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Was looking at one credit union which isn't bad and has high rates comparatively speaking and decently low loan rates but no removal of FOREX fees and fees to use shared branching tellers.

bonghead said:   
Unless you're talking e-commerce, cash has much higher acceptance than visa+mc+discover+AMEX combined. Many mom-pop shops in Europe refuse plastic. And some of them only take cash or local plastic. So when traveling, being able get get cash is far more important than having a credit card.. the credit card is secondary outside the US.


The OP didn't seem to be talking about outside of the US, but since you bring up outside the US, why not look to my second paragraph when I state, "So unless you're planning on traveling a ton of places..."

ericliujian said:   Do they do a credit check to open a schwab checking account?They did for me in January. (EQ - hard pull)

Shaudius said:   bonghead said:   
Unless you're talking e-commerce, cash has much higher acceptance than visa+mc+discover+AMEX combined. Many mom-pop shops in Europe refuse plastic. And some of them only take cash or local plastic. So when traveling, being able get get cash is far more important than having a credit card.. the credit card is secondary outside the US.


The OP didn't seem to be talking about outside of the US, but since you bring up outside the US, why not look to my second paragraph when I state, "So unless you're planning on traveling a ton of places..."

It doesn't matter, cash acceptance is still higher than plastic, inside and outside the US at offline merchants. Cash only merchants in the US:
  • casinos
  • vending machines
  • road tolls
  • mom-pop shops (yes, even in the US there are some cash-only shops)
  • anything black market
  • anything white market that calls for privacy/anonymity


Plus some mom-pop shops in the US that accept plastic will impose a transaction minimum (which is against their merchant agreement, but it still happens).

Cash is still king. Hence my thesis on that matter- ATM access is still important.

bonghead said:   
It doesn't matter, cash acceptance is still higher than plastic, inside and outside the US at offline merchants. Cash only merchants in the US
  • casinos
  • vending machines
  • road tolls
  • mom-pop shops (yes, even in the US there are some cash-only shops)
  • anything black market
  • anything white market that calls for privacy/anonymity


Plus some mom-pop shops in the US that accept plastic will impose a transaction minimum (which is against their merchant agreement, but it still happens).

Cash is still king. Hence my thesis on that matter- ATM access is still important.


A casino is presumably a planned excursion and falls under the idea that you are able to go to your actual bank which has a fee-free ATM and withdraw money before it happened. Road tolls are also not unexpected expenses, and they can be paid with credit cards in many places, or you use an E-Z Pass, which allows you to earn rewards on your credit card that the E-Z Pass is funded with. A ton of vending machines now take credit cards, and are again covered under incidentals which is why you have a cash reserve which doesn't require daily or even weekly ATM access but maybe monthly for a hundred dollars or so.

As for mom-pop shops, not where I live, and not in any major city I've ever been to. Now maybe if you live out in the country and you're talking about true rural shops that might be the case, but every small business I frequent, and I imagine that most people frequent takes credit cards.

As for your last two, black market? Seriously? I wasn't aware that we were talking about the OP engaging in illegal activity. As for the white market that calls for privacy, what exactly would this be? Are you shopping at stores that you don't want someone else on your credit card bill to see? Are you concerned that the government will see you buying ammo? I am not sure exactly what you're trying to hide and from whom with this one.

My ultimate point isn't that you never need an ATM, my point is that every single bank and credit union in the US that is worth banking with has at least 1 free ATM in your area. Either they are part of a fee-free ATM network(like Capital One 360) or they have branches in which you can withdraw cash. Therefore the availability of tons of ATMs is not necessary, just one, which they all have, therefore wide availability of ATM access is not something we should concern ourselves with because as long as you have the ability to go to one monthly to pull out $100 or however much your unplanned incidentals in a month are then it doesn't matter.

The branch reason is why I use a big bank which I get free checking for with a direct deposit combined with other higher rate institutions.

The rates at one credit union I would qualify for which is not nationwide are pretty good and high if you meet their criteria. But none of the branches are local. They do have access to some free ATMs but shared branching at other CU's isn't free and they charge for international usage.

So it seems as though a consumer has to understand what criteria they need before choosing such an institution to begin with.



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