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Would you go to a bank other than your own?

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    #16
    Originally posted by creditcardfree View Post

    I'm honestly surprised how many people waste time going to a branch when so much can be done online.
    Totally agreed.

    My first "bank" was a credit union that didn't have a local branch. That was in the 1980s? You can do everything by phone or mail. So I guess I never got into much of a banking habit. & then of course all that got replaced by the internet.

    I go to my current CU once in a blue moon because it's walking distance from my house (so it's convenient). Mostly use it to deposit cash. (As an aside, I was mostly paid in cash as a teen, but everyone was happy to use me as their ATM). I am guessing this is the primary reason I ever go into a CU branch these days, to deposit cash, and it is not very often.

    Reminds me... My kids have a CU account that pays 7% interest. We didn't have to be members so only my kids are members and have accounts there. On the flip side, the only way to get their money out is to go in person. They only earn 7% on first $500 so we go down there once every year to withdraw their interest (which we then deposit in a higher-interest bank). In my mind this is an extraordinary PITA. But I Am just not used to having to go to a branch to do anything.

    P.S. I did not choose think CU because of it's location. I think they built this branch after we joined? But I share because is the only reason I ever even really bother to go into a branch. If I had to drive more than one minute out of my way, I'd probably mostly never utilize.
    Last edited by MonkeyMama; 09-09-2017, 07:44 AM.

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      #17
      Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
      You can get foreign currency from an ATM? I've never heard of that. When DD needed Euros this summer, we had to order them from our bank. And she had to go back to convert what she had left over.
      Yes, anytime I go to a foreign country (at the moment, for example -- Hello from South Korea!), I can hit any ATM and pull out the local currency. The best part is that doing so almost always gets me a better exchange rate than I would get at a currency exchange booth in town or at the airport, because the banks process the exchanges in bulk and get (thus give) better rates. And my bank also refunds $15 in ATM fees each month, so it costs me nothing to do so. I'm way more comfortable getting foreign currency in small amounts from ATMs than ordering large amounts of foreign currency from my bank before I leave the U.S. and traveling with hundreds in cash. You get the same benefit when you use your U.S.-based credit card overseas. The credit card company converts the amount using the (more advantageous) banking exchange rate, and charge your account for that amount of USD. Keep in mind, though, that you want to use CC's that don't charge foreign currency fees (typically 2-4%). Capital One & some AMEX cards don't charge exchange fees, for example.

      One last note -- because your local town bank branch has to order in the currency for you, they charge fees that negate the better exchange rate that they provide...in fact, often costing even more than the poor-rate airport exchanges. For one trip, I considered ordering it in advance... They were going to charge $15 to exchange $200 to Yen!!! So yeah, I always stick to the ATMs.

      ETA: To clarify, because I did say that I use B&M bank branches to exchange currency... I will go to a bank (typically in-country) to exchange currency BACK to USD. I never change USD to foreign currency in a bank, I only get it from the ATM. Though sometimes, those in-country ATMs will also take cash deposits of foreign currency, which will get re-deposited as USD (at the banking rate) back into my accounts... Highly desirable, when this is an option.
      Last edited by kork13; 09-08-2017, 05:52 PM.
      "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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        #18
        People often tend to view banks as quasi-government institutions- almost like the post office. Often folks don't realize that a bank is a business, just like the coffee shop next door.

        Folks often also assume that banks are there to protect the customer and his/her money, and whatever the bank says, you do, because they work with money all the time and know 100 times more about it than the customer does.

        In reality, the bank's only motive is earning a profit. They do this by taking your deposits, paying you little or no interest on it, but lending it to other people for 5-10% interest. And of course the revenue off of all the service fees.

        And a bank isn't going to give out $10K in cash for some random check.
        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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          #19
          Same as kork. Of course some places the money exchange is better at the money lenders depending on competition. Mostly we use ATM. Although I try to grab some sort of cash before we go in case we need it to get out of an airport. Cabs usually need cash. Ugh.
          LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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            #20
            Another voice with experience similar to kork. Check the various banks in your community as many will reimburse international ATM fees and it's worth opening a short term account for cost, convenience, and safety factors while out of home country. I've used USD for airport to accommodation taxi even in Islamic Malaysia as it's the currency of international business. You need to know the official rate of exchange; the most expensive conversion rates are hotels and airports.

            I've gone to specific branch of issued cheque when uncertain about efficacy of paper. Asking for goodwill and explaining my desire to avoid NSF complications got the cooperation I needed.

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