Bank Profiles, Checking Accounts

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1st Mariner Bank

Category: Bank Profiles, Checking Accounts- fhuff- 9:38 am/ October 13, 2010

Open a checking account at 1st Mariner Bank and you could earn a $150 credit. To receive the bonus you must open a Classic Direct Deposit Account, deposit $200, and activate direct deposit within 90 days. Only one bonus is allowed per account. In addition, you can earn an additional bonus of $50 for referring a friend to the bank. Other details of the checking account include:

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly charge
  • Free checks
  • No per-check charge
  • Free online banking and bill pay
  • Free Visa check card
  • Receive up to $10 for old checks

If the checking account is closed within 90 days of opening you must pay a fee of $15. You must also make at least one direct deposit every 90 days. The checking account also pays interest on all balances. The interest rate for the account was 0.5% annual percentage yield (APY) as of July 28, 2010.

The bank is based in Baltimore, Maryland and has branches throughout Maryland. As a checking account customers you get free use of 1st Mariner Bank and Money Pass ATMs. You also can receive statements online.

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TCF Financial Bank, of Wayzata, MN says it plans to end its totally free checking due to new rules that limit overdraft fees.

“It’s the end of an era,” Bill Cooper, the bank’s chairman and CEO, told the Star Tribune. “We invented totally free checking and everyone copied it. It was a wonderful product. But the regulatory apparatus, misinterpreting what everyone wants, has changed that.”

More than 1 million checking accounts that were previously free now require a monthly maintenance fee. The bank didn’t disclose the amount of the maintenance fee for the checking accounts, but it is expected to go into effect soon. Customers who meet a minimum balance requirement won’t be charged a monthly maintenance fee.

Apparently many banks are looking at doing away with free checking accounts as a way to boost revenues. Some banks have introduced or increased fees for other services. Many banks expect to lose a lot of money they normally make from overdraft charges when new federal rules go into affect.

Beginning in July, banks won’t be allowed to charge overdraft fees for transactions involving ATM and debit cards unless customers choose to opt in to that service.

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Five more banks failed on Friday.  Two of those banks had assets over $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. So far this year nine U.S. banks have failed. Even the best banks continue to struggle in the weak economy and are dealing with customers defaulting on loans.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) seized the assets of five banks on Friday, including:

  • Premier American Bank, based in Miami, which had its assets sold to a unit of Bond Street Holdings LLC of Naples, FL.
  • Bank of Leeton, based in Leeton, MO– Sunflower Bank of Salina, KS bought $20.4 million of the failed bank’s deposits.
  • Charter Bank of Sante Fe, NM had most of its $1.2 billion in assets sold to Beal Financial Corp.
  • Evergreen Bank in Seattle, WA had all its deposits and most of its assets transferred to Umpqua Bank of Roseburg, OR.
  • Columbia River Bank of The Dalles, OR–Columbia State Bank of Tacoma, WA acquired $1 billion of its deposits and $1.1 billion of its assets.

About 174 banks have failed since 2008. You can search for point of contact information for failed banks on the FDIC website. More banks are expected to fail this year.

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Looking at Dollar Savings Direct

Category: Bank Profiles- gotalkmoney.com- 9:34 am/ October 14, 2008

If you’ve been in the hunt for a money market account lately, you’ve probably come across the bank Dollar Savings Direct.  As of October 2008, they’re offering the best rate in the nation at a very attractive 4.00%.  Some consumers have had questions about this bank and here’s a little information about them –

  • Dollar Savings Direct is a division of Emigrant Bank.  Emigrant Bank was founded in 1850 and is FDIC insured with over 14.7 billion in assets.
  • There are no fees with the account.
  • $1,000 minimum balance required to open the account.
  • Opening an account is easy.  You just need to be 18 years old, have a social security number, and a legal US address.

To get more information on Dollar Savings Direct, visit their landing page.

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Banks with the Best Ratings

Category: Bank Profiles- gotalkmoney.com- 8:09 am/ October 1, 2008

Some people have e-mailed me asking if this bank is safe or no, etc.  I’m going to use BankRate.com’s bank rating system (the one we use on the site) and I’ll list all the banks that are in the Top Ten as of October 2008 with a rating of 4 or higher.  Here’s the list –

EverBank - http://www.everbank.com 
[3 month CD @ 4.02%, $1,500 min]

Ascencia - http://www.ascenciabank.com
[6 month CD @ 4.07%, $500 min]

Giant Bank - http://www.giantbank.com
[6 month CD @ 3.56%, $2,500 min]

AmTrust Direct - http://www.amtrustdirect.com
[1 year CD @ 4.30%, $1,000 min]

Advanta - http://www.advanta.com
[18 month CD @ 4.50%, $10,000 min]

Discover Bank - http://www.discoverbank.com
[18 month CD @ 4.39%, $2,500 min]

iGObanking - http://www.igobanking.com
[18 month CD @ 4.30%, $1,000 min]

1st Source Bank - http://1stsourcebank.com
[2 year CD @ 4.45%, $5,000 min]

OnBank - http://www.onbank.com
[3 year CD @ 4.70%, $500 min]

M+T Bank - http://www.mandtbank.com
[3 year CD @ 4.50%, $5,000]

Capital One - http://www.capitalone.com
[5 year CD @ 5.05%, $5,000]

There you have it, all of these banks have a star rating of 4 or higher.  Generally, when a bank has a 4 star rating or higher, they tend to have a pretty safe outlook.  This doesn’t mean you should avoid the lower star rated banks.  As long as you keep your accounts under the FDIC limits, your money will be fine.

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