The banking question.

<p>I was reading through some of the threads from several years ago and came across a fairly intense discussion of the merits of Northampton's banks. Most of the posters were adamantly opposed to Bank of America for various well-stated reasons, which made me a bit nervous to hear. My parents and I were planning to open an account for me at BoA because none of the other Northampton banks have branches in Michigan--as far as I know--and we'd all like to have easy access to the account. </p>

<p>Does anyone have any recommendations? Should I just open with BoA and hope for the best, or is there a way to get the benefits of BoA without the drawbacks at another bank in Noho?</p>

<p>Our daughter has a local home bank account with our names attached and an Easthampton Bank account in Northampton the same way. That way we can have access if necessary to both accounts.</p>

<p>I use BofA and have since I moved to Northampton with no problems. Prior to that I had an account at a Seattle credit union, but that credit union did not have a partner bank in Massachusetts and I wanted to be able to deposit checks if need be (and I did end up needing to do that off and on). </p>

<p>I know that they are the devil conglomerate, but what i loved about them is that there are BofA branches everywhere. So my mom in Seattle could deposit money into my account and I could access it the next day in Northampton. And wherever I went to intern in the summer, I could access ATMs without fees and also make deposits in the bank. And when I studied abroad, BofA had partnerships with the major banks in most of the European countries I was visiting so I was able to withdraw money with minimal fees. </p>

<p>I'm not saying that people have universally good experiences with them. I would be careful of their credit cards because they have high interest rates and they apparently raised a bunch of people's interest rates without telling them right before the law went into effect that you had to tell consumers before you raised their interest rates. </p>

<p>But I have never had a problem with them. Every time I've called them to report a lost or stolen card, they've been totally cordial and I've gotten quick replacements. Every time there's been an issue with a fradulent charge or anything like that, it's been perfectly simple. So I actually like banking with them, which is something not a lot of people say. I have two credit cards with them and they've both had the same terms and conditions as they said they would have when I got them. </p>

<p>There are other national banks that are probably better, but BofA is the only national bank in Northampton. So if you don't want a local or regional bank, they are unfortunately what you've got.</p>

<p>I'm going to be a first-year, so I'm not quite sure if my opinion matters here, but I would go BoA. I've had my account for a REALLY long time, and I think it's worth it. The major selling point for me was the fact that they have locations everywhere.</p>

<p>My D opened a BofA account in our home town so she could deposit summer checks (and we could easily add to her account if we needed) and so she could withdraw from the ATM as school. She did not have any problems.</p>

<p>I should add that I continue to use BofA even though I don't have to now. I have an online savings account though that is with one of those online only banks that give good (or at least better) interest rates.</p>

<p>D also uses a BOA account which is set up for college students. We both have access which is helpful if we need to give her money we just deposit it and also I think keep her from overspending. It is also good if she is overseas since we can keep an eye in it for her.</p>

<p>I had an account at Easthampton Savings Bank since they had an ATM in the Campus Center. Other than one occasion where I had to go to the bank in person my senior year (because my wallet was stolen and I needed to go to the branch to reset the PIN on my replacement ATM card) I never had to be at the bank in person after opening the account. I had my paychecks direct deposited and on the infrequent occasion where I had another check to deposit, I just mailed it to the bank with a deposit slip.</p>

<p>I also maintained an account at the credit union at home which my parents occasionally deposited money into for me to spend (but I paid for books, laundry, and outings myself out of my earnings). </p>

<p>I am from one of the few regions in the country that doesn't have Bank of America, so a national bank wasn't really in the picture. And ATM networks seem to be getting bigger and bigger, so perhaps you don't even need to open a new account just to avoid an ATM fee in Northampton.</p>

<p>For whatever reasons, D banked at BankNorth. Their service was very good and it was D's first experience in establishing credit in her own name with a <em>very</em> modest Mastercard provided with her initial checking account. BankNorth is located just a couple of minutes walk into town.</p>

<p>If BoA works for you and you have no philosophical qualms, go for it.</p>

<p>D already has a Sovereign account, and I see that they are at the CVS's in town, does anyone know if you can deposit checks at those?</p>

<p>If no one here knows, I would think a quick call to Sovereign would be able to answer that.</p>

<p>I noticed that nobody on the board mentioned TD...
Is BoA better than TD? I was planning on opening an account this summer and TD appealed to me more. In terms of location, I live in NY, so finding branches wouldn't be difficult. Advice, please?!
:)</p>

<p>^^ Choose the bank that's most convenient for you. Many offer special student accounts that are not penalized for low account balances.</p>

<p>Also, at Central Check In there will be represenatives from a bunch of the Northampton banks very eager to secure your business, so that gives you an opportunity to ask questions and compare offerings.</p>

<p>Vas ist ein "TD"?</p>

<p>TD Bank is the same as Bank North - I chose TD/Bank North for my D - since I am in NY - and they have branch in Northampton. So far it seems fine - she got a checking account w/Visa Debit Card - very handy - as she is now stranded in the Far East - when the hotels want her credit card because of a mix up in reservations, I deposit cash in to cover things.</p>

<p>Oh...<em>that</em> TD. Duh. That was D's bank. I just think of it as BankNorth. I forget all the ins and outs of her choice, I just remember that Easthampton bank had the ATM on campus but was the least convenient for physical access to the bank itself. (And some of us think BofA is mentioned in certain translations of Leviticus.)</p>

<p>Why is there so much hate for BoA?</p>

<p>Why hate BofA, let me count the reasons...OK, for one, when I was living in LA, they were huge and difficult to deal with, so I used smaller banks, but they kept eating every small bank at which I opened an account. I would no sooner switch banks, then they would devour my newly chosen bank. It got to be a joke, don't open a BofA account or it will spell doom for the bank.</p>

<p>I have never changed banks - BOA is the 5th or 6th iteration of the bank I originally choose after college :) They just get bigger and more bureaucratic with each overhaul. BTW my daughter hardly ended up using her bank account last year - checks were direct deposited and she got almost everything she needed on campus or with a debit card. I doubt she went to the actual bank once.</p>