REI regularly (just for being member) but I get an ADDITIONAL 5% if I use the card. Also, I get 1% dividend on all other purchases. I usually rack up a few hundred dollars per year this way. In the years I've used this card, I've had nothing but excellent customer service. My interest rate is a low 9.9%. Overall, I'd recommend this card, but it really only benefits people who plan to shop at REI.
The American Express Gold Card allows you to earn points that can be used to then buy gift cards. This is nice if you'd rather have gift cards to specific places than cash back. Also, while no interest may seem like a great benefit, it's because the card must be paid in full each month. You cannot carry a balance. The benefits are pretty great, though. Their customer service is top-notch and they offer member perks like exclusive rates at different venues (hotels, concerts, etc.). I'd recommend it if you're able to pay your balance every month and if the annual fee of $125 doesn't bother you. Personally, I'd rather have a card where I have the option to carry a balance if I need to and NO annual fee. I've had the REI Visa for several years not and have always had great customer service and no annual fee.
The Ann Taylor Loft card is like a lot of store-based credit cards. If you shop there a lot, great, you'll get good rewards and have a place to use them. If not, it seems like the pros do not outweigh the cons. For example, the interest rate of 24.99% percent is pretty outrageous and much higher than many store-based credit cards. Also, you only get Loft reward points for all your spending. Again, if you shop almost exclusively at Ann Taylor, this would make sense. If not, there are other cards that are worth having that don't carry the steep interest rate this one days. For example, the REI Card is store based and has as low as 9.99 interest rate.
This seems to be a great card. The best perks (in my opinion) are the increased cash back rewards on groceries and gas, which are necessities. Even if you're on a strict budget, you can still earn cash back this way. Also, starting out with $100 cash back is pretty great. Having a 0% intro rate for a full year is almost unheard of in the credit card world. Overall, the perks for this card are fantastic. Compared to the REI Visa, this seems to be comparable, unless you buy a ton from REI. The nice thing about the BankAmericard is that you can get higher than 2-3% back on groceries and gas, whereas the REI Visa only offers 1% back on these types of purchases.
I'm really not a fan of the Wal-Mart prepaid card. For one, there is a $3 monthly maintenance fee. What needs to be maintained here? I can't imagine. Of course, the fee is waived if you reload $1000 onto the card each month, but if someone is trying to get a card that doesn't require a credit check or bank then they probably don't have $1000 to put on the card each month. I will say probably IS nice to not have credit checks or bank accounts needed for some people. It's definitely cheaper than the Visa prepaid card which costs 6.95 to use the first time and charges a 5.95 monthly fee. Yikes. So I suppose that in the grand scheme of things the fees aren't that bad. However, I just don't like cards with fees so I'm giving it a lower rating.
The Priceline Credit Card seems to have a few good perks, for example, earning 5,000 points just for opening it and making a purchase is decent. Also, many cards like this one have an annual fee whereas the Priceline card does not. It's pretty easy to earn points - spend a buck, get a point. Also, after spending $1000 you earn an additional 5,000 points. Unfortunately it also has to be $1000 on qualifying purchases. I think the REI Visa is a better deal. Not only do you earn 5% back on all REI purchases, but you can earn 1% on ALL non-REI purchases. At the end of the year you can get a check or in-store credit for REI. The interest rates are better...currently 9.9% for the REI card compared to the higher rate of at least 14.99% with the Priceline card. Overall, I'd still go with the REI Visa even though the Priceline card has some good perks if you travel frequently.
I was a member of the Collegedale Credit Union for 4 years while a student at SAU across the street. Overall, the experience was good. The employees were almost always helpful (just one negative incident in four years) and they offered the services I needed at the time. I had a checking account with them so I could have my earnings direct deposited from SAU. I did have one instance where there was an error with my account (a disputed transaction) and I felt like it was more hassle than it should have been to get it resolved. Also, when I ended my schooling and went to close my account, they seemed aggravated about it, although I can't imagine why since there are so many students who use the credit union, they should be used to people opening and closing accounts when they arrive at and leave school. Again, overall, it got the job done. I can't really rave about it but at the same time I don't have any major complaints.
I've been with First Community for over a year. My purpose for using this credit union was to obtain a loan for a new (to me) vehicle. After researching loan rates I ended up at First Community because of their amazingly low rates. I was shocked at the low interest rate they offered me, and even more excited when the interest rates changed and became even lower (less than 2%) This allowed me to borrow enough for a vehicle. I also really appreciated the convenient locations and customer service. My closest brach is inside Wal-Mart so I can stop by before or after doing some shopping. Applying for and getting approved for the loan was a quick and streamlined process. I've been able to auto debit my payments so that's one less thing to worry about. Overall, I'm extremely happy with First Community and would use them again in a heartbeat.