WaMu Free Checking and 4.00% APY Savings Account Review

Speaking of good local bank account combos, if you have Washington Mutual banks in your area, combining their Free Checking and their new 4.00% APY Savings account (updated rate 8/08, only available online) also makes a great option. You get the convenience of local branches and ATM withdrawals and deposits, plus the high interest rates and online fund transfers of online banks.

I’ve had the Free Checking for about half a year and the Statement Savings for a couple of months now, so I thought I’d post up my experiences with them:

Basics
The WaMu Free Checking account has:
- No minimum balance or direct deposit requirements, open with $1
- Free basic checks for life
- No ATM fees on their end
- One free overdraft per year
- Free outgoing wire transfers.

The Statement Savings account has:
- A competitive 4.00% APY on all balances (as of 5/08)
- Rate is only available online
- No minimum balance requirements, open with $1
- Instant transfer to/from the Free Checking

Opening (and Closing) Process Review
I opened up my initial Free Checking account in-branch, and posted about that previously. However, you must open the savings account online, and in connection with a (separate, new) WaMu Free Checking account. The good thing is that you can open them both in 5 minutes and even fund using your existing WaMu accounts! Here are step-by-step instructions for existing WaMu customers.

If you didn’t already have a WaMu Checking account, you’re all set. But if you did, now you have two Checking accounts. But you have to keep the 2nd one open to maintain that happy 4.00% rate, otherwise it drops to something piddly like 0.25%. So, I decided to close my initial 1st checking account and just use the 2nd one. You know what the paradoxical thing was? I couldn’t close it online or via phone. I had to go into a branch and see a teller. How backwards is that? Be sure to bring all your old checks because they can shred them all for you.

Overall Review
The lack of almost all common fees is great. No minimums, no direct deposit needed, free checks, and so on.

The account is also very convenient. I can deposit checks directly into the savings account at an ATM, maximizing my interest. Can’t do that with an online bank. I can then move money into the checking account instantly online as I need it (limited to 6 times a month I think). WaMu has ATMs all over my area as well so withdrawals are easy too.

The online interface overall is good. It’s simple and it works, so I’m satisfied. The Online Billpay is the same way. I personally like BofA’s system better.

One nice feature that they only added in the past few months in online funds transfer! So now you can link up external accounts using just routing number and account number. They link via the usual two trial deposits. Note that WaMu yanks the spare change back. :( Transfers are free both in and out, making things very convenient.

If you have a good Washington Mutual bank presence in your area, the lack of fees, convenience, and very competitive interest rate make this checking/savings combination very hard to beat.

With their high-yield certificates of deposit as well, it makes a convenient package:

Comments

  1. I signed up for this after you mentioned it and I’m very happy with them. Their website is very well designed. There’s ATMs everywhere and while I get 5.05% with HSBC and could get 5.5%, the convenience is worth a lot. The only thing you didn’t mention is, when I signed up the savings account needed at least $300 at all times otherwise they have a small fee. You can also do a $25 monthly transfer from the checking account and they’ll waive the fee. Perhaps it’s changed recently.

  2. AK – The $300 minimum is true of the “regular” statement savings that you’d get if you signed up for one in a branch, but if you look at the application online you’ll see that there are no monthly maintenance fees and only $1 to open for this ‘online’ one. I even took a screenshot of it here.

    Yes, if you really want 5.5% on a portion of your money, you can just open an E-Loan account and link it up to this savings. That way, you can deposit checks into the 5.0% savings, and transfer to/from 5.5% as needed.

  3. Indexfund Fan says:

    Thanks for the review.

    I have been thinking of opening this account combination for a while
    to take advantage of the free wire transfers.

    Do you know if the outgoing wire transfer can be done online? I think
    I read somewhere that you have to visit a branch for that but I could
    be wrong.

  4. Yes, outgoing wires must be sent at a physical branch.

  5. I signed up for this account about a month and a half ago, and although the interest is great for having a physical branch I’ve otherwise been disappointed.

    For new accounts (not sure if its just online in the first 30 days) they impose an absurd 10 business day hold on check deposits! 10 days may have made sense in the pre-Check 21 world but not anymore. This is posted very poorly on the website. In fact, I don’t remember seeing it when I signed up and I was unable to find the funds availability policy online. When I called up to the call center to see about having the funds made available immediately, they told me I would have to go to a branch.

