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I recently discontinued my savings account with US Bank because I was dissatisfied. It wasn't made clear to me during the account opening process that I had to maintain a minimum of a $300 balance to waive the $4 monthly fee. As a result, I ended up paying several of these fees before I realized, as I had to take money out of my savings account for moving fees. This wouldn't be a big deal if their fee system had been made clear to me while opening the account, but it wasn't. Additionally, the interest rate they offer of .01% annually is pretty lousy compared to the alternatives out there. Since opening a savings account with a credit union instead, I've been making far more in interest. While US Bank has been fine for my Checking Account needs, I don't recommend investing in a Savings Account with them.
I banked with Columbia until a few years ago, at which point I moved out of their immediate range of physical branches. I miss banking with them, because they're fantastic. Their customer service is top-notch, with employees that act as though they're more honest and care more than those working at larger banking institutions I've been with. At my local branch, the bankers got to calling me by name, which was a wonderful personal touch to banking that you can't get many places. In general, their fees and interest rates were better than what is available through major banks. Also, to me, the fact that they're a local bank means a lot - more money being kept in your local economy, and you can tell that overall, the bankers are happier with their jobs than at major banks. It's nice to experience, and great to feel like you're banking within your own community. If you're living in close proximity to one of their locations in WA or OR, I highly recommend Columbia.
US bank offers a decent, basic free checking account for students. I've had my account for about five years and haven't been displeased. While I've been disappointed by other aspects of banking with US Bank, their checking program is satisfactory. The biggest draw for me initially was that the account costs nothing to open up and keep maintained, and since US Banks are all over the place, it's quite convenient. I also don't have to keep any minimum balance in this checking account, which is useful for my current lifestyle. Their online banking for accessing this account is also quite convenient and easy to use. Unfortunately, the overdraft fees ($36 each) and negative balance fees ($25 each) are quite steep, so be careful to avoid these. That's my only major complaint with this account. They're alright!
I've had Esurance insuring my car for several years now, and they've proven to be better than the average insurance company. My rates are low compared to the quotes I got from their competitors. Their customer service has been competent and professional when I need questions answered. Car insurance is a major financial obligation no matter what, but the burden has been better with Esurance for me than with other insurance companies.
I've banked primarily with Rivermark for almost a year now, keeping both a checking and savings account with them. They offer great annual interest on their accounts compared to any regular bank I've had accounts with before - for example, I've been making more interest off of my regular savings account with Rivermark than I was making with money on a CD with US Bank in the past. Signing up was a breeze to do, and I was able to accomplish the entire process online. Their entire internet banking system is seamless and easy to use, and they also offer a smartphone/tablet app to do banking on, which also runs wonderfully. The few times I've needed to talk to a banker in person, they were more friendly and helpful than any other bank I've been to. The one negative I can think of is that they only have branches in the Portland metro area, as they are a local credit union. But even if you're out of town, their mobile banking is so accessible that it's never been a problem for me. Highly recommended!
The KAIKU Visa Prepaid card offers great terms compared to most prepaid cards out there. They offer many ways to load money onto the card and to check your balance for free, and the card has a high maximum limit at $10,000. There's no credit check to receive the card, which may be nice for those of us with bad credit. And for folks who don't want to risk going into debt, a prepaid card like this allows the convenience of having a card without the risk. Additionally, there's no cancellation fee attached. The only big downside is a monthly fee of $1.95, but this is lower than many comparable cards on the market.
If you desire a prepaid card to spend a large amount on every month, then the Mango Prepaid Card might be a good fit. If you load at least $500 a month onto the card, then it is free month-to-month, but if you load less than this, there is a $5 monthly fee. However, there are more potential fees associated with the card, as well: you have to pay 50 cents to check your balance, whether it be live or automated. They also charge $2 for ATM use and $10 to cancel the card. In the case that you need a prepaid card, this might be a good fit if you are very careful with its use to avoid the associated fees. However, it seems like there are many better options out there, so I cannot fully recommend it.
The Blue from American Express card is nice if you need to make a large purchase to pay off, as they offer a 15 month interest-free period. To further the incentive, they offer 10,000 points if you charge $1,000 of eligible purchases to the card within the first three months. However, after the 15 month period, their interest rates are quite high, with the lowest offered being 15.24%. If you are smart and make a plan to pay off any purchases before the 15 months are up, then this card will be quite useful for you. Just watch out for the high interest.
