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Many years ago I opened my first account at Citibank thinking it's a "global" bank and I can use it for years. Since then i moved many times and eventually to a different state. As I found out to my regret that i can't transfer money online between accounts opened in different states. They claim there is some legal issue with that which i find very hard to believe because a teller has no problem doing this transaction.

So i wonder if there are any banks that don't have this kind of restriction.

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    I don't know what the issue would be, but it's possible that when you do a transfer with a human, the teller isn't doing a "transfer" and is instead withdrawing money from the source account and depositing into the destination account as two separate transactions. – bstpierre Apr 29 '11 at 13:57
  • @bstpierre yes, the take "cash" from one account and deposit into another. But why can't "computer" do that? – Vitalik Apr 29 '11 at 14:39
  • That is super aggravating. How about an online only bank that doesn't have a state? – MrChrister May 1 '11 at 6:52
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    @MrChrister Online only is not the best option for me as i make a few deposits during a month and would need an ATM near by. What i am really trying to find out if all banks have this restriction or not. – Vitalik May 2 '11 at 1:06
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I use a hack to do this sort of thing: I have an ING Direct online bank account. I link both of bank accounts I want to transfer between to the ING Direct account.

I transfer between them by moving money to ING direct and then from there to wherever.

Any online bank that let's you link regular checking accounts would work for this.

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Usually problems like what you're running into mean that the megabank hasn't finished digesting acquisitions, or they cannot meet some state regulatory issue with the main system. Bank of America is/was like this for a few years -- tellers had access to separate Fleet Bank, BankSouth and BoA systems, but you as customer got stuck when doing seemingly routine transactions.

You're probably in a situation where your older accounts are in System A, and the newer ones are in recently acquired System B.

You should be able to avoid this problem by opening new accounts at Citibank, or just getting another bank. If you have a good rapport with a branch manager, explain the situation and see if they can do anything. FWIW, Unless you're spending alot of time in Manhattan or travel overseas often, there aren't many advantages to having a Citibank account these days.

  • I talked to a branch manager. they can open a new account in Connecticut where i live now without issues, but i have to change all my automatic payments. If i have to do this i might as well just to switch to another bank. I just want to know if in case i move again int he future to another state if i can avoid this situation. Are you saying that Bank of America allows you to move money between accounts opened in different states? – Vitalik May 2 '11 at 15:55

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