    The other problem was more of a nuisance than anything. I made my initial deposit in a branch on the first business day after opening my account. However a few days later I received an email telling me that they had not received my initial deposit and that my account would be closed if I didn’t make my initial deposit with a certain period of time. I fired off an email and they said I was fine, but its still a little unnerving.

    I’m tempted to close it out, but the interest is pretty damn good. The website is decent, though not special. I never touch billpay so I cant comment on that. Its decent, but if you are going to make the switch I would strongly recommend opening the account and then waiting the 30 days before making this your primary account.

  6. Do these accounts for WAMU allow for all electronic statements? In this day of identity theft I would prefer that they be all electronic. I know people who have had checking statements stolen out of their mailboxes and used to create checks.

    Another question: Does WAMU return canceled checks? Would definitely prefer check truncation for any checking accounts as well. Thanks.

  7. Tom: I believe the 10 business day hold for new a/c (first 30 days) is fairly common. Dont know if this is a Patriot Act thing but most banks I have looked into opening an a/c seems to have that.

  8. I started out on WaMu. However, as your net worth increases, WaMu’s service does not scale. In other words, they do not have programs to scale as you increase your net worth similar to Wells Fargo, BofA, etc. Wells also rewards customers who have multiple products (waive fees, special hotline, etc.).

    Aso, the hold for new checks seems to be worse at WaMU. I had a biz account with WaMu and didn’t have as long of a delay with Wells. This has to do with their efficiency in bank operations.

    Finally, I love the fact that Wells has alternate locations in supermarkets (i.e. Safeway). Great place to get cash and deposit after hours esp. as it relates to your own personal safety.

  9. I opened this account when you first mentioned it. I like it because of its locality and comparable to online savings interest rates. The only thing that I dont like with this account is the time it take to fully complete an online transfer. They seem to hold your money for too long.

  10. Is E-Loan a hard credit pull?

  11. 10 days is not standard and it is not related to the PATRIOT ACT. The bank I used to work for had 4 day holds for new accts, and the bank I work for now (just started today!) is 5 days. That seems to be the industry standard from my view point. A week I can understand and deal with. But not having access to my money for two weeks is just unacceptable.

    Just to be clear on the holds though, its only for checks and only for the first 30 days.

    Good thing about WaMu up here though is that they have locations in Fred Meyer (think Target, but with a real grocery store too). Unlike most supermarket banks I’ve been in, their Fred Meyer locations actually feel like a bank, not just a counter at the supermarket.

  12. I opened this account when you first mentioned it but my new account did not have the 5% interest. Normally I probably would have called and complained until they gave it to me, but I was also dealing with major Citibank hassles at the time and just didn’t have the energy. I wrote a letter to WaMu but no response. I also faxed a letter to my local branch and no response. So I closed both new accounts. Just a warning that their customer service is apparently not that great and that this deal did not work out for me (no idea why–maybe I missed something in the fine print). In the end it’s more their loss than mine–I’ll just keep moving my excess money over to my money market account as often as I can, like I’ve been doing all along. Also, around this time the ability to transfer money between your WaMu accounts online was not working from PCs for a period of something like 2 weeks! Thank god I have both a PC and a Mac. And yes, WaMu does offer electronic statements. And you can close accounts online, but it takes 2 weeks for the close to go into effect, whereas if you go into a branch you can close your account pretty much instantly.

  13. I signed up for this account more than a week ago. WAMU sent an e-mail the next day itself, saying that they made the trial deposit, but for some reason, the trial deposit did not make it to my other bank. Did this happen to anoone else? I double checked my ABA routing number and my account number at the other bank, when I was filling the WAMU application online.

  14. Note to Ven: in case the test deposits don’t go through for some reason, you can just go into a branch and make the opening deposits with a teller, instead….That will open the accounts for you…..If you do that you will occassionally get an e-mail that you still haven’t funded your deposits yet (through the linked bank) but that will stop after a few weeks…
    Tom is wrong when he complains about the 10 day business hold on new accounts for the first 30 days, saying that it is not common…Well,perhaps not ALL banks don’t it….but every bank i opned an account with, whether a bricks and mortar or an internet only bank, did that for the first month! So, it is much more common then you think!
    Of course, the 10 day hold on new accounts does not apply to ACH Deposits, or Teller Checks, Government Check, Money Orders, or Cash, of course…..
    I opened the Wamu Checking and 5% Savings combination about 2 months ago and have been pretty happy with it…..

