US Banking Arrangements

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US Banking Arrangements

Postby bill2009 » 12 Jun 2006 13:35

My daughter is moving to the US (Seattle) to work indefinitely. In Canada she uses President's Choice Financial for her banking and she has a Bank of America account from previous work terms there. She has pretty religiously put away 10% of her gross each year in 5 yr GICs and she has a bit of bank stock in a waterhouse account.

As she's setting up for the long term she'd like to find something like the PC Financial arrangement in the US. She does almost everything online and she'd do best with something that offered at least chequing, savings, credit/debit, GICs and money market.

Any suggestions or pointers?
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Postby Bylo Selhi » 12 Jun 2006 14:17

she has a bit of bank stock in a waterhouse account

https://www.tdbankusa.com offers (offered when it was Waterhouse National Bank) free banking, credit cards, etc. as well as linkage with TD Waterhouse US brokerage and limited linkage with TD Canada. Dunno hows that's affected by the Ameritrade merger but it's worth checking out.

she has a Bank of America account

http://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/c ... k_myaccess

More pointers (no personal experience)
http://online-banking.everbank.com/
http://www.netbank.com/
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Postby AltaRed » 12 Jun 2006 15:49

There are a variety of options. Since she already has a BoA account (chequing I assume), she can get credit/debit and CD's (GICs to us) there. For savings, I'd suggest she consider an online savings account with HSBCDirect, Emigrant or ING Direct and link to her BoA account. The online savings companies also have CD's. I asssume she already has a TIN or SSN number (which is required along with a US address) to open an online savings account.

When I was in the USA, I had a Wells Fargo chequing account (still do) and an ING Direct account. I had to drop the ING account once I left the USA (they won't compete with their Cdn sister company). I suspect HSBCDirect may offer the best terms of the 3.

Edit: HSBCDirect currently pays 4.65% - as good as most Money Market funds.
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Postby bill2009 » 12 Jun 2006 16:43

Thanks for the pointers. HSBC and ING will be good high yield alternatives for her with names she'd know. I must say everbank looks like quite a good thing though - full service and good rates.

I should have said she's less than keen on B of A because of various run-arounds that they subjected her to (getting internet banking, [not] getting a credit card etc.)
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Postby AltaRed » 12 Jun 2006 17:07

bill2009 wrote:Thanks for the pointers. HSBC and ING will be good high yield alternatives for her with names she'd know. I must say everbank looks like quite a good thing though - full service and good rates.

I should have said she's less than keen on B of A because of various run-arounds that they subjected her to (getting internet banking, [not] getting a credit card etc.)


Never did any research on everbank, so I don't know.
Very hard to get a credit card in USA until she's been a resident for some time. I had to use a 'VISA check card' from Wells Fargo for about 9 months before getting credit card back in 2001 (used exactly same way as credit card except it is debits your banking account). I never had any hassle with Wells Fargo regarding online banking, etc. Never stepped foot in a branch again once I had opened the account.

I don't claim Wells Fargo to be the best, but they worked for me (all states west of the Mississippi River I believe) and I wanted that ATM flexibility to avoid ATM fees. Probably lots of better local altenatives such as Washington Mutual, etc, etc that have lower minimums (or none at all). Could also ask on a US discussion forum http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/index.php for an opinion (many opinions there... and several posters from PNW/Seattle area)
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Postby Rehan » 03 Jul 2006 23:16

Bylo Selhi wrote:https://www.tdbankusa.com offers (offered when it was Waterhouse National Bank) free banking, credit cards, etc. as well as linkage with TD Waterhouse US brokerage and limited linkage with TD Canada.

TD stopped opening new US-based accounts for Canadians a while ago, I think. I still have mine, but I was just reading elsewhere tonight that TD Bank USA is on death row.

