What are Credit Unions and Why are They Good for You?

With Bank of America in the news for its new debit card fee, and other big banks adding fees left and right, and with free checking beginning to disappear from major financial institutions, consumers are looking for other options. Credit unions are once again receiving attention as those disgruntled with big banks turn to smaller, community financial institutions. But what are credit unions and why re they good for you?

What is a Credit Union?

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New Bank of America Debit Card Fee: Here’s What You Should Know

ATM

You aren’t a Bank of America customer and your bank doesn’t charge debit card fees so you can stop reading now, right?  Not so fast.  Everyone needs to know about the new Bank of America debit card fee because it may very well affect your account.

In order to make up for the new credit card regulations that cap the amount of fees a bank can collect from a merchant, Bank of America is charging a $5 fee to customers if they use their debit card to make purchases at a retailer but there’s more to it than that.  Let’s take a look… Continue Reading

PerkStreet Financial 5% Cashback Powerperks September 2011

PerkStreet Financial, the online checking account, have released their September 2011 5% cashback Powerperks.  For those who don’t know PerkStreet yet I suggest you check out my PerkStreet Review.  We’ll wait.  All caught up?  Good.  So you know, PerkStreet offers cashback on their debit card spending (pretty rare for a checking account and for some, better than receiving an interest rate on checking).  You always get between 1% and 2% on your debit card spending.  On top of that, every month they select specific categories and retailers where you can earn 5% cashback.  The selections usually revolve around a seasonal theme, which makes the categories both practical and fun.

For September, PerkStreet wants to help you get your family and home ready for the Fall season with cashback on clothes, home goods, and more at the following retailers: Continue Reading

Are Banks Ratcheting Up Their Profiling Efforts?

You know that your consumer profile is used by financial services providers to make a number of decisions about you. Before I could get satellite TV service, I had to submit to a credit check.  Employers increasingly want a peek at your credit report, and insurers often use your credit as one of the criteria in determining your premiums.  But your credit history isn’t the only thing that others are interested in.  Consumer behavior — and how to protect against risks — is becoming a major concern of many financial services companies. Which is why banks are increasing their efforts to learn more about you.Continue Reading

What’s in Your Pocket? ING Direct! Capital One to Buy ING Direct USA Online Banking Division

ING Groep NV (NYSE:ING), the Dutch parent company of ING Direct USA, has agreed to sell its online bank to Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)

The sale will be for $9 billion in cash and stock.  This move helps Capital One move up from the 8th largest bank in the U.S., based on deposits, to the 5th largest depository bank.  Capital One also becomes the largest direct bank with the acquisition.

Why sell ING Direct?

ING Direct is a successful division and a pioneer in online banking – why sell it? Back in 2008 ING Groep NV received a 10 billion Euro bailout from the Dutch government.  As part of that loan, ING Groep NV is required to restructure and divest itself of ING Direct USA.
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ShareBuilder Now ING DIRECT Investing, a Redesigned Site, and a Bonus!

ShareBuilder has undergone a facelift! Not only has their parent company, ING DIRECT, redesigned the site to make it easier to use, they have also renamed it – ING DIRECT Investing.

It’s still the same awesome site it’s been when it was created over 10 years ago.  Their goal has remained the same: Bring Wall Street to Main Street.

I think they have succeeded.  They make it easy for the average investor to invest in the market.

So why a redesign and rebrand?

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