  15. I opened an account recently. Very poor Customer Service. If you transfer funds online, it takes too long (they have a waiting period of 4-5 business days for the transfer to get initiated)

    I tried calling them multiple times but the reps don’t even seem to understand what I am asking .. Stay away if you can

  16. I agree with you Joy, that although it’s great that WAMU offers external bank ach funds transfer, it would be better if they would speed up the “scheduling”….i don’t understand myself why you have to pick a date that is 4 business days later before they will start a transfer…

    Once it goes through, it seems to take the normal amount of time..but yes, that could use improvement! Also, i have noticed that the “transfer” and “bill pay” sections of the Online Banking seem to go down more frequently then most other banks…These are 2 areas they could use improvement on, no doubt about it….

    But i was curious as to why you think their Customer Service is so poor….did you have problems resolving issues? My experience, so far, with Customer Service whether in branch or on the phone has been that they were all courtesy, efficient and helpful….so i was wondering why you have such an awful impression of them (other then the annoying “external funds transfer” business)?

    Would also love to see others comment on their WAMU experiences..good or bad…how they like this new set-up (Free Checking with 5% Savings combo)….Are you happy you opened this accounts with them???

  17. The WAMU online promotion was a scam, and alot of loyal WAMU customers who switched over to get the 5% apy rate are going to be shocked when they see the interest rate has dropped down to .25%!!!!
    If you’re a longtime customer like me let them know this is unacceptable
    business. I fully expect a credit based on what my Plat acct would have accrued this month or I’m leaving WAMU.

  18. TC – I don’t know your details, but my guess would be that you didn’t sign up for this properly. Yes, the default statement savings is at .25%. If you open a statement savings up separately online (w/o a checking account) or via physical branch, you will only get .25%.

    You must sign up specifically online only for a new, separate, statement savings account along with a new, separate, checking account to get the 5% APY. I have had this APY for months and currently keep north of $25,000 in there. It is still at 5% APY.

  19. My problem in opening a WAMU account is the application. They demand a physical address (no PO Box) and will only send the account info to that address. I do not get any mail at my physical address due to security, remoteness, preference. How do I get around that problem.

    thanks
    herb

  20. Herb – What my friend who only uses PO Box does is use his physical address and get the very first piece of mail to his house, and then promptly changes the mailing address to his PO Box after confirming the account. They do this for security reasons, ironically.

    This usually happens with credit cards, too.

  21. I agree with what Craig said about holds; 5 and 11 business day holds are common with new accounts and don’t generally bother me. However, in the case of WAMU they DON’T pay interest on anything they don’t deem collected and money subject to a hold are not collected funds. This is regardless of the check type; cashiers, personal what have you. Only when the money is in your available balance will you start to accrue interest. Add a couple of holidays and you can loose as much 20 days of interest.

  22. I’m thinking of opening a WAMU account but I want to know the Funds Availability Policy before I actually sign up. I searched their site to no avail. Do anyone know this information or where to get it?

  23. The Patriot Act requires the banks to have a Physical address on file for security or whatever nonsense. You can call WaMu’s customer service (800) 788.7000 to have them change your MAILING address to a PO box. They will still have your physical address mainly for security verification questions but you will receive your mail at your PO Box.

  24. Any holds are clearly indicated on your deposit receipt. I just made a larger deposit and there was no hold. It does go away after a while, at least it did for me – I make 1-2 deposits per week and keep the balance pretty healthy. Most banks adjust their hold policies based on your average balance and time with the bank, in order to prevent them from check kiting and other fraud.

  25. I think i like Citi better simply because the fact that at least they offer Thankyou points for banking/ using credit cards with them, these points do rack up quiet nicely. Having said that, i’m a little disappointed that the E-savings’s interest went back down to 4.75% but with the seemless transfer abilities with Citi E-checking (instaneous transfer!!!) and also with FREE bank to bank transfers you can’t really beat it!

  26. I signed up for WAMU checking about a month before they offered %5 savings. My thoughts on WAMU after a year:
    1. Held onto initial deposit way too long
    2. Customer service will listen and be very sympathetic but do nothing
    3. They will not allow me to create new online savings account and connect to current checking. (I must create another checking acct)
    4. Bill Pay works fine but nothing special
    5. They are very convient and have had no major problems
    I keep about 2-3K in their checking and the rest in ING.

