MultiBanks/FirstIB

So I was reading another post the other day. I won't go into too many details but they were mentioning interest earned and everyone responded "you can do better". Well my first reaction was "WHA??????". So a quick google search later and WOW! 

 

So heres the deal. I bank with USAA and am very happy but I am thinking of switching my savings account to FirstIB which is 2.02% (compared to USAA's well less than 1% rate). Here are my questions:

1. Does anyone else bank this way? Aka money in different banks due to rates.

2. Any problems with ACH transfer times when moving funds?

3. Does anyone have experience with FirstIB? We did our mortgage with them and liked the experience.

4. Anyone had importing troubles with FirstIB like there is with USAA?

5. Is there any question I am missing to ask/consider with moving this direction?

 

Thanks

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  • Capital One is still my primary checking account but most of my funds go into my Ally Savings account.

    I pay most of my bills directly from the Ally account now (there's a couple I have to use a checking account for).  It seems transfers to/from different places generally take a few days to fully complete, but bill payments are credited for the date you schedule the payment transaction for (at least for my credit cards/car loan).

    One thing to keep is mind is the withdrawal transaction limit on savings accounts.

    Like 1
      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 I was also considering Ally but their rate is only 1.9 while FirstIB was 2.02. I have read some really good things with Ally though. Any issues with their importing with YNAB?

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 So what caused you to choose Ally over the other options?

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      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney When I was looking originally they were 2.20% (before everybody dropped..lol) and I heard really good things about them all over, so they seemed a good platform (they've also been around for a long time).  So far I've been happy with them.  I had a little trouble opening up my account to begin with (my own fault with my weird address setup lol), and their support was very helpful and got me going quickly, even though it was like 9:00 pm or something when I called.  Transaction imports in YNAB have been nice and smooth.

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      TechieM2 How long has your account been with them?

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      • TechieM2
      • IT Professional and General Geek
      • techiem2
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I opened it the end of March.  6 Months ago tomorrow actually.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      RIP_MSMoney I've had an Ally savings account for about a year (had a CD before that though). I have had a Capital One 360 savings account & checking account since about the turn of the century (back when they were ING and interest rates were 5%). I also have an online savings account at Discover and one at Betterment.

      I think the key for me is that I don't move money out of my savings accounts that often. Add money twice per month though. When I get paid into my checking account, I look at what is going to need to go out over the next month (mortgage, credit card payments, utilities, etc) and keep that amount plus 15% and everything goes off to a savings account to get interest. I only have to move money from savings back to checking when there is something big happening like replacing my HVAC or paying for a big trip. And even then I will have several weeks notice that the money needs to move.

      Like 1
  • I have checking and savings accounts scattered across 6 banks for a variety of reasons. Just remember that ACH deposits take several (3-4) business days to clear.

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  • I use USAA as my main bank also. Have been there for many, many years but about a year ago, I moved my savings account over to Ally. At the time they had the best rate. They have been flawless in terms of ease of doing business and I have had absolutely no issues with downloading transactions to YNAB.

    In terms of interest rates, I will tell  you that unless you're depositing a hefty amount into the savings account, the difference in rates will amount to very little money. For every $10,000 you have deposited, the annual difference between 2.02% and 1.90% will  amount to about  $12 , not counting compounding, which can be substantial if you've got a lot of money. I'd rather know I'm dealing with a stable, easy to use bank. And who knows? Because Ally's rates are slightly lower now doesn't mean they will remain lower for any length of time. I'm not going to keep chasing the highest rate around. Maybe if I had a million bucks..................unfortunately, that's not the case for me 😪

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  • I've been doing this for years! No issues with 1 & 2. I've been using Barclays, Ally, and now Betterment for high interest savings. I wouldn't count on super fast transfers though. I'd give yourself at least 3 business days.

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  • Betterment is currently at 2.15% btw but it's been fluctuating a lot based on the prime rate. It started at 2.68% a couple months ago!

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  • I use FirstIB. Lack of a local branch hasn't been an issue for me for nearly 2 decades. ATM fees reimbursed. Mobile check deposit. Transfer between FirstIB savings/checking are instant. Bill pay works great.

    I have imported via OFX file. I don't use Direct Import so can't offer any observations on that front.

    I also use Synchrony for a slightly higher savings rate. FirstIB charges a fee to initiate transfers to an external bank, so I initiate from Synchrony to avoid that. Synchrony is slow at 3 business days, so I keep a cushion at FirstIB. The required savings balance at FirstIB is $4k (average, fortunately) to avoid fees (another reason for a cushion).

    The FirstIB checking rate is quite good, though.

    Ally has free next business day transfers, but typically a slightly lower rate than Synchrony (but better than FirstIB). I still have some money at Ally from a promotion they ran, just in case I gotta have it tomorrow. (I sweep pretty aggressively.)

