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Old 12-14-2009, 03:10 PM
Location: Denver, CO
366 posts, read 1,124,006 times
Reputation: 241


Originally Posted by KateG7669 View Post
with unbeatable customer service, and they are very friendly and always willing to help.
they also charge you to talk to someone if you ask them a question that you could have had answered through the automated system.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:58 PM
Location: Napa, CA
151 posts, read 342,479 times
Reputation: 113
Yeah, I have no idea where the hatred from Wells is coming from. My guess is a lot of the vitriol is branch specific, and can't be used to judge the entire business.

I've been with Wells Fargo since before the onset of puberty and will never bank with anyone else unless I move to an area where they don't operate. The service through their 1-800 number is top notch, and when I filed a fraud complaint against Sprint a few years back, they were extremely helpful.

But here's the serious answer to your question--if you bank with one company, you're doing something wrong, because no one company can give you the best products in all phases of financial service. Personal banking really has three parts to it: checking, savings, and credit. Looking at each of the three in turn:

1) Checking - The benefits that you get with checking accounts are pretty paltry, so you should just go with convenience and pick a big local operator like Wells, WaMu, or First. But you should be running your checking account through a company that DOES NOT charge monthly/annual fees. If they can't figure out a way to give you a no fee checking account, go elsewhere. At Wells, they waive checking account fees for people who have 3 products with them. So I've got a checking account, a credit card I never use that's just for emergency purposes, and a student loan--3 products, no fees.

2) Savings - You should NOT use a brick and mortar traditional bank for savings because they won't pay you a significant interest rate. You should use an online bank and network it to your traditional checking account. Even if it's not a huge interest rate, it's better than the zero you'll get at Wells or places like that. Right now I use ING Direct and I'm getting 1.5%...back in '05 they were paying 4.75% on straight savings. Even if interest rates rise and regular banks start paying interest on savings again, the online banks will always be a percentage or two above them, so keep the savings there.

3) Credit. Most of the credit cards that traditional banks offer are inferior to the cards offered by places that specialize in credit cards. Capitol One, AmEx, Discover--lots of options out there for cards that pay you cash back, and there are a host of web sites out there that keep track of where the best deals are. I've got one that's paying me a fixed percent cashback deposited in to a brokerage account. I love it. There are lots of good ones out there. Charge all you can on it, make sure you pay it off monthly, and save the cash back.

So in sum, to answer your original question of where you should bank...

Check locally, save online, and credit at a 3rd company that's giving you the best cashback deal.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:57 PM
Location: western Centennial, CO
652 posts, read 1,712,523 times
Reputation: 299
Originally Posted by patrickmich View Post
A warning about First Bank. I opened a savings account with them, and deposited a sizeable amount of money. They also gave me a $1000 line of credit which I didn't ask for. The problem with this latter piece of information is that they did a credit check on me without asking, or informing me. I wrote a letter to the bank president and he was
unapologetic. I closed the account and took my money elsewhere.
They did the same thing with me - the checking credit report at least. I applied for a checking account and saw a credit check. Not cool. Never had that happen.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:05 PM
Location: western Centennial, CO
652 posts, read 1,712,523 times
Reputation: 299
Originally Posted by Mikieo415 View Post
First Bank likes to run credit reports. They ran my credit when I wanted to open a checking account. I have never had a bank do that. My credit is not perfect, but I have never wrote a bad check or owe money on a checking account. They decided to deny me. I went to Compass. The perks in their build to order checking were better than first bank's anyway. No ATM fee's, free checking, and friendlier.
I use Compass too. They have the best perks of any that I've found for basic checking. When I switched from WAMU (screwed me on a overdraft) I looked at all of the local banks and Compass had the best package. Been with them 2 + years and never had any problems. Their Bill Pay works quite well and gets most bills there the next day. The Built-To-Order checking works quite well for me. Also they have free notary services for their customers (WAMU charged me $5/seal).

The convenience factor can be overstated a bit as I visit the bank only once every couple of months. Between home and work I am located within 1 mile of or pass by every bank imaginable (except Compass of course, go figure!) - Wells Fargo, 1st Bank, American National, Chase, Key, TCF, UMB, US Bank, Bank of the West, etc.

I think it would be harder to find a bank that doesn't have free checking these day than one that does. I also wanted one that didn't charge for Bill Pay (easier than writing a check) and didn't have restrictions on Bill Pay (such as charging for it if you didn't use it for a month, needing direct deposit, etc).
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:21 PM
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,538,867 times
Reputation: 1777
Anyone bank with Colorado State Bank and Trust? They seem to be pretty feature heavy for a "local" bank and offer reasonable rates for someone unable to find a credit union I would fit in at.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:43 PM
Location: Denver Metro CO
8 posts, read 12,747 times
Reputation: 16
Ratings on Banks
Colorado Bank Ratings - The Denver Post

I couldn't tell you the veracity of this report. Your choice.

Don't forget the bank's history has a lot to do with their current business-as-usual model.

IME, there may be only a small percentage of banks that would be meritorious. Haven't found one myself.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:48 PM
Location: Denver, CO
2 posts, read 4,292 times
Reputation: 10
Biopace is correct about the "all banks" statement I believe but I cannot agree with esya. Fargo is pretty big\worldwide and I believe they have a pretty good network to access. I do JPMorgan\Chase and they have been excellent but require direct deposit for free things.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:18 PM
Location: Littleton, CO
3,096 posts, read 4,474,320 times
Reputation: 5353
My accounts started at United Bank of Denver, migrated to Norwest when they bought UBD, and migrated again to Wells Fargo when Norwest and WF merged. I have never had a problems with them and I have savings, checking, a mortgage, a line of credit, and retirement accounts with them. I even used them as my insurance agent for my home and cars. They have the most locations and they are seemingly everywhere.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:40 AM
545 posts, read 974,980 times
Reputation: 533
i am banking with chase and they are convenient, but after reading all the horror stories of inappropriate foreclosures by the big guys, I would like to switch to something more local. does anyone have experience with any of the credit unions? how about community banks of colorado? there's a branch 3 blocks from my house.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:46 PM
Location: Littleton - S. Jeffco
4 posts, read 18,482 times
Reputation: 11
I echo the hatred for Wells Fargo. Some 20 yr. old kid tried being my loan officer and tried pushing an absurd 15% loan on my wife and I. We were hoping to consolidate a credit card and a misc. loan with neither being over 7% interest. The payment on the WF loan would have been more per month than our 2 payments. He kept pushing and calling and harassing, finally I had to call his supervisor to tell him to back off. Same thing happened after we closed our checking & savings accounts with them, calling and harassing us, then denying it when I would call them back to inquire what they were doing. Unfortunately, my wife's student loans just got bought out by WF and now they won't allow her to set up payments online, because they closed out "her account", whatever that is supposed to mean. Nothing but struggles, I can get free suckers elsewhere.

We moved to Bellco Credit Union, but you need to fulfill some requirements as someone has posted and we haven't had one issue with them in 4 yrs. Just my 0.02.
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