To be used for any generic banking question. If there is a product-specific question, specific tags like credit-card, savings etc. should be used. If there is an entity-specific question, descriptive tags like merchant, community, consumer, small-business should be used.

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33
votes
4answers
1k views

Are bank customers allowed to provide username & password to sites like Mint.com?

This question is not about whether Mint.com is secure, or not. That is beside the point. (Refer to this question on the subject of trusting Mint.com and similar services.) Rather: Are bank ...
22
votes
1answer
809 views

What happens if a bank loses your safe deposit box?

My bank cannot find my safe deposit box! Luckily I still have the original contract and the keys. They are currently researching what happened, but it doesn't look good. I don't know when the box ...
18
votes
6answers
9k views

Found an old un-cashed paycheck. How long is it good for? What to do if it's expired?

I just found a paycheck from my old work that is dated August 5th, 2013. It's for over $300 and I'm wondering if it will still go through. I'm worried that it will bounce or there will be some issue ...
17
votes
1answer
653 views

Paying off home mortgage and lender wants a “Recording Fee”

So I whittled down my house note to the point where I have enough cash to just pay it off early and be done with it. Yay! I asked my lender (well more accurately their website) for a "payoff" ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the advantages of a Swiss bank account?

I've heard about bank accounts in Zurich / Switzerland, but I don't fully understand the unique advantages of swiss bank accounts. What I do believe about these (but don't know for sure): They ...
16
votes
2answers
429 views

What's the difference between credit unions and banks?

Is one better than the other? I've noticed that national banks seem to charge more (and higher) fees. Is that just me?
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Why is the fractional-reserve banking not a Ponzi scheme? [closed]

Operating a Ponzi scheme is a crime which I suppose has some sort of definition in the penal code or criminal law. It is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Cashing a fishy cheque addressed to someone else

I agreed to cash a cheque for someone I don't really know. In hindsight, this was very stupid, but now I need to figure out how best to get out of this situation. We both endorsed the cheque, it ...
14
votes
5answers
26k views

Is there a limit on the dollar amount of a personal check?

Is there a limit on the dollar amount of a personal check?
13
votes
5answers
11k views

How to store millions of dollars?

Not that I have it but most banks only secure amounts up to $100k so if you put $1M in there are you at risk of losing $900k if that bank shuts down? How do people store large sums of money, do they ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

How easy is it to open a foreign bank account via the internet?

Has anyone attempted opening a foreign bank account, if so what was your experience? how easy was it? Which country?
12
votes
9answers
652 views

Who uses safe deposit boxes?

What items would an average person keep in a safe deposit box? Sounds like most of the documents (passports, birth certificates) can be restored.
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is there a limit of 6 ACH transfers out of savings accounts (per month)?

I recently discovered this limit the hard way, after being charged a fee for each transfer over the limit. With online banking becoming so prevalent, this is a huge inconvenience as it prevents people ...
12
votes
2answers
9k views

Daily interest calculation combined with monthly compounding: Why do banks do this, and how-to in Excel?

I often see banks advertise (for accounts with fixed yearly interest, let's say 1.5%) – "interested is calculated daily, and compounded monthly". I have 2 questions: Why are they calculating ...
12
votes
1answer
245 views

What US law requires a bank to reopen a closed account if a third party sends money to it?

I used to have an account with a local credit union. I moved, then closed the account. The credit union mailed me a check for my remaining balance and confirmed the account was closed. This was 14 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

As a US citizen, should I only have $50,000 in non US banks due to FATCA?

The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) act was enacted March 18, 2010 with the goal of increasing employment in the US. It also included the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) ...
12
votes
2answers
409 views

What is the most travel-friendly bank and card?

good internet banking, which works on any browser phone banking accounts in multiple currencies (USD and EUR are a must - others would be nice to have) can convert from one currency to another ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How can banks afford to offer credit card rewards?

I understand Visa and MasterCard make money on transaction fees, but how much (if any) of those fees do banks see? Do banks make money on people who pay their bills on time, or are reward programs ...
11
votes
2answers
276 views

Why do they ask whether it is a paycheck or not in a bank?

I am getting paid with checks so each time I deposit it to my bank account they ask whether it is a paycheck or not. What difference does it make?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of company is USAA?

I'm a member with USAA. My membership eligibility is based on family membership. I'm a little bit confused about what kind of company USAA is. I have the general idea that it is a company that ...
11
votes
2answers
11k views

“Savings” account vs. “current” account - what's the difference?

When I draw money from ATMs or open a new bank account, there's the choice of either "savings" or "current" account. What's the difference between these two account types?
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I have separate savings accounts for various savings goals?

I have read through some personal budgeting articles and saving tips. Most articles and books mention saving money for emergency funds, large purchases, etc. Should emergency funds and saving funds ...
11
votes
1answer
202 views

WSJ article about CFDs - am I missing something?

In this WSJ article, it comments Traders held a net $22.6 billion in bets that the dollar will appreciate, a gain of 31% in net wagers over the previous week and the largest such position since ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Pay check from an old employer

I received a paycheck from an ex-employer via direct deposit. It looks like they forgot to take me out of their automatic system, because I definitely shouldn't have received this check. I am a U.S. ...
10
votes
2answers
275 views

What is the “Bernanke Twist” and “Operation Twist”? What exactly does it do?

I was reading the article Bernanke’s Twist Sharpens Year-End Anxiety Over Stimulus and In the article it says The Fed on June 20 extended its Operation Twist program to swap $267 billion in ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

“Free checks:” do I really need to pay to get “secure and trackable” shipping?

