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Why do you bank with who you bank with?

I opened up my first checking/savings account with Washington Mutual when I was 16. I loved WaMu and was not happy when Chase acquired them a couple years ago. I was a die hard WaMu fan, but had absolutely no loyalties to Chase, especially once they tried changing the terms of my checking account requirements. As my good friend Snoop Dogg would say “I dropped them like they’re hot.”

I’m kind of an account whore as Girl Ninja and I have a Credit Card with Bank of America, a Credit Card with Chase, a Checking/Savings account with Wells Fargo, and a Savings account with ING Direct. Needless to say, we get around 🙂

When I think about all of the different financial institutions I’ve banked with over the years, few have really impressed me. ING and Wells, however, have been pretty awesome.

ING is the Coolest. Bank. Ever. No joke. They’re hilarious. They have clever marketing campaigns and are always challenging their customers to save. In fact, one of their slogans is “‘No ones ever had savers remorse.”  They have a decent APY for their online savings account and are very customer friendly. I’ve used them for my primary savings account for a little over two years and couldn’t be happier.

I’ve had my Roth IRA through Wells Fargo since 2007, but didn’t open a checking account with them until 2010. While I wouldn’t necessarily say Wells is great for everyone, they DO offer a Portfolio Management Account  (PMA) to customers that meet certain minimum requirements. If you are able to qualify for a PMA account, I challenge you to find a bank that offers something better. 100 commission free online trades, no brokerage account annual fee, interest bearing checking, free ATM withdrawals (from other banks too), free checking, free saving, unlimited free custom checks, personalized debit cards. The list goes on and on. I switched from Chase to Wells and couldn’t be happier.

All right so now that I’ve shared why I love ING and Wells, it’s your turn to share who you bank with and why you love them. If you are a creature of habit and only bank with your bank because you have been with them for “X” years, maybe it’s time you start looking for something new. Life’s too short to have a mediocre bank.




  1. I live in Canada, and therefore bank with TD Canada Trust (aka TD Bank for you guys.. cause I know they are in some of the eastern states down in the US of A). Not just because I work there though!

    The main reason I switched was because of their hours (which have gotten even better since I set up an account there in 2007). My previous accounts were at ATB Financial (a savings institution in Alberta, Canada) and they are only open 10-4, aka so shitty. Well TD is open 8-6 M-W, 8-8 T-F, and 8-4 on Saturday and now some of the branches are even open on Sundays 12-4 (not mine thankfully!)

    We actually have had a lot of people recently come switch their accounts to our bank because of our awesome hours.

    I could do without TD’s fees, and could do even better with higher interest rates. I’ve been interested in getting an account with ING to just throw money into, because literally everything I have is with TD therefore I always see it. I have a feeling if I saved money with ING I’d forget about it, which could really help me out right now (trying to save!)

    • Wow, maybe I should check what is actually automatically put into the “Website” part of the comment before I post it. Oops! =)

  2. I’m with a bank in Australia and I’ve had the account since i was 6 years old, I’m really attached to it and I love that I know my bank account number off by heart. I actually looked into my account details yesterday and I’ve realised how much of a terrible deal I have so I think it’s time to let go of my banking history and get a better account!

  3. I also live in Canada, and my bank of choice is Royal.

    It actually started off rather innocently- I got an account with them when I was 6. I haven’t stuck around with them because of that though… it so happens that hubby also had a long-standing relationship with Royal. Our combined accounts with them (savings, checking, credit cards (long since paid off), student loans (also long since paid off), mortgage, etc.) meant that our terms with them started getting progressively better- like access to a cheaper mortgage loan, cheaper fees for foreign currency exchange, etc. It helps that they also have a branch in my office 😛

    I think of it sort of like my relationship with Air Canada. They are far from my favourite airline (understatement of the year), but we put enough business through them that the service “magically” gets better. Little things like being able to choose seats for free (when they normally charge), occasional upgrades, early boarding, etc. make it a much tougher choice between them and their main rival, Westjet.

    • Like you Kate, I’ve banked with Royal for eons (over 30 years), and you’ve said everything I would’ve said!

  4. I two have many accounts with a bunch of different banks! My mortgage with with Wells Fargo, my brick and mortar checking account is with PNC, I have 4 savings accounts with ING and one checking account with them too, i then have a checking and savings account with a credit union that only has branches in the midwest, but I’ve been with them for almost 10 years and that is where my paycheck is direct deposited… And I wont even get into my Credit Cards!

