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Best bank for nomads?
#1
I really loathe the big banks but have been giving some thought to the idea of closing my small town bank in favor of one that can be found everywhere.  I guess that would mean Wells Fargo or Bank of America?  Anyone have thoughts about which is better for travelers, and why?
We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
-Joseph Campbell
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#2
Have you considered online banking? I haven’t used a stick and bricks bank in 20 years. With smartphones today you can make deposits in seconds from the comfort of your dashboard. I use USAA (members only) but Ally is another similar online bank. They offer free ATM withdraws (reimbursement of ATM fees up to $15 per month).
Are we there yet?
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wistful vista (01-03-2018), yo rockie (01-03-2018)
#3
(01-03-2018, 05:50 PM)Scott_1776 Wrote: Have you considered online banking?  I haven’t used a stick and bricks bank in 20 years.  With smartphones today you can make deposits in seconds from the comfort of your dashboard. I use USAA (members only) but Ally is another similar online bank. They offer free ATM withdraws (reimbursement of ATM fees up to $15 per month).

Good suggestion and I do use online banking but prefer the bank to have easily accessible sticks and bricks buildings when I need to do business that way.
We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
-Joseph Campbell
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#4
every bank can be done on line, so just pick your local one.
no fees if you get extra cash when you buy food stuffs.
but some stores do limit the amount you can get.
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yo rockie (01-04-2018)
#5
I use a small town bank in BC for most of my banking...all the income is auto deposit and I can pay bills on line from anywhere I  have cell reception to use my mobile hotspot on my laptop.

I have debit cards attached to all of my bank accounts so I can use them for direct payment at the grocery stores etc.

Cash back is available at almost every grocery store, Home Depot, etc. etc. etc. so I never have bothered to use an ATM for the amount of cash I carry.

When I  need to transfer funds from one bank to another I use e-transfers.

No need with all the electronic banking available to HAVE to use one of the big banks if you don't want to. Also, keep in mind that most of the big banks in the east don't have a western presence and vice versa so there's no real point in using one if you're travelling the continent.
Worry is a misuse of imagination!
 
Build link: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/Thre...g-Arabella
Full-timer again as of November 24, 2015 - 14 glorious years on the road before that!



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yo rockie (01-04-2018)
#6
Like you, I want to have access to a branch, so sticking with Wells Fargo.

Pros:
-no fees when you have auto-deposited/minimum balance
-useful services (I needed a notary several times last year -- a branch near where I was staying provided help..gratis and with a smile!)
-ATMs readily available, including inside many markets
-Deposit checks via smartphone (how did I live without this?)
-They are among the largest in terms of offices -- nearly everywhere.

Cons:
-It's a bank.
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yo rockie (01-04-2018)
#7
I wonder about banking online when using free wifi. I have been told it is not safe, but hard to find anything else when traveling.
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yo rockie (01-04-2018)
#8
A local credit union is a good choice. Another excellent bank is Schwab, which is a stockbroker, but when you open an investment account you also get a bank account. They refund ATM fees from anywhere.

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#9
The big banks such as WF or BoA have some really bad branches with staff that only care about their bottom line, not yours. I use BoA, USAA, and Ally, as well as a credit union. Ally is by far the best of all. The only S&B bank I could recommend is a regional, PNB.
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yo rockie (01-04-2018)
#10
(01-03-2018, 08:16 PM)GeorgiePorgie Wrote: I wonder about banking online when using free wifi. I have been told it is not safe, but hard to find anything else when traveling.


You need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).  There are free ones, but others are inexpensive and *worth it*.

You can search the forums here to read about them and why you should use one.  Google it to see a lot of info (PC Mag has an especially comprehensive article from last month - too long to paste here).
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