Friday, December 5, 2008

The case for brick/mortar banking

This morning, I needed to make a deposit and headed over to TD Banknorth. While waiting for the teller to finish the transaction, I started looking at their hours. Most days, tellers are available from 8am to 8pm. On Saturdays, the bank is open until 3pm. Years ago, we had to get off early to go to the bank. Now, ATM's and online banking can take care of most transactions 24/7. When that fails, you are not out of luck.

Although I recommend and use ING Direct, they don't have local branches and sometimes you need a bricks and mortar bank. In our family, our banking situation looks like this:

ING Direct – Primary Savings and Checking Account, Certificates of Deposit

TD Banknorth – Backup Checking Accounts. Free ATMS anwhere and paper checks fill in the gaps ING doesn't do well. For example, ING Direct doesn't offer a safe deposit box. In addition, I think it is a good idea to have some "personal" relationship with a human banker.

Vanguard/Fidelity – brokerage services. IRA and longer term savings.

Emigrant Direct- Backup Online Savings Account

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