Bank of America or Wells Fargo

<p>If your son or daughter has a student account at one of these, are you and are they happy?</p>

<p>How expensive have those ATM fees been? Also, has anyone had a problem with big fees if your student did not have enough money to cover a debit card purchase? Last, but not least, it seems as though Wells Fargo offers a student credit card with a $400 limit. How has that worked out?</p>

<p>If you respond please remember to tell me if you S or D has a BofA or a WF student account. PMs welcome.</p>

<p>I have one kid that has Wells Fargo and one that has an account with Wachovia, both are the same bank now. Neither has complained about their accounts and I have not heard that they have had problems, so I think things are good.</p>

<p>My D had some suspicious charges on her account. At first she went to the bank and tried to cancel reoccurring charges (some buying club) but the vendor just changed names and debited her account the next month. We called Wachovia and they canceled her debit card and refunded her money to her. Her only charge was the overnight fee that they charged to send her a new debit card.</p>

<p>As far as I know neither kid has overdrawn their accounts so I don't know about any overdraft fees.</p>

<p>Thanks deb. </p>

<p>My son is very responsible, although he had some small lapses in judgement as a teen (nothing big at all). Still, banking is a new thing for him to learn about, and this is a first experience, so I wanted to know about overdraft fees that others might have had. It seems as though WF has some type of savings plan where for every charge, $1 goes into a savings account (taken from the checking/debit account). You can also put some money into the savings account and put in $100 per month (seems to be the cap, if I understand it correctly). The best parts are that the interest rate is 5% PLUS another 5% at the end of the year for the savings account (unheard of rates today). It seems tied to debit and checking, so should there be an overdraft, the money in savings will cover it, and then there should not be overdraft fees (unless one is really irresponsible). </p>

<p>Any experience with the student credit card with a $400 limit?</p>

<p>D has a student Wells Fargo account. Has checking, savings and credit card. The limit on her credit card is $800. The savings is linked to the checking for overdraft protection. I think there is a $5 fee for the transfer from savings to checking to cover any overdraft.
We chose Wells since there is a full service branch and several ATMs on campus and so there are no ATM withdrawal fees for her to get cash. There are also several Wells branches in our hometown.</p>

<p>We've been with BofA for years (I actually used to work there) so that's where we set up son's account. There is a BofA in the town where his college is although the ATM on campus is not BofA. What I like is that I can transfer money into his account through online banking immediately. Right now he doesn't have a credit card just a debit card so we'll see how it all works out.</p>

<p>emgamac, thank you for this information. Did your D always have an $800 limit on the credit card, or did they increase this limit over time? I was unaware of the $5 charge for the savings to checking transfer to cover an overdraft. I will definitely also bring this to my son's attention!</p>

<p>I know this isn't what you asked for, but might I make a third suggestion?</p>

<p>Ds, like his parents, very much prefers cash. We don't have a debit card or ATM card in the family. We looked at opening a Wells Fargo account but even that felt like a PITA to ds. We learned that the bookstore at his LAC will cash checks during regular business hours up to $100 (plus the bookstore takes checks for purchases as well) so he's just adding a checking account to his current savings account at the local credit union he's belonged to since he was in elementary school. We have online banking, so he can transfer money as needed, and so can I. Our CU also offers a student credit card if we want it, just to start establishing a history.</p>

<p>Anyway, wanted to suggest another option that doesn't include ATM fees, etc.</p>

<p>^^^
That's what we did also for my S the first two years he was in school. That way I could transfer money in to his account. His bookstore also will cash checks for $100. He doesn't use much cash so it wasn't a big hardship.</p>

<p>Once he got an off campus apt. he switched and got a checking account locally. It was just easier. He wrote checks for the utilities and his roommates would write him a check for their portion. The only problem with an account that is out of town is no ability to cash checks that you might receive.</p>

<p>Yeah, ds might get tired of this arrangement eventually, but it felt like a good step for now. He'll be more than 1,000 miles away, won't have a car, etc., so his needs will be minimal. His work-study is split where either it all goes toward tuition or half (he could cash the half on campus), but even the half seemed like too much spending money. He looked at opening an account at the local credit union ( he's very credit-union loyal ;) ), but the closest branch was two miles away, which seemed too far if he wanted cash quickly. Wells Fargo was the only ATM on campus, and he would have been charged a fee for it as the local CU didn't have an agreement with that one.</p>

<p>My son has had a savings account with WF since he was in elementary school. When he was around 15 we added a debit card, and becuz we are members there also, I could transfer money (either manually or by a monthly auto-transfer) into his account. It was a great way for him to learn to budget. With the debit card, I think you mostly elimionate overdrafts because the card will simply be denied at the store, but in our case the savings was the o/d protection, and the fee was relatively small ($10) becuz he was a minor. Don't know if the penalties are greater now that he has a college (over age 18) account. Not all banks will give a debit card to those under 18, but WF does. Very convenient. Also, becuz we started him early, he's an old pro, and it shouldn't be a worry.</p>

<p>Last year we added a credit card...in his own name. The other accounts were joint accounts, but WF suggested the credit card in his own name, because any "boo boo's" could affect OUR credit rating. His limit is $1500, with a "per transaction" limit at whatever limit he wanted to set...in his case I think he did $300. </p>

<p>Not all banks will give a credit card to anyone under 21. There are no WF ATM's in his college town (WF charges $2 to use non-WF ATMs plus whatever the ATM charges) so he opened new accounts at Citibank, but they would not issue a credit card, so he kept his at WF. Again, this will be convenient. Because he will use credit only for "emergencies" and charges that we authorize up front (books, etc.) we can pay off the card with a simple online transfer.</p>