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui great info. What do you mean "charge a fee to initiate a transfer"? They didnt mention that. They said free ach. Is that not the case? Will it cost me money to move money back into my checking? I looked at your Synchrony but they were 2%. Did u get a better rate?

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    • RIP_MSMoney It sounds like FIB may have changed their fee structure from when I last checked (several years ago). If they said free ACH, then you're golden.  

      Yes, Synchrony is 2% now. Ally (VERY popular) is 1.9%. FIB was historically 0.2% lower every time I checked over the years, but you're right, they are 2% as well right now. It would seem there is no longer any reason to go external, really. That's good to know.

      In summary, I've used FIB for what seems like forever, and it looks like they've now matched the top-tier guaranteed-principal institutions. Again, no issues AFAIC by not having a brick & morter bank presence.

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui You are right actually. I contacted them to dig deeper and it is Free ACH INCOMING transfers but if you originate the ACH transfer from FirstIB which was leaving FirstIB to another bank then they charge $5. If I originate the transfer from USAA to pull the funds from FirstIB then they won't charge.  Seems a little odd but whatever. USAA has an amazing "Linked Account" features where I can transfer funds easily (ACH) and they don't charge so I should be good. I am still on the fence between FirstIB and Ally. I might reach out to Ally to find out more info. 

      Between Ally, Synchrony, and FirstIB which have you preferred more for your banking experience?

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    • RIP_MSMoney if I were to only have one of those three, it would be FIB. Synchrony doesn't have checking and Ally's checking rate is poor.

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui What about from a savings account perspective?

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    • RIP_MSMoney Synchrony consistently has had the highest rates in the past. FIB seems to have matched them at the moment, so is great from a savings perspective. Internal transfers are instant.

      There is a $4k minimum balance to get the good savings rate, but hopefully that's not an issue.

      Like 1
  • RIP_MSMoney said:
    if you originate the ACH transfer from FirstIB which was leaving FirstIB to another bank then they charge $5.

     Thanks for the confirmation on this. Conveniently, the need to transfer is greatly reduced since the FIB savings rate matches anywhere I would transfer to. 🙂

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  • dakinemaui said:
    Ally has free next business day transfers, but typically a slightly lower rate than Synchrony (but better than FirstIB)

     So most of the time you find Ally to be higher than FirstIB? Wondering if I am just checking at a bad time. I contacted Ally and they said they changed their rate on Aug 9th of this year. Prior to that they were 2.2 which would have made this a no brainer for me. lol. They were not sure when they would change again but said they re-evaluate often.

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    • RIP_MSMoney Yes, in the past the savings rate at FIB was always lower than Ally (nothing to do with different switching times). However, that seems to have changed.

      Again, though, Ally's checking rate is awful. That alone would eliminate them if you mandate a single institution.

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      dakinemaui Yeah, I was planning on sticking with USAA for my banking/checking needs. Just trying to find some other place to park our savings. USAA is well less than 1% for savings. We are 100% cash based so our savings is fairly high with all our sinking funds and emergency savings. USAA just has too many good features to move too far away from them but I am just now learning their interest rates are fairly low compared to others. :(

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    • RIP_MSMoney since you're keeping the USAA checking, the savings institution is a bit arbitrary, isn't it? Rate and transfer timing seemed to be the main considerations. Synchrony, FIB, and maybe a few others have the higher rate. Ally has the faster transfer. (I'm assuming initiating via USAA is slower than that.)

      Are you willing to pay/lose 0.1% ($1 annually per $1k balance) for next day transfer? Since the USAA checking rate is so bad, you may wish to be more aggressive with transfers, making Ally more attractive. (One mistaken overdraft fee will probably dwarf any rate advantage of a slower account.)

      One last consideration is Ally also offers no-penalty CDs, so a savings account there might be a little more convenient. Much depends on how much you can "lock up".

      Like 1
  • dakinemaui said:
    since you're keeping the USAA checking, the savings institution is a bit arbitrary, isn't it?

     I have read some reviews about some banks where interactions with them have been less than stellar. Being that some company is holding my funds, how there customer service is seems fairly important in my eyes :). 

    dakinemaui said:
    Are you willing to pay/lose 0.1% ($1 annually per $1k balance) for next day transfer?

     This is a really good way to think about things. Thanks!

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      • RIP_MSMoney
      • FinTech Programmer
      • rip_ms_money
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      So typical! I decided to go with ally. Just got the email today that their rates are dropping from 1.9 to 1.8. FirstIB is still at 2.02. If I just knew to bet against me I'd win every time lol

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    • RIP_MSMoney No reason you have to stick with that decision. Pulling out your money out of Ally after they drop their rate certainly sends a message.

      Like 1
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