So I started looking around and found a better option: http://www.rbccentura.com/personal/snowbirds/index.html
As an RBC Access USA Client, you can also take advantage of:
- Unlimited instant money transfers through RBC Royal Bank Online Banking, RBC Centura Web Banking or Telephone Banking.
- Free access to a rapidly growing, extensive network of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) - a convenient gateway to your money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- A range of U.S. mortgages and lending products that are tailored to the unique needs of Canadians.
- Your Canadian credit history, so the process of taking out a loan or acquiring a mortgage in the U.S. can be easier.

This account has a $3.95 monthly fee, but it's waived if you maintain a $700 balance.

I already have an RBC account, so I'm going to head over to my local branch soon to sign up for the Access USA service.
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Postby Bylo Selhi » 04 Jul 2006 08:28

Rehan wrote:TD stopped opening new US-based accounts for Canadians a while ago, I think. I still have mine, but I was just reading elsewhere tonight that TD Bank USA is on death row.

Which is why I used the past tense. I got a letter from them about a year ago asking where they should transfer the proceeds of my account. That may have been because the balance was under $1. (And yes, I had them transfer it to my TD/CT US$ account ;))

So I started looking around and found a better option: http://www.rbccentura.com/personal/snow ... dex.html...

A US credit card would be nice too, especially like the free gold cards that TD WH NB used to offer with 1% cash dividend. (Although to be fair, the main reason this was useful to me was that in the early days of online commerce some card validation systems didn't recognize US$ credit cards from Canadian banks. I haven't had any problems with my TD/CT US$ card in a couple of years.)
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Postby yielder » 04 Jul 2006 09:34

Bylo Selhi wrote:(And yes, I had them transfer it to my TD/CT US$ account ;))


You obviously ain't a TD shareholder. :twisted:
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Postby Bylo Selhi » 04 Jul 2006 09:41

yielder wrote:
Bylo Selhi wrote:(And yes, I had them transfer it to my TD/CT US$ account ;))

You obviously ain't a TD shareholder. :twisted:

And you obviously are about to chip in on the cost of my new iPod Nano :P
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Postby yielder » 04 Jul 2006 11:24

Bylo Selhi wrote:
yielder wrote:
Bylo Selhi wrote:(And yes, I had them transfer it to my TD/CT US$ account ;))

You obviously ain't a TD shareholder. :twisted:

And you obviously are about to chip in on the cost of my new iPod Nano :P


Yabbut the total cost of all the iPos' being flogged is probably less than the fees and float from the money [s]enticed[/s] [s]bribed[/s] suckered into switching. Yah, yah - that excludes you. :P

Wait a minute. You are a TD shareholder: 7.1% x your investment. :wink:
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Postby Bylo Selhi » 04 Jul 2006 12:18

yielder wrote:Yabbut the total cost of all the iPos' being flogged is probably less than the fees and float from the money [s]enticed[/s] [s]bribed[/s] suckered into switching. Yah, yah - that excludes you. :P
Actually I did a cost/benefit analysis on their offer. It turns out that if I open a Select Chequing account and leave $5k in it (forgone interest ~$200 before tax) I get the following for "free" in addition to the base iPod
1. 1% gold dividend Visa card plus card for spouse ($130 for the cards and these cards also have buyer protection that my CIBC Visa does not) plus Nano upgrade plus 1% on everything we charge on the card plus the satisfaction of turfing my CIBC AP Visa (the value of doing the last item is, er, "priceless"))
2. safe deposit box ($35)
3. use of ATMs world-wide ($3 to $5 per use)
4. waiver of requirement to keep US$3k in my US$ account in order to get free US$ credit card and borderless service (US$35 for the card plus recapture of foregone interest on the US$ account, which is another ~US$150, again before tax)
5. free cheque printing, not a big deal but now I don't have to pay to change the address on what few cheques I write
6. whatever other perqs TD throws at people who ordinarily pay $25/month because they can't keep their balance above $5k

Yeah my head spun too when I did the analysis and compared all the features, but when I add up all the numbers I'm way ahead.

Wait a minute. You are a TD shareholder: 7.1% x your investment. :wink:
I know. I also own all 5 banks individually (not to mention IGM (thanks again for that tip) et al) If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em :lol:
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