<p>Bottom line: Wells Fargo has been great for us. I highly recommend that you go in and talk to a banker. They have lots of options...and it can help make your kid bank-savvy. I am mostly guilty of "helicoptering" but in this area, DS is ready to fly free. </p>

<p>p.s. it sounds scary to me to send a child so far from home without a 24-hour access to cash...no debit or credit card? Not even for emergencies....hmmm.</p>

<p>We bank with Wachovia/Wells Fargo. Our kids have had Wachovia debit cards since they were sixteen. We've not had any problem. We do not do the "saving" a $1 for every transaction made for S2. It's just needed usable income lost for him. We transfer food money to ( off campus college jr) S2 every month. He uses his debit card for everything. He can't afford to lose an extra dollar of that month's usable money every time he buys a $3 value meal at Wendy's.<br>
We have Overdraft Protection. If S2 overdraws, the bank advances $100 to the acct. but then deducts $10 for the overdraft fee. </p>

<p>S2's (VISA) credit card is connected to ours. It has his name on it but is connected to our acct. There is no limit on it because it's really our card with his name on it. There is no possibility of "boo boos" because anything he charges on the CC appears on our bill at the end of the month. He is not responsible for the bill in any way. No bill is sent to him at all.</p>

<p>He has had this card since he turned 16 and started driving. We wanted him to have something to use if ever there was an emergency/breakdown while on the road or if he was away from home and some unforeseen expense popped up.
He drives four hours back and forth to college so wanted him to know he would be covered if something crazy came up. He also uses the card to purchase his textbooks at college and to pay his internet bill online each month.</p>

<p>This has worked out well for us.<br>
I will point out that since the credit card is in our name and not his so he is not building any credit history of his own yet. If you want your kid to build credit history (good or bad if he forgets to pay) then the card should be only on their own acct. in their name.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone. Well, we will pick a bank and see how it goes. I don't know if the bookstore "cashes checks". My plan was to have son go to nearby grocery store and buy a pack of gum and get "cash back" from his debit card. I don't know how that will work. I know that I had a son who worked at a grocery store in our area and he says that people do this all of the time (they set a limit of $40 per transaction). Often people would buy a 2nd item to get $80 back. </p>

<p>LOL, packmom, your son does the same Wendy's run that my son does, and mine has not started college yet! If he is short on cash he'll buy a small Frosty (I think that is what he refers to as a shake from there. I don't eat fast food, so I am not too sure).</p>

<p>Perhaps that $1 per purchase into savings is not a good idea. Can that be changed easily? I thought that the savings account sounded good, if it meant saving him from high fees if he somehow loses track of how much is in his account, not to mention the 5% interest rate, even it is on such a small amount of money. Can't you just take money out of the savings as needed by transferring it to the checking/debit account without fees?</p>

<p>FYI, when I asked the guy at WF about getting cash back on the debit card, he said it was up to the individual retailer whether they allow that. Something to think about. He also mentioned that required transfer, but he said you can go on there 5 minutes later through online banking and just transfer it back if you want.</p>

<p>I have had terrible experiences with Bank of America and will never ever give them any of my money again. They do their best to trick you and steal your money. They changed my policy and began to charge a service fee for no reason, and agreed it was their mistake, but refused to refund anything after 60 days, even though it was their mistake. Then they were upset when I closed my account.</p>

<p>I'd say Wells Fargo is the more trustworthy of the two, but I'll take a good credit union over a bank any day. Though I realize for kids travelling between college / home, a national bank is more practical.</p>

<p>youdon'tsay, could you explain what this means:</p>

<p>
[quote]
He also mentioned that required transfer, but he said you can go on there 5 minutes later through online banking and just transfer it back if you want.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Thank you.</p>

<p>Oh, and I understand that cash back is up to the merchant, but I figure that the kids will learn which retailers are willing to provide this service in about 24 hours! I think this type of news travels pretty quickly. I can't imagine that merchants wanting student dollars/business would not do this, but I could be wrong about that.</p>

<p>Maybe I misunderstood what the other poster meant, but the WF guy told me part of the college account involved a required monthly transfer (I thought it was $25 but could be wrong) from the checking to the savings account. The idea is, I believe, to create a culture of saving. The guy said you set it up to transfer whenever you want -- say, noon on the first of the month -- but that you could log on at 12:01 and transfer the money right back to the checking account if you want. </p>

<p>One other thing I remember is that if your ds needed money from you immediately you had to deposit cash in his account rather than a check, which has a bit of lag time to go through.</p>

<p>My understanding is that once per month you could deposit a max. of $100 into this savings account for a total of 1200 for the year (bc they are paying 5% interest and another 5% interest bonus at the end of the year). They told me that you do not need save any money. The advantage is that savings is also that protection if you use the debit card and do not have enough funds to cover the transaction. Yes, I believe you can transfer money from your savings to checking whenever you like.</p>

<p>I'm curious why they would want to limit savings to $1,200 and offer a high interest rate. Wouldn't they want to increase deposits as much as possible? Maybe I'm confused now. Which is one reason it's good that ds and I stick with credit unions. ;)</p>

<p>NEM, every grocery store I have been to in our area have the cash back option.<br>
S2 usually does that or goes to a nearby WF/Wachovia branch and walks in to get cash. </p>

<p>When my neighbor's D went to a college and got an acct. at the bank there (that was diff. from her parents bank at home), her Mom opened a checking acct. at the same bank in our town specifically so she could deposit $$ in it and do online transfers to her DD.</p>