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Citizens Bank Vs Bank Of America
In New England. The 2 major banks where you can chose to store your hard earned cash is at Citizens and Bank of America. Having been customers of both, there are clear differences to both. The most obvious question is which bank is better?
My first bank was Citizens and I opened an account when I started working. When I opened my account, they offered free checking with direct deposit which they still offer today. I went through a few years with then without any hassle until this past year. Withdrawing and overdraft fees.
With Citizens green checking, you are only allowed to withdraw the amount that is in you checking account. For example, if you have a $300 check in hand and want to cash it, you could find yourself only walking away with $100 because that's the amount you have in your checking account. I suppose they withhold your cash because they need the check to clear but it takes away to point of cashing a check. What is the point of waiting in line at the bank where you can't even take the amount it says on your check?
Citzens Banking is a Hassle
You can easily find yourself wasting lots of time in there long lines. Your next option would be simply saving some time and going to the atm to deposit your check. This is where I was starting to want a Bank of America account. With citizens bank, in order to deposit a check from an atm, you must fill out a deposit envelope. This requires you to remember your account number. With Bank of America, all you need to do is endorse your check. No envelope or extra things to do or remember. All you need is your check, your debit card, and your pin. With Bank of America, it was much easier to make a deposit. Citizens needs to update their atm's. They are horrible.
With Citizens Bank, you have to be careful. When you deposit your check through the atm, there is no guarantee that it will make it to your account the next day. Sometimes it would take 1 business day and other times, it can take almost 3. They never tell you why but they'll be more than happy to charge you an overdraft fee if your money gets credited to your account a day late.
After getting hit with a few overdraft fees, I was on to their ways until I discovery yet another underhanded trick. I was purchasing something online but learning from my past mistakes, I made sure my deposit was going through. This was where I started to really hate this bank.
Instead of a smooth transaction, Citzens Bank made a "partial" deposit. Conveniently, my account balance was under and I got slapped with another ridiculous overdraft fee! What's even more disrespectful, the next day, the rest of my deposit went through which was just enough to "cover" the fees. Sneaky Citizens.
So now I have to watch out for their deposit whenever they feel like it moments as well as their partial deposits. At this point, my finger was on the trigger from closing my account. The thing that was holding me back was dependence. The longer you have a bank account, the more dependent you are of it. It gets tied with direct deposit, Paypal. And other convenient services. This was the only thing holding me back.
A New Bank Of America Customer and Already Happy!
Opening a Bank of America account had to be done but I wanted something comparable to Citizen's green checking which is free. Bank of America did not have anything comparable. If you want to open a free checking account, you need to enroll in direct deposit. I had direct deposit in the past and I did not feel comfortable with it. Sure it was convenient but this ment that my bank account is now tied in with my job.
I did not like the commitment of direct deposit. I wanted the control to be able to put money into my account whenever I felt like it. One situation where I hated direct deposit was when my account was at a negative balance. Regardless of whose fault it was, my check went into my account fixing the negative balance but I needed the cash to eat. Imagine where you are in a situation where you needed to eat or pay rent but your check was direct deposited in order to pay off a silly overdraft debt. I say silly because if you are in that situation, what is more important: paying off the bank or having cash to eat?
After explaining to the bank teller that I did not want to enroll in direct deposit, I was left with the option of opening an account while paying a monthly maintenance fee. No way! Iike most people, I am not going to pay for something I can get for free. I talked to some friends and there was a few options. Turns out, I can open a free checking account if I enrolled as a student. I was out of luck there. Then I happen to stumble onto the Bank of America site where they offered free checking if I opened my account online!
Opening my Bank of America account online was easy. I chatted with a fluent Indian service rep and got my account rolling. In a few days, I got a debit card in the mail and I was all set! I went ahead to Citizens Bank and closed my account. The teller that helped me was very understanding. I was the 3rd person that day that closed their account in favor of Bank of America.
So far I am enjoying the convenience of depositing my check without an envelope. Another thing that is nice. When you deposit a check before 8 pm, they credit your account $100 instantly if your check is over $100. This can be very handy if you need some cash in a hurry.
More Reasons to Love Bank Of America
I am a techie. I love gadgets and all of that good stuff. Owning a smart phone, Bank of America offers their customers mobile banking. With mobile banking, I can log into my account via the android app, check my account balances, and transfer funds easily. Citizens Bank have no comparison. While the do have online banking, it is not the same as mobile banking. Having a dedicated app to deal with my bank accounts is so much easier than opening a web browser, navigating to the site and all of that. Bank of America is way ahead of Citizens when it comes to technology.
Another nice thing about Bank of America is their cash deposits. If you want to make a cash deposit, simple stack your cash and place it through the deposit box and the atm will automatically count and deposit the cash for you. Some atms can count 40 bills at a time. This was such a refreshing feature. Everything is done for your convenience. This nice thing about cash deposits with Bank of America is the ability to use your money instantly. If I needed to purchase something online, I could deposit my check and order immediately. With Citizens Bank, I needed to wait for it to clear or wait in line and deposit it via a bank teller.
Bank of America is much more convenient than Citizens. Their atms are better and their service is better. If they continue, I predict Citizens Bank losing many more customers due to it's shady tactics. For now, Bank of America beats Citizens hands down.