I love Chase. Maybe I’m blinded by the light since I’ve always been with them for 18 years. Woah. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I can’t believe I’m saying that I love my bank like a cheesy Ally Bank commercial, but I do.
So I’m going to lay out the history of how I came to consolidate a decent portion of my money at Chase, and various others banks where I currently have money – whether banking or investment accounts.
CREDIT CARDS: I started out in 1993 with my first Chase credit card in college, using it to build my credit and paying it off every month. I distinctly remember being proud to have that credit card in hand, knowing that I needed to pay it off full in every month. This was before many rewards programs existed. Now I have 3 credit cards with Chase – two personal (Freedom and Sapphire) and one for business (Ink). They all go to the same Ultimate Rewards program bucket, which I like very much. The Freedom and Ink are my primary cards for person and business, and the Sapphire has become a back, just in case.
If I were to recommend a card right now from Chase it would be the Freedom Card – with no annual fee and cashback rewards on every purchase plus great bonuses for rewards points, it’s pretty awesome. I personally use this card almost every day. Here is the Chase Freedom offer below.
Now, I still pay those cards off in full every month, that’s the only way to fly with credit cards. If you want to do it any other way, then you should use cash only.TRADITIONAL BANKING: When I moved from Colorado to New York in 2000, I signed up for Chase as my primary bank and I’ve never looked back. I’ve heard horror stories about Chase, but twice they prevented fraud on a debit card then credit card I had, and took care of everything immediately, canceling my old card and reissuing me a new one.
INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS: Over the years Chase has treated me right and I’ve just moved some investment money over to them to give it a shot. They’re waiving all fees both personal and business because I’ve got a decent stash of cash with them now. Good boy Chase, sit, rollover. Very good boy.
Now I can’t say the fees at Chase were the lowest for getting into their investment funds, but they were one and done fees for the funds I chose to invest in – Class A funds I do believe. So I’m giving them a shot with some of my IRA money, yet I also realize that low-fees on investment accounts is a very important factor too and recently I’ve been reading about how Vanguard has great low-cost investment funds, particularly index funds.
ONLINE BANKING ACCOUNTS: I’ve also got an online account with HSBC, in hopes of getting better interest rates on my savings money, and I’ve watched it dwindle from 1.5% two years ago to. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of these Ally Bank commercials on TV have been piquing my interest as of late however, and they seem to have a good deal going with online bank accounts.
Below is a review and link to check out the Ally Bank online savings account. They offer savings accounts, money markets and CDs – which you can access through the offer below.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO CONSOLIDATE: Fees, or lack thereof, plain and simple. I’m a frugal guy, and I can’t stand banking fees they drive me insane. I feel like I’m paying for nothing. So I think it’s great to put a fair share of money in your bank if you love it whether Chase, Citibank, HSBC, Wells Fargo or whoever you fancy – especially to get fees waived and additional perks. But not TOO much money. That’s why I’m spreading some of it to Vanguard and going to give these index funds a shot. The rest is at Schwab for now, though I can’t say I’m pleased with Schwab, as whenever I get an “advice” (ahem, sales) call from Schwab it sounds like the guy is out at McDonalds, ordering a Big Mac and is barely listening to me. The verdict is still out on Schwab, because I haven’t been a very active investor. Though I’m starting to take the reigns on it more, since I’ve become an entrepreneur and can’t follow what everyone else at work is doing.
So who do you use for your banking and money management? How do you have your money spread amongst different institutions? What are your good and bad experiences? Post comments below and let’s jam on it.