    I love ING and probably will never leave them, and PNC has been good to me so far. It’s getting hard to find a bank that offers totally free checking!

  5. ING Direct who I’ve been with for 3 years. At first I could only save with them, but as soon as I was legal :), I opened an electric orange checking account.

    I also have an account at Fifth Third (regional bank I believe) to use for cash deposits, but they’re just my side fling.

  6. USAA since I was 16. I love that they offer without requirements: free ATM withdrawals (reimbursing fees from anyone’s ATM), check deposit through my phone, and a simple rewards credit card.

    Sadly the intrest rates aren’t that hot, so I’ve been cheating on USAA with my savings account with American Express.

  7. I am also in Canada with TD Canada Trust. I started with another bank when I was a kid (CIBC) but closed my account there in high school when a teller was always rude to me and the manager was not interested in hearing what I had to say, simply because I was a teenager (it was kinda fun to see their faces when I asked to close my account and I told them exactly why!) I moved down to Canada Trust (before they merged with TD) because it was at the other end of the mall and I wanted to limit the amount of time my life savings were vulnerable to being stolen (about $1600 at the time!) I wasn’t thrilled when they merged with TD, as they closed my favourite branches, but the hours and customer service have been great (including wonderful phone and web banking options before these were commonplace). I also have an ING account to “hide” my emergency fund savings from sight. I’ve had this account for probably 10 or 12 years-I love ING. If it weren’t such a hassle to change all my automatic debits (i.e., bill payments) I’d open an ING chequing account too, to avoid the fees I hate paying to TD.

  8. I also am in Canada, and also started with CIBC and dropped them “like they’re hot” and then went to TD, but now have both TD and ING. I LOVE Ing. If I could marry a bank I’d marry ING. & Have little orange babies with them.

  9. I’m like you, I bank wherever they will give me the best deal. However, I’ve had the same main checking account with Regions for years. I like them because I have my account information memorized!

  10. I’ve banked with Wells for years and they’ve always been fair. My banking accounts cost me nothing, as long as I keep a minimum in each account (which is quite low, actually) or if I transfer money from checking to savings monthly. As long as this stays the same, there’s no reason for me to switch. However, I’m also open to looking into credit unions or other options if need be. As for Chase, I can’t stand them. My husband had a WaMu credit card that was paid in full (we were in the middle of paying off all of our consumer debt) and as soon as Chase took over, they closed it. Of course they didn’t notify us about the closure until 3 weeks after the fact. So sneaky.

  11. Wow.. No Bank of America-ers yet? I’ve been with BOA since I was 16, and frankly I don’t see all of the “evil” that everyone talks about. We meet the (easy) requirements to get all of the fees waived, and they’re freaking EVERYWHERE. Free banking + convenience = win for us. We did just open an FNBO Direct savings account that houses our E-Fund as well as House fund. It won’t make us rich, but it offers a rate far better than our BOA savings account.

  12. ING DIRECT is the best bank I have ever been with. I told them that I was taking $3,000 out due to my Federal Government taxes and they wrote me back on twitter. What other bank does that? They are very customer friendly and a social institution.

  13. NC State Employees Credit Union – Better rates than ING or ALLY so they get the bulk of my money (90+%). Plus they have a bridge account offering too that’s unbeatable.

    Pentagon Federal Credit Union – They have 5 of my dollars. They get to hold that because I needed to open that account to get their PenFed Platinum Rewards credit card.

    ING – Great CS and incredible ease of use with OK rates.

    ALLY- Good ease of use and no/low penalty CD’s so I can jump in and out if I need to chase a better rate.

  14. I use a credit union… lowest APR credit card, lowest (almost non-existent) fees on everything that is banking….especially ATMs! High profits are returned to the owners/members.

  15. I too am an account whore. I’ve got accounts with BoA and Chase, ING, Etrade, and a credit union where my parents live.

    I hate BoA, but I keep about $25 in a checking account tied to my credit card (which I don’t use but I keep open because it’s my oldest account and helps my credit score/history). I tried to change my account from the one with an monthly fee to the free student version, and the guy closed my account and opened a new one instead of just changing the account type – all so he could get a commission for signing up a “new customer”. A bunch of payments bounced when the account number changed and it was a pain in the butt to get my $80 in fees back.

    I hate Chase, but I use their checking account for all of my automated bills, and because they have ATMs everwhere (in college I spent time in several states that didn’t have many overlapping local banks). I dislike their use of money to finance politicians that vote against my interests, so I will be moving my business elsewhere once we move to a new state in 2 months. I need to start putting my money where my mouth is.