One of the benefits of my Bank of America premium checking account is free checks. However, they recommend "secure and trackable" shipping for the low-low price of only $8.40. Is that just a sneaky ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does Bank of America sometimes refer to itself as Banc of America on some documents?

Why does Bank of America sometimes refer to itself as 'Banc of America'? Are they two separate institutions responsible for different things? It's always seemed odd to me.
10
votes
2answers
623 views

FOREX: Pair Trading, What is Really Happening?

I am starting to study FOREX again and one thing about trading on the market through means available to me personally is that one can take positions on 'currency pairs'. This has made little sense to ...
10
votes
1answer
409 views

Any reason to keep around my account with my old, 'big' bank?

I recently opened a new account with a credit union and would really like to stop doing business with my current bank (BMO Harris), but before I do, I'm curious if there are any important things to ...
10
votes
2answers
827 views

Who creates money? Central banks or commercial banks?

Which of these is a better description of money creation: Scenario 1: Central bank creates money Customer A deposits $10 at his bank. Customer B wants to borrow $100. The bank is in good standing ...
9
votes
3answers
11k views

Would depositing large cash amounts cause problems?

I saw an article recently where a man withdrew $600,000 USD in cash from his bank. I'm sure many folks here would advise against this move for obvious (and perhaps not-so-obvious) reasons. My ...
9
votes
3answers
13k views

How does a big lottery winner cash his huge check risk-free?

You've just won $20 million in the lottery. Until you figure out what do do with the cash, you want to move it to the safest place you know: US Treasury account(s). But the lottery (per the ...
9
votes
4answers
19k views

Is it possible to cash a check made to someone else's name? How to do so?

Is it possible to cash a check made to someone else's name? How to do so?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I pay rent electronically?

I'm renting an apartment from an individual. The landlord and I discussed the possibility of paying rent electronically. My bank (BofA) has some kind of electronic payment option where I'd enter the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How do Islamic Banking give loans for housing purposes?

Islamic banks do not give loans they invest in financial activities of their clients. Am I correct? If yes, then how can they provide loans for housings? Home loans have nothing to do with business. ...
9
votes
1answer
428 views

Buying checks from places besides your bank? How does it work?

I just opened a new account at Bank of America. The checks they sell aren't cheap and I heard that you can buy checks elsewhere. Does this mean that I can just buy a packet of blanket check and just ...
9
votes
4answers
419 views

What's a Letter of Credit? Are funds held in my bank for the amount in question?

Can someone easily cash one? Is it used for business only, or is there an advantage to consumers using them as well?
9
votes
1answer
231 views

What are the benefits and risks of doing your banking through a credit union, versus a bank? What's the difference?

What are the major differences to having your mortgage, credit, savings/chequing accounts with a credit union (or caisse populaire, in Québec) versus just a regular bank?
9
votes
1answer
103 views

Opening a bank account in China

I'm trying to open a account with any of the major banks in China, but I live in the US. Is this possible and how would I go about doing this? I would also like to be able to transfer money between my ...
8
votes
6answers
900 views

How can my friend send $3K to me without using Paypal?

My friend is a paraplegic. He can't go to the bank and wire the money. He used to send money from our partnership via paypal. Now I am banned from paypal. What's the alternative? Google checkout? I ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Do you keep ATM receipts? Why might keeping bank ATM receipts be a good habit?

Do you keep ATM receipts? I've occasionally heard some bank-insider's tips that say it's a good habit to keep the ATM receipts and check them against the online bank log. Having a programmer ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

Are these checks usable?

I recently opened an account at a credit union here, which includes a checking account. They gave me a book of checks on the spot. Are they valid and usable? They simply came out of the drawer and ...
8
votes
5answers
476 views

Should your rainy day / emergency fund be in the same account as general savings?

Should your rainy day / emergency fund be in the same account as general savings?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are monthly mortgage pre-payments applied to the back-end of the mortgage?

After having paid several years of 'extra' principal payment on my mortgage, I found that the extra monies were being applied the the 'back-end' of the mortgage instead of the 'front end'. The ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Can a “For Deposit Only” endorsement on a check be changed (canceled) by initialing?

My wife endorsed a small check "For Deposit Only". Then, she crossed the endorsement out, and initialed it. The grocery store refused the check, saying once it's endorsed for deposit only, the bank ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it worth it to reconcile my checking/savings accounts every month?

I used to be very diligent in reconciling my accounts with the monthly statement when it came in the mail. Now that I don't receive paper statements, I rarely even look at the statement or bother ...
8
votes
4answers
260 views

Should I switch to this high rate checking account for my emergency fund?

Okay, so I bank at a local credit union, AllegacyFCU. (Here is their rates sheet.) Currently I have through this bank: Daily Access Savings account with 0.2% interest Totally Free Checking (no ...
8
votes
3answers
721 views

If banksimple.com is not a bank, what is it?

I came across Banksimple.com, and I was wondering whether or not it is safe to entrust your money to. The About Us page says We partner with select deposit-taking institutions. We spend our ...
8
votes
2answers
17k views

USAA bank: What are the requirements for membership? Military only?

I've been hearing more and more about USAA bank on the radio. I've asked around and some friends have indicated to me that their rates are the best around the US for any type of personal lending. ...
8
votes
3answers
830 views

Which bank (checking & savings) offers the best interest rates, lowest fees, and is FDIC insured?

We currently use ING for our banking and like a lot of its amenities, but their rates (as most banks, I'm sure) keep going down, down, down. The current savings rate is 1.25% APY and checking rate is ...