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KenNYC
June 29th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Hope this is an OK question to ask in this forum...

Either way, I need a bank when I move to the US / New York, and I've had both Wachovia and Chase recommended from several sources, anyone could give me some pros and cons on their services? Only need typical retailer banking, no loans or stuff like that.

normaldude
June 29th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Hope this is an OK question to ask in this forum...

Either way, I need a bank when I move to the US / New York, and I've had both Wachovia and Chase recommended from several sources, anyone could give me some pros and cons on their services? Only need typical retailer banking, no loans or stuff like that.

For Checking, I like Commerce Bank..

- open 7 days a week, nights & weekends.
- free checking (no minimums).
- free billpay.
- free coin counting machines.

http://www.commerceonline.com/inside_commerce/

For Savings, I like online savings accounts like INGdirect.com and HSBCdirect.com , have them linked to my Commerce Bank checking account, and I can do free transfers back & forth. INGdirect is easier to setup and use, but HSBCdirect has slightly better rates. The brick & mortar banks have terrible savings rates (around 0.5%). INGdirect and HSBCdirect have much better savings rates (3.0% - 3.5%), with no minimums, and no fees. The downside is that it takes 2-3 days to do the free transfers between the online bank accounts and my Commerce Bank checking account.

So I keep around $10,000 in my Commerce Bank checking account, about $10,000 in my online savings accounts, and the rest of my money goes into investments (stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, index funds, etc).

I recommend having at least one brick & mortar checking account with a bank that's open 7 days per week. Sometimes (especially when apartment hunting), you need a certified check NOW, and it's good to be able to walk into your bank on Sunday afternoon to get that done.

KenNYC
June 30th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Those are not really an option, since I need a bank that has a correspondence agreement with my Norwegian bank, and that is essentially only the big dogs.

Also, I almost can't believe Americans still use checks... what a flashback to the 80s...

philvia
June 30th, 2008, 05:53 PM
for the most part, americans dont write checks anymore(except maybe a few old timey people)

a checking account is just a normal bank account and the majority of people use debit cards now instead of checks. im not sure what they call it in europe.

KenNYC
June 30th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Good to hear ;) We use both debit and credit cards in europe, so I guess that's the same thing.

scumonkey
June 30th, 2008, 08:51 PM
I now use Chase.... because they seem to gobble up all the smaller competition (including what was my original bank choice)!

antinimby
June 30th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Checks are still necessary to pay the rent. ;)

philvia
June 30th, 2008, 10:14 PM
hmm yea i didn't think about that :p
though i would have guessed that most landlords have automatic withdrawl

NewYorkDoc
July 5th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Checks are still necessary to pay the rent. ;)

I wish. My landlord requires a money order! (A $4.50 charge at Bank of America)

KenNYC
July 6th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Perhaps this is something nobody here knows; but would there be any chance to open a bank account in a US bank before I have a SSN? I can't get a SSN before I have actually moved of course, and it would be nice to have a bank account ready when I arrive.

eddhead
July 6th, 2008, 12:53 PM
I used to work at JPMorgan which is the wholesale arm of JP Morgan Chase. Chase is the retail arm

The best thing about Chase is they have more retail branches than any other bank in NYC. Plus ATM services are provided through a local retail drug chain, Duane Reade. Between DR and local Chase branches you have free access to ATM withdrawals from just about anyplace within a 2-3 block area in NYC. Plus, they have a worldwide correspondent bank network accessible thru Chase.com their internet based access tool. If you are a self-service kind of guy you'll do just fine,

You can do better on interest for savings though. Their high end platinum program is not bad, but the interest rate on the standard savings is in somewhere in the middle of the pack at best.

One option you might avail yourself to is to open a non-passbook internet based acct with HSBC Direct or ING Direct, and transfer funds as you need. the transfers are free.

Good luck!

EDIT:

RE SSN: I think you probably will need one, but you can find out for sure by going o this page

http://www.chase.com/ccp/index.jsp?pg_name=ccpmapp/shared/assets/page/zipcode&targeturl=https://chaseonline.chase.com/public/OAO/GettingStarted.aspx

...and typing 99999 under zipp code.

KenNYC
July 6th, 2008, 12:59 PM
I will keep all my savings, investments etc in my Norwegian bank, simply need a retail bank for paying bills and stuff like that - guess I'll go for Chase, seems to be a popular choice in NY.