  27. A quick note about the # of monthly transfers allowed. I have been a loyal fan of Washingon Mutal for over three years now. The limit of 6 is only when you are transferring FROM your savings to checking, otherwise you can make unlimited transfers from checking to savings. Hope that will clear it up for all of you.

    I’ve never been dissapointed with this company, wonderful customer service. The reason they want you to come in to close an account is to avoid identity theft/fraud situation.

  28. Yep, the limit is basically 6 non-human withdrawals from your savings account. Key words are “6″, “non-human”, and “from” savings

    “Within any monthly statement cycle you may make up to six (6) withdrawals or transfers including, but not limited to, telephonic, computer and/or preauthorized transfers from each of your savings accounts. These withdrawals or transfers do not include in-person withdrawals or withdrawals at ATMs.”

    So…
    Unlimited checking -> savings transfers
    Unlimited ATM withdrawals from savings
    Unlimited teller withdrawals from savings
    Unlimited ATM/teller-initiated transfers from savings -> checking

  29. Trumania says:

    Funds Availability:
    Deposits at ATMS:
    Cash & Checks: First $100.00 is made available immediately the rest is placed on hold for 2 business days. That is an automated decision by the ATM, the CSR’s cannot change it.

    Inside a branch, the banks policy is to “GENERALLY” make all funds available as soon as possible. To most people this means right alway, however, it allows the bank time to process the checks and larger sums of cash.

    Checks can be placed on holds for numerous reasons, local/non local checks, company they were written from, that bank, your relationship with the bank. Regardless if you feel if the bank should had it available immediately the checks can still be placed on hold.

    Believe it or not, when the bank releases all funds to the customer and they spend it all, it can sometimes turn out a week later the bank would never collect on those funds. Of course, that means they will withdraw all that money from your account and you could receive overdraft and non sufficient funds fees as a result. THEN you’ll really be wishing the bank collected on the funds first.

    5.00APY for savings account is ONLINE ONLY offer. Most people overlook the caps lock on the wamu.com website. If you’ve been a long time customer, sorry but they are only offering for new accounts opened online.

  30. Interesting offer… I’ll have to look into this.

    Jonathan-

    Do you have any experience with the other major brick and mortar banks? (ie Wells Fargo, Bank of America, etc)

    A future post/review or two on that topic for discussion would be interesting, especially as more banks potentially follow in the footsteps of this WaMu offer and try to compete with the traditionally “online guys”. Having the ability to go back and forth between high yield savings and a checking account + the added benefit of atm cards & branches would be great.

    I also bring this up because I am just about to receive my bachelor’s degree and am in the process of relocating + re-shopping for the various basic accounts (checking, high yield savings for emergency fund + “in between investment/idle $”, and potentially brokerage). At this point I am a little lost among the myriad of choices and their costs/benefits.

    In an ideal world I could get a brick and mortar checking account with a bank that has a great online banking platform (BofA), branches + global affiliations/networks (BofA), and doesnt charge for outgoing transfers (BofA loses on this one, and other fees + requiring direct deposit/billpay). Is it even remotely possible to end up with an account setup/situation (that doesnt get killed with fees like BofA’s $3 3rd party transfers) where I have very little money (

  31. natedawg says:

    While with online banks you might not be able to deposit checks at an ATM, USAA allows you to deposit your checks from home by scanning them into their website…

    check it out: link

    This feature is convienient, though USAA’s interest rates don’t make the ease of this technology worthwhile….

  32. I find WaMu website satisfactory. The customer service in person at branch level is not that great. The best thing about WaMu Checking account I like is “Free Wire Transfers”. And yes, this includes “FREE INTERNATIONAL WIRE TRANSFERS” as well. One user asked if you can wire funds at their website and the answer is no.

    As for delayed funds availability – I don’t blame them. I know very well why they do that. I am a banker. Delayed funds availability has nothing to do with Patriot Act. It is governed by Regulation CC. Read more about delayed funds availability at this website:

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/regcc/regcc.htm

    P.S. Jonathan, I love your site. It inspired me to start my own blog. I have been very lazy. How about some inspirational posts?

