Capital One 360 and ShareBuilder Black Friday Action – Kick Your Savings, Checking, and Investing Into Gear

ING Black Friday Page

Black Friday isn’t just for retail stores.

Capital One 360 is offering up their annual Black Friday specials this year from November 29th through December 2nd.

If you don’t feel like going out and spending your money you can check out what Capital One 360 will be offering for you to save.

You know I’ve been an Capital One 360 customer for years and think it’s a great place for online savings so I’m pretty excited to see what they are going to offer (we also use their online checking and their ShareBuilder investing site)!

Take a look at this year’s “don’t miss” Capital One 360 Black Friday sale:

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All About Online Checking Accounts – Why Pay More Fees Than You Have To

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Don’t you hate it when you look at your checking account and see less money there because of fees you were charged?

And isn’t it annoying when you look at the requirements of checking accounts of many traditional/brick and mortar banks?  (Are you checking the requirements?  Gotta ask.)

They say they have free checking but you have to fulfill a maze of requirements: have a direct deposit with them, have an account balance of at least X for the month, stay under Y transactions… It’s hard to keep up!

blank_checkSo what options are out there?  Free online checking accounts!

As technology and the internet have grown, companies have stepped up and recreated the wheel, so to speak.  A number of banks have introduced free online checking accounts that are easy to use and full of features.

And because these companies are online and don’t have to manage physical bank locations, they can offer their customers more benefits such as higher interest rates, cash back rewards, and free services like bill pay – all nice bonuses in addition to a free online checking account.

Are you not with me yet?  Fine.  Understand that there are many checking accounts out there that are chock full of serpentine fees just waiting to suck your hard-earned money out.

These Are some Common Checking Account Fees You Want to Avoid

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PerkStreet Financial Online Checking is Shutting Down (What Happens to My Money?)

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It’s a sad time for online checking.  PerkStreet Financial will be closing its doors for good on September 26th, 2013.

“Who is PerkStreet,” you might ask?

PerkStreet was (look I’m already using them in the past tense) an online bank that provided online checking accounts with fair fees.  And they weren’t just checking either.  They tried to make checking online rewarding for their customer by giving cash back and rewards when you used your PerkStreet debit card for purchases.

Many people loved PerkStreet as an alternative to credit cards.  It’s easy to rack up charges that are too big to pay off in full with a credit card (for some people).  With a debit card you can only spend what is in your account.  Using PerkStreet for purchases kept people accountable to their money — they couldn’t spend what they didn’t have.

Another aspect many loved with PerkStreet was their fees, or lack of.

They were part of an ATM network that had over 42k locations so it was pretty easy to find an ATM so you wouldn’t get hit with fees for being stuck with an out-of-network ATM.  They also offered up online checking with no monthly fees and no minimums to open an account.

PerkStreet was a breath of fresh air in an age where brick and mortar banks have been slowly taking more out of customer’s pockets with different fees.

But no more.

If PerkStreet is So Great Why Are They Closing?

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The Minefield of Checking Account Fees – Here’s How to Minimize the Damage

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Not too long ago, finding a free checking account was easy. 

They were plentiful, and there weren’t many fees unless you had overdrafts or some other major account issue.

Now, however, free checking accounts aren’t as easy to find.  The ones that are still “free” aren’t exactly free as they are rife with hidden fees.

Now, if you’re not careful, checking accounts can routinely rob you of hundreds of dollars a year.

The Minefield of Checking Account Fees and How to Avoid Them

Trouble Comparing Services

Part of the trouble is that it’s very hard to do an apples to apples comparison of banks’ fees.
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Capital One 360 Financial Independence Days Sale 2013

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Happy Birthday U.S. of A.!

In order to help celebrate the nation’s independence Capital One 360 put together some deals to start you on your way to financial independence.

Long-time readers of Free From Broke know that I’ve been a fan of these accounts for a long time.  You may remember that Capital One bought ING Direct USA.  I opened my first ING account over ten years ago.  I have savings, checking, and investing (via ShareBuilder) with them.

I originally opened up an online savings account so I’d have a place that was out-of-sight-out-of-mind to start building up some savings.  I wasn’t having the best of luck when my savings was tied to my brick-and-mortar bank.  It was too easy to pull money out so I never really got far saving.  By having the money in an online account it put up enough of a psychological barrier that I would leave the money alone to add up and grow.  Ten+ years later and my wife and I have built up a nice safety net for ourselves in that account.

Back to the deals…

Capital One 360 Financial Independence Days Sale – 2013

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How to Use a Prepaid Debit Card to Your Best Advantage

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Prepaid debit cards are becoming increasingly common, thanks to a push to cater to the unbanked.

In recent years, banks have raised fees on checking accounts, and many consumers are fed up with it.  You might not even be safe from fees at a credit union.

My credit union added a monthly fee to its checking account products a couple of years ago.

It’s possible to avoid these fees if you can maintain a minimum balance, or deposit a certain amount of money in your account each month, but some consumers can’t realistically meet those requirements.

On top of that, the fact that some banks will deny you a checking account due to a ChexSystems report or even a credit score, makes it difficult to open a “regular” bank account.

For the unbanked, and even for other purposes, it can make sense to use prepaid debit cards.

Here are the Best Ways to Use Prepaid Debit Cards

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The Best Prepaid Debit Cards 2014

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As banks add more fees, and as it becomes difficult for some consumers to obtain accounts at some of the big banks, prepaid debit cards are becoming popular.

Prepaid debt cards look a lot like “regular” debit and credit cards, sporting the logos of major payment processors like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.  You can use them anywhere major credit cards are accepted, so it makes them convenient.

However, no matter how much like a credit card a prepaid debit card is, it’s important to understand the difference.

Credit Card vs. Prepaid Debit Card

With a credit card, you are borrowing money up to a certain limit.  You use the money first, and then repay it later.  Additionally, if you carry a balance, you end up paying interest on that balance.

A prepaid debit card functions differently.
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