    I love ING – the majority of our savings are in a few accounts there, as well as the checking account we use to pay rent. It’s easy, online, and has decent rates of return.

    I don’t really have any good or bad things to say about Etrade, other than I only have a couple hundred bucks there that I normally transfer into my Roth IRA if I don’t max out my contribution at the end of the year. It started out as my bribery money to myself (as in, I’ll put $10 in there every week and if I can quit biting my nails by the end of the year, I’ll buy myself an ipad – unfortunately I’m still biting away).

    The credit union where my parents live is mainly for easy money transfers with my parents, who also have accounts at that bank. No, they don’t give us tons of money all the time, but sometimes my mom finds it easier to transfer $100 bucks into that account as a birthday or christmas present (she doesn’t use checks so she can’t mail it in a card).

    We are looking into Mango (, because they apparently offer 5.1% APY (FDIC insured even!) on the first $5000 in your account.

  16. Credit Union for me too! We loved WAMU but really disliked Chase so we joined the rest of Washington and went with BECU! Great service no fees what’s not to love. I also bank with ING as well as use their Sharebuilder accounts for stock options buying (DN hates options he thinks it like gambling).

  17. I bank with Wells Fargo because they have ATMs everywhere around here. It’s my money-transfer account. I have my investment accounts at both Fidelity and Vanguard. My credit card is through Chase. I have most of my cash savings savings at ING. So… yeah. Each institution has benefits. If you believe it, this is the shorter list – we recently closed a few!

  18. We have a credit union too. I don’t think I pay anything for banking fees, unless we go to another bank. I love it! They all know my name, ask about my kids, and they’re very helpful. I got a savings account with them at 16 when I got my first job (my mom was a member) and I’ve loved it ever since. Now I have a checking account, a couple savings accounts, a credit card, and DH has a loan and credit card through them too. If I was going to get an additional account it would be through ING.

  19. U.S. Bank for my checking because they are a convenient “brick and mortar” bank for me and I have been using their bill pay for so long. Capital One Online Savings for their great interest rate and bonus on interest earned. Citibank for my free safety deposit box. Wells Fargo for that “just in case any other bank pisses me off” I can go to them easily bank. TD Ameritrade for my online trading and Roth’s, which I don’t use much because I’m all cash now. I spread myself out too much because I try to take advantage of those bank special offers at the time. I really wished I could just consolidate my banking. I’ve been tempted to use but I find it terrifying to put all my info on one website like that.

  20. I have been with Bank of America for close to 40 years. My long relationship has yielded benefits beyond most other banks.

  21. I’ve been with my credit union in Canada since I was about 8. I haven’t found it to be all that advantageous to be honest- I’m a little jealous of the CU’s in the states that have no fees. I pay $6.95/mth for 40 transactions and get hit with extra fees any time I do something unusual. I’m wondering if it’s time to switch but I am loyal to the idea in principle of the CU- owned by the people, stays in the community. But give me a little incentive!

    I also have a savings account with ING that I started about 4 months ago. I love it!

  22. We’ve had quite a few different banks as well. My current favorite is First State, a little bank in my hometown that offers 4% interest on checking accounts, up to $25,000. You have to jump through a couple hoops, but it’s worth it! I also use ING savings, & First National checking for all house expenses (remodeling house). Have used E*trade in the past & HATE their customer service- spent three hours on the phone trying to fix fees that shouldn’t have been charged. Ugh. I used Sutton Bank for a while, but it was too inconvenient to be long term.

  23. I guess I’ve also become a bank whore. Two credit unions, 40 years and 32 years. The first is my primary bank 530 miles away.
    I started ING savings two years ago. Current mortgage is auto-deducted by GMAC. In the midst of a re-fi with ING. Talk about FAST! Applied and accepted on Friday. I faxed the outside paperwork on Saturday (tax forms, proof of insurance and income). Appraisal was done by Monday. Will fax the rest of the signed documents as soon as I print them out. They even told me my FICO score! So cool. Love being able to bill pay and transfer between credit union, Chase and ING. The drawback is it takes two days and they hold deposits too long.
    I sign on four different Chase accounts. My 85 yo mother, recently divorced sister, her savings and one for me to keep things straight. It is easy to online transfer between the accounts. They all use my Chase Southwest Visa and it is nice to pay their amounts all through the same bill pay. Sister lives 650 miles away. Cousin 500 miles can repay near her home. Now that I am transferring mortgage to ING I really need to consider dropping the CUs.

