Best Bank?

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I have been a USAA member for 6 years. I loved USAA, and have had very few problems. This past summer my account was breached. Someone at a Wal-Mart in Texas drained my checking account. I filed a police report. It took USAA 3 days to return the money, but U finally did get it back.
Over the past four months, I now notice that my transactions are being constantly shuffled around. I was recently at Target. I checked my balance, it showed $640. I spent $100. I went home and moved $100 to my checking from my savings and went to sleep. I woke up the following day and everything had been shuffled. Apparently the day before, while I was shopping at Target, my car payment had hit. My $100 purchase had overdrafted my account. USAA had moved $48 from my savings to my checking to cover it. It would have been nice if I had been told.
I had apparently moved phantom money from my savings to checking to cover my transaction, and overdrafted my savings account, in addition to my checking account, because obviously I should have known the car payment had already processed.

I am seriously not psychic, and this keeps happening. My account will show a positive balance but will then be shuffled around at midnight to create an overdraft where there wasn't one. I have had the account for six years, never an overdraft, suddenly I now have had 6 in three months due to this practice. They have refunded them all, but it is taking up much of my time and energy, and life is just way too short. They are also holding transactions that used to process immediately for days until I get close to the bottom, then processing all at once to incur a fee. I just read a bunch of reviews for USAA and their accounts seem to be having a lot of fraud and shuffling problems, with the most common being phantom $4000 deposits resulting in people's accounts being frozen and funds held for fraud. I am glad that hasn't happened to me, and now I want a new bank. I am a disabled veteran, and I have VA direct deposit that I will need to move, so wherever I move toIneed it tobe a reliable institution that preferably refrains from engaging in such practices.

Please let me know of any banks or credit unions you have had more positive experiences with.

Thank you!

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Alliant CU -- I've had checking and savings there for almost nine years with no problems.

Also, you might want to check out Navy FCU as they cater to military..


BoA - best online BillPay
Fidelity - awesome customer service
Ally - ACH hub, high savings rate

There's also this thread.

Finally, I suggest monitoring "pending transactions" for your accounts. It usually takes a day before they hit your account. But I don't know if this applies when you have car insurance and checking accounts with the same company.

USAA has been on the carpet for infractions of Federal Reserve REG Z primarily because of a snafu in the computer software and  didn't go back and correct the posting date.   My personal experience is that they have gotten too big.  I have had a personal relationship with them going back to 1971  and have recently changed everything.

First thing you need to do is change your account password. Set up challenge questions for account access either before or immediately after the password entry.  In order to suggest a new bank or credit union, please provide some very general idea what city or part of your state you are doing physical banking.  Do you want to have physical access to a bank?

I've been a member of USAA since '68. While I still have insurance with them, I've completely severed all other financial relationships. I had a bank account since they started their bank in the early '80s, but dropped them in late '13 because of horrible customer service. They allowed repeated ACH withdrawals from my checking account, even after being alerted, and didn't seem to care about the problem.

For decades, I thought USAA was one of the best companies ever. Now, I think they are one of the worst I've ever done business with.

My financial hub has been Fidelity for quite a while now. Superlative customer service, no problems at all, but only online.

Alliant appears to sort batches in customer's favor: deposits first, withdrawals in ascending order of dollar amount. This would minimize overdraft transaction count if there's a problem. They don't reorder everything at the end of the day - my employer's bank recently had a problem and payroll deposit came late in the day. But most transactions seem to hit them in one overnight batch, and I've noticed consistency there.

But it sounds like you were bound for a problem regardless - you didn't remember your car payment was coming soon? What if it had posted the next day - wouldn't that have caused the same kind of overdraft? I recommend you consider a couple of general habits no matter where you bank:
Don't use a debit card (or check)
Use your own system for tracking account balance, including known future payments. If your balance is barely enough to cover (and there's no shame in that), allow a couple of extra days for deposits to clear and withdrawals to come early

angelaira said:   I checked my balance, it showed $640. I spent $100.
Stop using "check my balance" to keep track of how much money you have.  Also, stop using a debit card and get a nice rewards credit card instead.  

Thank you for your replies. After I posted this a friend contacted me, USAA froze her account after $4100 was deposited and then withdrawn. They seem to be running a scam on consumers. I now have to figure out how to get my pension moved. I am secering all ties with USAA.

And the habits I have had were developed by having USAA for years. They are not great habits and I agree that I can do better.

I use bestbank.
They aren't very good but is all free and in my kroger.

If you have $500 in your account and authorize $600 in charges you are going to have problems no matter where you bank.

Navy FCU reported me as not paying a loan although I have never  been eligible to join. Never got in touch with me to collect what "I" "owed"--somebody else's loan--to it in 2008. Required threat of lawsuit to get my credit report fully fixed in 2016 after numerous attempts. What wonderful customer service.

I second Alliant.  I've been using them as my primary bank since 2010.  Good web interface (not a lot of bloat like Ally), fast ACH, lots of products, decent saving account rate, online check deposit (all though the new App is still a little buggy for that).  There are some negatives to Alliant I've found over time:

1) Joint account holders can't have their own login credentials (I REALLY wish they'd fix this!).  You have to share username/password across joint account holders if both will be managing the accounts.
2) They've limited the daily outgoing ACH's to $25,000, use to be $100,000.  Generally not a big deal, but it can be limiting as your hub account.
3) They don't participate in credit union shared branching (some have reported success, but many haven't).  I just maintain a free checking/savings account at a local credit union for times I need to get a cashiers check, get something notorized, etc.
4) They won't issue a basic ATM card for checking accounts, only Visa debit.  You can get a basic ATM card for the savings account, but not checking (never use Visa Debit and would prefer to have just a boring old ATM card for when I need cash).

Otherwise, for a day-to-day checking/savings account they are great.  I've got Checking, a few savings accounts (for various special things), some CD's, Overdraft LOC for checking and a HELOC with them.  They are very customer focused, they order deposits first, before debits to minimize overdrafts, they've been forgiving of fees the few times I screwed up an ACH transfer and pulled from the wrong account, etc.

If I wasn't using Alliant, I'd use Ally.  I've been a customer with them since 2005, when they where GMAC and all they did was basic savings accounts.  Now I have a checking/savings account with them and keep my accounts mainly because they have good CD rates from time to time.  Their customer service is generally good and the chat feature has been useful in the past.  I just can't stand their web site.  It's SLOW and full of Web 2.0 bloated Java script focused on form over function.  I'd rather have a simple FAST interface then a bunch of graphical eye candy that takes 5-10 seconds each time I change to a different page!

Is it really?

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