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I tend to move around every few years and whenever I settle down in a new location I always look for a local credit union to use for checking account services. I prefer being able to go in to a branch to handle a checking account so online only providers won't cut it. Big banks are plagued by hidden fees and other crazy nonsense so I avoid them. Michigan First Credit Union is a great bank that I've had no bad experiences with. I've been very satisfied with what they have to offer and couldn't ask for more.
GE Capital Bank Online Savings Account is the best savings account I've ever had. No problems at all with them. No hidden fees, no minimum balance, compounding interest, great rates, great customer service. You really can not ask for too much more from an online savings account. I guess the only down side is it is online only and you will not have a branch to go to if you prefer to do banking in person. But if you don't mind online banking, you really can't ask for much more.
A while ago I was a member of another bank that I guess was bought out or changed over to what is now First Merit. I had a Firstmerit Bank Reality Checking account for some time, and mostly had no issues. Until one day my card was used to make purchases that I did not authorize. These purchases took my account into overdraft The fees kept piling on and I went to the bank to get it sorted out. Well, long story short, only SOME of the fees were reversed, I actually had to pay some of the fees because of the overdraft which they wouldn't reverse. After that, and the other unnecessary fees like the paper balance fee of $3.00. I decided to leave that bank and take my money elsewhere.
My first checking account was with a company that didn't use branch offices, so once I needed an actual branch office for checking, I decided to check out Lake Michigan Credit Union. They have one of the highest interest rates I've seen offered from a bank, amazing customer service. I would walk in and they would recognize me and say hello and call me by name. I wasn't just another account to them, they were very friendly. Can't really beat them.
When I was looking for a local bank for a good checking account I found it so hard to find one. All the checking accounts I found had horrible hidden fees and minimum balance requirements. So eventually a friend recommended Ally bank to me and I was able to sign up. I've been very satisfied with their service. They have no hidden fees, they provide free checks, and have excellent customer service. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for a good free no nonsense checking account.