The Ink Bold Business Card is a great card if you have a large amount of money to spend in order to take advantage of the rewards. It's a business-oriented charge card, meaning you must pay the full balance every month. They offer a huge amount of bonus points if you spend $5,000 within the first three months of opening the card. Furthermore, they offer points at a rate of 5x up to the first $50,000 spent in many categories. This card is additionally useful for frequent travelers, as there are no foreign transaction fees on its use. However, there is a $95 annual fee for this card after the first year of use.
If you manage to qualify for the Chase Freedom card, it offers great rewards. Since I got accepted for the card, I've enjoyed the high rewards that they offer. Making $500 in purchases within the first three months of opening nets you a $100 bonus cash back, so it's smart to open this card when you are ready to spend some money, to take advantage of this deal. Additionally, through the end of this year, they're offering 5% cash back on some great categories, including for Amazon. Get your holiday shopping done for cheaper! There are no annual fees to maintain the card, and any rewards that you gain will never expire. If you qualify for this card, it's a pretty good deal.
The L.L. Bean credit card is great if you are a regular shopper of theirs! They offer rewards at a rate of 3% on all in-store purchases, as well as a 1% reward rate on any regular purchases. The card is part of Visa's network, so you're sure to be able to use it wherever you need to. Cash advance rates and fees are fairly high, but this seems to be standard practice for most store credit cards. Just stay away from using the card for this purpose. If you shop L.L. Bean much at all, this card is smart to get - there's no cons as long as you're careful.
If you are a regular shopper at Kroger-owned stores, this credit card racks up points pretty quickly. I work at a Fred Meyer, so I spend a decent amount of money on Kroger products to start with. This card helps me get better rewards for products that I would be buying anyway. The cash advance rates and late fees are a little high, but if you're careful with your card and don't need cash advances, then there won't be any issue for you. I wouldn't recommend this card to anyone who doesn't shop at Kroger stores on a regular basis, because that's really the only reason to have such a card. But for this purpose, it offers pretty good rewards.
While it's not bad, the Wells Fargo Rewards card is pretty basic, without any benefits that really stand out over most other cards that are out there. The cash advance fees and interest rates are pretty high, and the foreign transaction fee of 3% is very high, so using this card out of the country isn't advised. The rewards point system is basic, with most purchases being a straightforward 1 point for each dollar spent. In the initial 6 months of owning the card they offer 5 points for each dollar spent on grocery, gas, and drugstore purchases, which is a nice bonus, but it's only temporary. While it's not a bad card, there are many better ones out there available.
This is a good specialty card if you're really into football. The card fulfills its purpose well: you get great savings using the NFL credit card at NFLShop.com, saving 20% on every purchase. If you're planning to shop NFLShop.com frequently, get this card! They also offer a point system at a rate of 1 point for each dollar spent. The points earned are doubled at NFLShop.com, in stadium events, and at pro team shops. If you're a football junkie that buys a lot of merchandise and tickets, this is a great card for these specific purchases. The high interest on cash advances and late payments, however, downgrade its usability as an everyday card.
This card is great on principle if you shop at Target much, since you get a 5% discount on all purchases made in the store with it. Since I have a Target near my house, I find myself using my Target RED card frequently. It's fairly straightforward and easy to understand the basics, unlike some store cards that opt to use a point system. The Target card is easy- there's no membership fees, you save money on purchases, and get free shipping online. The minor inconvenience of having yet another card is worth it, overall. Highly recommended for a regular Target shopper!
I've had my Discover card for about a year now and have not been disappointed. Their customer service is friendly and accessible compared to most companies I've dealt with. Their interest rates have been reasonable, and there's no annual fees attached. The rewards program often requires you to activate different categories to earn rewards for online, which is easy to forget to do. However, it's a nice program that allows you to earn money back down the road for other purchases. Overall, I've had complaints about Discover and they've been pleasant to deal with. The only downside is that Discover is accepted at less locations than, say, Visa or Mastercard. However, this inconvenience is mainly limited to smaller restaurants, so it's not a big issue.