    Wish I could split my retirement deposit between two banks. Yes. As a postal retiree I left @ 54 yo. Whoopee!

  24. I’m surprised I didn’t see USAA from any of the other commentators! USAA offers everything that Wells Fargo does with the exception of the 100 commission free trades. I get interest bearing checking, rewards debit, free checks and no ATM fees (reimbursed up to $4).

    I also get super cheap insurance for everything with them. I also love the fact that they have this thing called Deposit at Home, where you can scan in checks to deposit them into your account, or take a picture of the check with your phone.

    I do have a PMA account because I have my home mortgage with Wells Fargo!

  25. I have a Wells Fargo & Credit Union tag team that has been serving me well for years. I was so thankful when Wells Fargo bought my mortgage. They make life so easy.

  26. Like Robert, I was surprised that there weren’t more praises being sung for USAA. We’ve been banking with them for almost 10 years and I LOVE them. I love that I can deposit my checks from home and have them readily available that I can use anyone’s ATMs with no fees (and that bank’s fees reimbursed). I like the rewards debit as well. And their website has a lot of personal financial planning tools that would be great for anyone.

    I also had my debit card stolen a few years ago. They were wonderful at reimbursing the stolen funds with no questions asked and getting me a new card ASAP. Although they don’t have brick and mortar locations in most places, they still have fantastic customer service.

    Like spork, I’m a bit disappointed with their savings rates, so I might shop around. It looks like ING would be the place to do that. Another downside…you can’t deposit cash unless you mail it to them and ummm…no.

    Luckily, they are not just for military families now, as anyone can bank with them these days.

  27. Kaye, I don’t know where you live but in San Diego and other parts of California, there are now USAA ATMs that you can deposit cash into!

  28. I have a local bank I’ve been using for years. Their cd rates are often competitive with the big online banks, their free checking account is decent, and they have really nice people working at their branches. I like having a physical bank for handling day to day stuff.

    I also have checking and savings accounts and a credit card through USAA. Their customer service is awesome, and their ATM reimbursements and ability to bank from anywhere were great when I finished college, moved several hours from home for Teach For America institute knowing I’d move again at the end of the summer but not to which state I’d be moving.

    I have several FNBO accounts for different savings goals. Customer service by phone has been good, and the rates are quite nice.

    Then there are the lingering HSBC and ING accounts with very little left in them that I really ought to close down since I’m pretty sure I’m sticking with FNBO for the long haul and not planning to rate chase.

  29. Fellow account whore here as well. I bank with Suntrust, Perkstreet Financial for checking and ING Direct for savings. I love all of them for different reasons! Suntrust has some of the best customer service ever and I always have a good experience working with them. Perkstreet gives me rewards for purchases using my Debit Card (yet another reason not to have a credit card), and ING Direct is the best savings account we have ever had! Transfers are so easy and only take 2 days max whenever we have had a reason to withdraw it.

  30. We’re in Australia too and banks with HSBC. It was one of the only banks that didn’t charge monthly account keeping fees at the time. We also have a savings account with Ubank because of their awesome interest rate.

  31. […] Punch Debt in the Face questions why we use the banks that we do and suggests we think about this and make changes […]

  32. We bank with Bank of America and I basically think they suck. It is simply for convenience at this point. We started with another bank that they had acquired so it’s not like we chose them. At this point we need the flexibility of many branches but if they try to add more fees it may lead to us leaving them for the next best thing. Well, we actually bank with several banks and B of A is just one of them. I guess I’m grateful for the federal deposit insurance.

  33. I bank with PNC. Their Virtual Wallet is the coolest money management tool I’ve ever seen. I truly believe Virtual Wallet is the reason I started getting my finances on track.

    I also recently opened an Electric Orange checking account through ING Direct (for the $50 bonus!) and I’ve been impressed with them so far. Probably won’t make it my primary account, because I love PNC too much for that, but I loved how easy it was to open the account with ING.

  34. I bank with Suntust love their customer service. They don’t have many branches where i live though, it”s actually one inside the bi-lo grocery store but it’s on the other side of town. I had an account with ING loved it but then I forgot to cancel my automatic transfers and they still tried to draft the money out of my account and it wasnt there, so they dont really charge nsf fees so they just close your accounts. What a drag they could have put it in the clause somewhere so you would know.

  35. I’m with Chase Bank, formerly Washington Mutual. I like their iPhone app for cashing checks by taking a picture of it, saving me a trip to the bank/atm.

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