  33. USAA’s membership is restricted primarily to those with military affiliations as well.

  34. I opened the WAMU free checking/ 5% savings combo online recently and had no idea about the new account check holding policy. I went to deposit my paycheck at one of the local branches today where upon getting to the teller, was told about the hold time. But when she (the teller) saw it was a payroll check, she waved the 10 day wait period. At least that’s what she told me she was gonna do.

  35. KASH:

    Have you done the wire transfer before? Domestic or International? I heard someone was saying it costed about $15-$25. But on the website it says free outgoing wire transfer…

  36. I’ve done a free domestic wire transfer – You need the Free Checking account, though. I’ve never done an international wire transfer, but from what I have heard it is free from WaMu but there may be some “intermediary” charges that end up costing something.

  37. I opened a WAMU account a few weeks ago, and the experience has been a little mixed. I wanted to pull funds from Emigrant Direct, but ED would not accept the test deposits from WAMU. WAMU customer service said that I could not make an initial deposit at the branch, so I had to close the account and start again with a transfer from my brick-and-mortar bank.

    What I notice so far is that they tend to hold on to funds for quite a long while. It took a full week for my initial deposit to be made available, even though the funds left my other bank on the second day and showed up in my WAMU account around the same time (they were there, but I could not access them or even transfer them to the associated WAMU savings account). So…for most of a week, some money more of less went missing in their system. There was no indication when the funds might be made available, or why an ACH transfer would be held for such a long time.

    Since I called customer service to ask what was going on with the initial deposit, I figured I would go ahead and ask about the funds available policy, since I could not find it anywhere. For clarity, checks are held for 10 business days (2 full weeks plus weekends and holidays) for the first 30 days. After the first 30 days, checks may still be held for up to 10 business days, even if you deposit at a branch and even if you have a receipt indicating that the funds are available. The bank reserves the right to place a hold on a check after the customer has left the bank. Even cash deposits may take a day or two to clear, if I remember correctly.

    All of this leaves me wondering whether WAMU is actually a good solution for me. My other brick-and-mortar bank handles checks within 2 days every single time–though I believe they had a 5-day hold for the first month or so (years ago). That 5% interest doesn’t look so good if they may or may not make my funds available to receive interest in a timely manner. I’ll see how they do–if there are problems after the first 30 days, I’ll stick with the other brick-and-mortar with an online savings account.

  38. To Eliza: As far as I know, the moment your money enters the bank, you start gaining interest on it. (It doesn’t go by when it’s available for you to spend, but rather when the money enters the account).

    Theresa:

    Perks you lose: Statements. If you open the online accounts you will no longer be allowed to recieve paper statements, you must enroll in the online statements. If you change it to paper statements the bank reserves the right to “convert” your account to a NON-ONLINE account and you will no longer recieve the special 5%APY on the savings account.

    You’re Payee list should stay in you’re online banking as you should be able to create the accounts under the same ‘profile’. If it makes you create a new online profile with a new UserID then you can call Customer Service and ask them to combine your two profiles so you can access all your accounts under one online banking profile. (You should just immediately ask for a manager to do it just to make sure it gets done correctly).

    Direct Deposits are not subject to holds. If you get paid on Friday you’re money will be in your account as late as 3AM on Friday morning.

  39. Theresa says:

    I currently have a WAMU Platnum Checking and Money Market Savings and am thinking of replacing both with the Free Checking/Online Savings combo. Does anyone know if I will lose any perks (other than minimal interest) when switching from Platnum Checking to Free Checking. Does Free Checking have free online bill pay as well and will I have to set up my Payee list again or can I “transfer” it from the Platnum Checking Acct before I close it out?

  40. Theresa says:

    Also, does the 10 day hold on funds apply to money that is direct deposited into either the Free Checking and/or Online Savings accounts?

  41. Thanks for the info Mike!

  42. Susan:

    I did an international wire transfer from WaMu Free Checking account a couple of weeks ago. The CSR was not sure about the fee. I received the wire transfer confirmation in mail and the good news is that they didn’t charge me the fee. Hope this helps.

  43. KASH:

    How was the rate of exchange on your international wire transfer?

    I’m trying to figure out the cheapest way to move a significant (5-digit) amount of money to someone’s account in Taiwan.

  44. ing checking has a apy which i like more.

    i agree though. how long it takes to transfer between institutions suck.

