Still trying to figure out what bank to use
Mar 01, 2007

As you may remember if you've been reading my blog for a while, I'm currently using Bank of America for my banking, but, as they've really pissed me off, I want to switch. I've basically narrowed the choices of alternative banks to Wainwright Bank and Leader Bank, both of which have a lot going for them. However there are still some issues that leave me questioning whether or not I really want to go with either of these banks:
  • Neither Leader nor Wainwright have a branch in Porter Sq. They both have branches in Central, and Wainwright also has a branch in Davis, so it's not a huge hassle, but it's still an inconvenience if I need to go in for something.
  • Another issue is the lack of ATMs. Obviously neither Wainwright nor Leader are huge banks that can afford to have an ATM on every corner like Bank of America, Sovereign, and Citizen's are (around here anyway). They are, however, both on the SUM ATM network, which means I'd be able to use any SUM ATM without worrying about fees. There is, fortunately, a SUM ATM in Porter Sq. (Cambridge Savings Bank has a branch here and they're also on the SUM network), and I know of a few others, but I'm concerned about whether or not there are enough of them to actually make it worthwhile. I don't want to be having to pay fees all the time because I can't find any SUM ATMs.
  • The last issue is with online banking. Bank of America really does have fantastic online banking, and I've grown very used to having the features that they offer. I'm sure most other banks will have most of the same features (Wells Fargo did), but there's one feature in particular that I really like and am not too fond of the idea of giving up. That feature is e-Bills. The e-Bills program, if you don't know, let's you arrange to have your bills come directly to your Bank of America online banking page. You get an email alert letting you know a bill has arrived, and when you log in it shows you the bills that have come in, your balance, the minimum payment, and the due date. You can then schedule you're payment directly from the page. It's an incredibly convenient system, and I quite like having it. Losing it wouldn't be a deal breaker, of course, but losing it on top of less convenient ATMs and locations makes things a little more questionable.
Now that the whole mortgage thing is taken care of I'll be doing more research into the matter. Hopefully it will turn out that my fears are unfounded and there are plenty of SUM ATMs around Boston to keep me happy. And, if I'm really lucky, one or both of Wainwright and Leader will have the e-Bill system or something similar to it.
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