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Just read the news in the Washington Post -- Cardinal Bank to be acquired by United Bank:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/united-b...

I bank at Cardinal, I've had their formerly 1.01 (now .76 APY) First Choice checking account for several years, and now they are selling out to United Bank -- who pays (I called today) around .02% on their checking and savings accounts -- as near to zero as makes no difference, IMHO).  They say the actual acquisition won't happen until next year, but I am already mourning the loss of their no ATM-fee (domestic or foreign) and fee-rebating (domestic and foreign; I had both South African and Zimbabwean ATM surcharges rebated!) 

They were and are (for the time being) a good bank.  Too bad.  Now I'll need to find an alternative; if one exists.  I've been debating putting the money in an income-fund at Fidelity and just using their cash management account; the problem was there is no practical way to deposit checks with them other than mailing.  Time to look around.  Oh well.  Say day for me, if things go the way I think they will.  

Another (good) bank bites the dust....

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It was inevitable.  Cardinal has been shopping itself around for a few years now.


  • Cardinal includes their ATM surcharges in 1099s as taxable income even though it is a rebate and other banks don't do this.
  • If you had the high yield checking before the high yield saving product was made available, you couldn't add the savings since you were already a customer.
  • 1.01% checking was good, 0.85% is not great so no real loss
  • Looks like the original owners are getting what they really wanted.

Looks like the Summit Account from Aspiration.com is the best replacement checking, and I can divert to some apparently decent mutual funds for investing the remainder if I so choose. 1.00% interest, no surcharges, unlimited ATM rebates, (other than the foreign currency conversion fee at cost) and you select how much to pay them (assume primarily off the no-load mutual funds they offer). Seems fair to me; seems the best option for a regular checking with no debit-card usage minimums, which I dislike, and no transaction limits on a MM deposit account. Can't find any sweep MM funds paying much above zero. Anyone know of any reason I shouldn't open it tomorrow they'd like to share? Already have my invitation; just need to open it and ACH in $10.00. One disadvantage - they do not have bill pay yet; it is in the works they say. They'll send a free book of checks, which is fine with me too. Future checks if needed I can order cheap myself if needed. They also use the NYCE network and NYCE surcharge free (SUM), same as Cardinal, but also use the NYCE shared ATM network -- so you can make deposits. Again, seems pretty decent to me, unless someone knows of some caveats that I may have missed. Just my .02.

saradon said:   I bank at Cardinal, I've had their formerly 1.01 (now .76 APY) First Choice checking account for several years
  Same here and kept the balance near the max of $100K for the 1.01%. Great bill pay service kept me on when the rate dropped but now I only keep around the $5K minimum to avoid a fee. Accidentally dropped a few bucks below that and was charged $15 twice. Returning to Alliant soon.

I maintain Alliant as well; was with them before moving most to Cardinal. Seems similar to Aspiration - Alliant has bill pay now; but Aspiration has 1.00 APY on the checking, making it easier to get the high rate. Plus the NYCE shared deposit ATMs use PNC which is closer to me than Alliant's shared ATMs; the CU with the shared ATM near me closed. But if this doesn't work well, it's back to all Alliant for me too.

I've had Schwab Investor Checking for years. Great for ATM rebates , great bill pay And free checks. For my 1%, I use Barclays



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