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Least Evil Banks

Posted By Jim On 02/07/2011 @ 7:07 am In Banking | 21 Comments

I think it’s always dangerous when you start assigning “feelings” to financial institutions. While I realize that CNN Money just wanted to throw “evil” out there to sensationalize a bit, I think it’s a little irresponsible to say that a bank is evil. A bank is a create of our financial environment and, ultimately, it’s a business. It’s trying to make as much profit as it can and whether that comes from fees it charges you or the interest it doesn’t pay you, the market needs to demand better in order for them to change.

That’s also why I think this list by CNN Money [3] is great, they’ve scoured the banking ecosystem to find eight banks with zero ATM fees, free checking, and higher yield accounts [4].

Ally Bank

I wasn’t surprised to see Ally Bank [5] at the head of the class, I personally love their 60 day penalty on closing CDs early [6] (most banks have you pay far more). They were lauded for their ATM reimbursement, higher interest rates, and lack of maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.

ING Direct

Again, not surprised that we have another online bank as one of the least evil. ING Direct’s free checking and no ATMs were the first two reasons CNN Money mentioned, though you’ll have to use an Allpoint network ATM to avoid fees. If you don’t have an account, take advantage of ING Direct’s referral system [7] to get a deposit bonus ($25 if you deposit $250).

The six other banks were, in order they were listed, USAA, Capital One, Alliant Credit Union, PNC, The Incredible Bank (internet only, I’d never heard of them), and Charles Schwab Bank. I don’t think it’s any indication of their evilness, so don’t see Charles Schwab as a little “eviler” than PNC.


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[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/evil-banks.html

[3] CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/pf/1101/gallery.least_evil_banks/index.html

[4] higher yield accounts: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/high-yield-savings-accounts-rates.html

[5] Ally Bank: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/allybank.php?tag=leastEvil

[6] 60 day penalty on closing CDs early: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/ally-bank-cd-60-day-early-withdrawal-penalty.html

[7] ING Direct’s referral system: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/25-ing-direct-signup-promotion-bonus-serve-yourself.html

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