  45. Hi JusRelax:

    The CSR was unable to provide me with the exact exchange rate at the time he accepted my wire request. Currency rate fluctuate regularly. I would suggest checking the currency rates at Taiwan’s Central Bank and then go to WaMu. The exchange rate will also vary with in the beneficiary banks in Taiwan. My family however, received pretty good exchange rate when they received the funds.

  46. Does anyone on here NOT have local WaMu branches near them? I don’t seem to have any and while it looks like I can go across the street from my apartment to Walgreens and get money out of the ATM for free, the website does clearly say that I can’t make deposits at Walgreens. Anyone see a way around this for depositing paper checks? I don’t have many but definitely 1-2 each month. Maybe they can give you envelopes to mail in deposits (ala NetBank)?

  47. Roman Rytov says:

    Recently ING-direct started giving 4% on its *checking* account. Again, instantaneously transfers money from its checking to its saving for a higher rate. 32000 free ATM in US. Great service. What else you need? Since anybody should have at least 2K on the checking account why how to get at least 100$/year for free?

  48. Has anyone used their ATM card overseas to get cash? I am curious about how much the conversion fees would be if any. And the availability of ATM’s

  49. I also recently opened the free checking/savings accounts, and was extremely dissatisfied with Wamu’s scheduling of external transfers. Like Craig and Joy said above, it is a 4-5 day wait before your funds can be transferred. In my case it was even worse, as my money disappeared for 2 solid days. Wamu showed it as transferred, but the funds didn’t show up ’til 2 more days had passed.

    And it definitley wasn’t my other bank (Washington Federal Savings), as I’ve transferred a lot of funds to and from it and never had any problems like this.

    I might hang onto these accounts though (with $1 in each, of course), just in case I need to send a money order or a wire transfer.

  50. I recently came across this site – love it!

    I tried to open the WAMU account listed above online and it said it was unable to process my request on the first two tries and then locked me out for seven days on the third.

    Has anyone else experienced it? I think my problem occurred when I got to the last verification phase. It asked me four multiple choice questions in regards to loans I currently had and the amount I paid each month for those loans.

    I answered all of those questions exactly as they appeared on my current bank statement, yet it says I answered the questions wrong and locked me out.

    Has anyone else experienced this? I will tell you that it is not a great start for a potential future relationship with WAMU. I talked to a CSR and he told me that I didn’t even have to answer the questions correctly(???) and that it was probably because I had a credit problem.

    My credit is virtually flawless so I know it isn’t a credit problem. I think their system is flawed.

    Thinking of switching to a Wells Fargo / HSBC combination now.

    Any feedback?

    Thanks!

  51. Assia: I make ATM withdrawals in Thailand from my WaMu account. They charge a 1% foreign transaction fee, itemized separately on the statement, which is competitive. It also appears that there is another 1% hit buried in the exchange rate. It is hard to get a straight answer from CSRs (they don’t seem to know). But comparing the exchange rate with an ATM withdrawal from my Fidelity account at the same time it looks like there is a 1% lower exchange rate at WaMu.

    Beware of ATM withdrawals from WaMu savings. They charge $3 per withdrawal for foreign ATMs.

    Fidelity (Premium Services) is the best exchange rate and no foreign transaction fee. But when I need more than the daily limit I have to use my WaMu ATM as well.

    In Thailand ATMs are everywhere and there are no local fees charged so it is very convenient.

  52. Christine says:

    This blog is extremely helpful and informative! I just wanted to ask if anyone has tried the international wire transfer and how long it took for the funds to be received…

  53. Is there any reason why they would be running a credit check on me for the free checking/savings combo? I’ve never had to have a credit check for opening a checking account before to my knowledge. Can anyone clarify for me please?

    Thanks!

  54. They didn’t do a credit check on me for either savings or checking. They should just check ChexSystems, the bureau that tracks people’s banking history.

  55. Thanks Jonathan! Great blog by the way!

    So would this ChexSystems be the one providing the questions regarding my current loans? They could be the cause of all of my frustration in tryint to setup my new account. (please see my post above)

    Thanks!

  56. Oh, that’s just identity verification based on your credit history. It doesn’t actually hurt your credit or count as an official “hard” credit check. I think it’s usually based on your Experian or Equifax credit report. If you don’t agree, it may be worth your time to actually get a free copy of your credit report.

