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The bank is American and I am not happy with their recent policy changes. I do have other bank accounts.

Now, some facts about me: I am an individual, not a business entity, not an investor. I've had a quite high salary for a while and low living costs. The account was opened online over 10 years ago and all contributions/deposits to the account were gradual, a little bit every month, all transfers were made online.

What's the proper way out now? This is one of the 'online only' banks, they do have a branch or two - yes, in the whole country. Do you think this has any chance to work out remotely or I would need to pay them a visit?

Yes, I know I could call them and ask, but I want to establish my best strategy before I even notify them about my plans. Being an online bank they are mega paranoid about phishing/security and I don't want any red flags which could hinder the whole process. Thanks!

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    Are there any obstacles to just transferring the money out first, then closing it? This could be an answer but I'm not sure if I'm missing something that prevents that. – GS - Apologise to Monica Jun 1 at 17:46
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    @HenningMakholm The US retail banking system seems substantially less sophisticated than most European systems, so I wouldn't count on that. Also this sounds like a savings account, not a current/checking account. – GS - Apologise to Monica Jun 1 at 17:54
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    @GaneshSittampalam: I don't even think the process is all that automated here -- it's more that the new bank has a business interest in acquiring a new customer so they will have one of their employees (who knows intimately how these things work) do all of the various manual steps for you, rather than risk not getting a new customer because switching is too overwhelming. – Henning Makholm Jun 1 at 18:07
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    "I'm afraid they will not let me wire transfer my total savings with a standard token based confirmation on my laptop's browser." Have you asked? – RonJohn Jun 1 at 19:15
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    The question that really needs to be asked is why are you keeping $100K in a savings account, fer gawdsakes? Open a mutual fund account (or several) and transfer the money. While I've never done $100K in a single transfer, transferring $10K or so at a time has never been a problem. – jamesqf Jun 2 at 18:48
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I have been moving money around online for 20 years. It's not often but sometimes a bank offers a good MM rate and then ceases to keep up with rate hikes at other banks. If I can get 40-50 basis points more elsewhere, I'll transfer/close. On $100k, that's $400-$500 more per year for ~15 minutes of effort.

  • See if you can set up a bank to bank transfer link. If so, start transferring. If there's a daily limit, say $25k, make "X" transfers sequentially as each one is completed. If it's $250k and 10 transfers, I'd look for a more time efficient exit. Make sure to avoid dropping below a minimum daily balance (MDB), if there is one. If no limit, transfer the maximum amount, leaving the MDB. I'd also do this right after the day they credit you with interest.

  • Many banks allow phone requests for a check to be sent to you.

  • Write a letter and request that the bank close the account and send you a check.

The short answer is read the bank's transfer/closure policy on their web site or call them.

  • ^this. If you're going to close the account anyway, ask them to mail (or courier, depending on amount) a cashier's check. That's likely the most efficient and quick way (if you can't just make a low number of transfers to a different account). – xyious Jun 4 at 15:33
  • @xyious personally I'd try and transfer the majority online first, don't want to lose a check for such a large amount – Notts90 Jun 4 at 22:02

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