  57. ghost,
    I came across the exactly the same problem, but my process locked me out with where they were asking my previous address.

    CS that I talked to told me the same thing that they base their questions on credit reports, so I was advised to check for any credit problems, and she game me all three credit bureaus’ phone number to call.

    I haven’t done that yet, but it left me a bad taste about WaMu.

  58. Yesterday I went into my Wamu branch and completed a free international wire transfer to Bangkok Bank in Thailand. I have a Free Checking Account. I transferred the funds in USD and they said it would take 3 to 4 business days but when checked my Bangkok Bank account today it already showed up. Bangkok Bank lists the exchange rate for the day as Buying Rate 34.40, Sight Bill 34.57 and TT 34.67. I received 34.56 with no other fees listed. My Wamu account also does not show any additional fees.

  59. Les, that is huge news for me. No fee and a very competitive exchange rate, amazing when you compare it to some other banks. Do you know if the same wire transfer can be done online?

  60. Inoki:

    I spoke with the CS rep and got the same line – it was pretty frustrating.

    However, I attempted to sign-up for it again today and it worked. This time I used the address that is on my driver’s license and I guess the same one that is listed with the credit agencies.

    How has your luck been? Have you tried it again?

    Thanks!

  61. ghost:

    Luckily, I had a recent credit reports, so I was able to go through, and verify there is no problem, and saw that the address that I was living only for few months was included which completely escaped my mind.

    I attempted to sign up, and I was able to open accounts with no problem. As the review said, the whole thing was done in less than 10 min.

    I guess I can appreciate that they want to be thorough with the verification. I have yet to find out if this is gonna be better than my BofA accounts for over a decade, but from what I hear, it’s very promising.

  62. Inoki:

    That’s good that yours went through. I just wish that they had some sort of clarification on why it didn’t go through. If they would’ve told me that the address didn’t match up, I could’ve fixed it easily instead of being locked out. I guess it is good for security though.

    I am sort of new to this whole investment/savings game. I’ve been reading the Kiyosaki and Bach books for a while now. Kiyosaki and Bach tend to counter each other a lot in their advice. Bach is more of a play it safe, live below means type advisor and Kiyosaki is the opposite in my opinion.

    I have all of my savings just sitting in one account earning no interest. This WaMu thing is my first attempt at actually doing something about it and I am quite excited. I plan on putting some of it in an HSBC account as well just in case the WaMu thing ever disappears.

    The next step for me is to get a good rewards credit card. Not sure if I am ready for the whole 0% APR game that Jonathan does, but I need to build my credit and would like to get something back for it.

    I’m pretty curious about the HSBC rewards card, but can not see any information on it without signing up. Weird.

    I also want to check out the international mutual funds with Vanguard and Fidelity, 9-19% return sounds awesome.

    I love Jonathan’s site – it has really helped me a lot! Sorry for the large post! :)

  63. I joined their promo-combo.

    Consider this as my positive criticism of WaMu:

    1) Their website is possibly buggy. When you initiate a funds transfer from WaMu website, it takes a really long time for that transfer to show up anywhere. This means, for a while you are not sure of the status of the transfer (Scheduled / Processing / Complete etc). The phone reps aren’t of any help.

    2) They don’t have single sign-on (single login) for their online services. If you have their credit card(what used to be Providian), their credit card website is NOT seamlessly integrated with their banking website. The credit card and your balance will show up when you login to WaMu online banking website. But you need to login one more time to get complete access. I hope they are working on this because, they acquired Providian a long time ago.

    3) Their bill pay is one of the slowest. For instance, when I wanted to pay my WaMu credit card from my BoA checking, BoA delivers it next day. WaMu requires four business days to pay ANY bill.

    4) When you add a new Payee to your Payee list, WaMu requires that you enter the full address of the Payee. BoA and my credit union requires only the payee name and the zip code.

    All that said, I’m sticking with WaMu for now, for their 5% APY.

    P.S – For those who don’t know, BoA is now offering free checking with no minimum and no Direct Deposit requirements. I already opened one, and I’m in the process of closing my current checking account with them. Check it out. :-)

  64. Vik Chikoti says:

    The reviews above are helpful; i do not have much money as of now but found Wamu Checking+Savings deal worth for me with the freebies!!
    Opened both the accounts 2 days back; checked Wamu and the small amounts were transfered but do not show up yet on the linked bank.

    I also would like to draw the hard cash from the linked bank and do a manual deposit into the mortar/brick branch personally!!
    Will update you all again!
    Thanks a ton to all!!

  65. Jonathan:
    Just opened a WAMU account. Pretty smooth process as you described. Being a security professional one big security hole in their site though. Someone who compromises your password for that bank’s website can get everything about your identity. After you log-in when you click create direct deposit form, they very nicely create a form with your current address, ssn and everything needed for identity theft.
    I just sent them a note about it, I urge any of the other WAMU account holders to do the same, so they change their stupid system!
    Any other bank the most you will suffer with someone getting your password is that you *may* lose some money (external transfers and such). But with WAMU they hand over your identity. :) (and mine too of course.. )

  66. Do they have a maximum transfer to fund the account? ALso, how long does the funding take after applying? I have $100,000 in CITI e-savings, and they have slowly downgraded my interest rate starting at 5.25% now at 4.5%. So I’m looking to move my money sowhere else. The interest I will lose during the transfer process concerns me…

  67. Might have missed it, but what’s the compound and payment cycle on the interest?

  68. I also opened up WaMu’s combo savings & free online checking and it was very fast, but the verification part does take a while.

    I specifically opened the account b/c after using BofA and Wells Fargo, I needed a bank that will not charge you for every little thing you do with your account. Moreover, I read here that WaMu does free International Wire Transfer and I couldn’t resists taking up the offer (as BofA charges a whoppin’ $45!!!). As my account is still pending, I do not yet know if my “Free Checking Account,” will be completely free.

    I do have to mention though that I e-mailed a WaMu customer service rep and the person said that it does cost a fee of $10 to send an international wire transfer. It also costs $2 for using an non-WaMu ATM. I supposed the fees aren’t that bad, but thought I should mention it for anyone assuming that those services are completely free. Maybe it’s because my account is in CA or the fact that I just recently opened it and they have now added a service fee?

  69. The limit of six withdrawals is pretty cut and dry, as is also the unlimited checking to savings transfers, but what about deposit transfers from 3rd parties like brokerage accounts or treasury direct into savings? Would these deposit transfers count towards the six transfer limit? Do I get six non-human withdrawals per month and unlimited deposits per month regardless if it from checking or 3rd parties like other OLS accounts?

  70. AV – Yes, it doesn’t matter if it is from WaMu or a third-party account. You still get 6 non-human withdrawals, and unlimited deposits.

  71. WAMU is presently deducting fed. tax on interest paid at roughly 28% each month.
    1. Do all online banks withhold federal taxes on interest payments each month?
    2. What if I fall into a lower tax bracket do I get refunded when I file my taxes?
    3. Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for me to pay taxes on interest incurred once a year rather than each month? Or it doesn?t matter?

    Thanks.

  72. All banks withhold 28% of interest unless you fill out the form W-9 and tell them that you are NOT subject to backup withholding. This is an option during the application process. I don’t have anything withheld myself, but you’ll just pay less tax later. You’ll have to contact WaMu and they should be able to tell you how to change it.

  73. Thanks so much for this post. I’ve had a WaMu checking and savings accnt for years… the savings had that great 0.25% interest rate [eyeroll]. I had no idea they even had this offer.

  74. Vik Chikoti says:

    Hey All,
    I recently deposited a BT check from one of my NEW credit card into this NEW WAMU savings account!!

    They said they cannot deposit the whole amount of the check right away; Reasons:
    1. Mine is a New Account – It takes at least 6 months for an account not to be categorized as NEW account.
    2. The check is from Citibank with a Texas address; so that is again another reason it seems.
    So a week after the deposit date they gave me 75% and the next 25% will take another week it seems.
    So is this a normal procedure? any idea?

    They gave me an option – convert the check into a Cashier’s check at any Citibank and come back; there would be a charge for this i guess so i did not do it!!
    Anyway now i know this; the next time i do a big BT check; i will deposit into Bofa and then do a manual withdraw and manual deposit in to WAMU; at least saves me a week or 10 days!! hehe
    Thanks All!!

  75. Vic Chikoti-

    Are you complaining? To answer your questions these are normal procedures.

    Banks typically have accounts in a ‘new account’ status for at least 30 days. WaMu has a 30 day policy which will result in longer hold times for check deposits. This is so they can make sure checks clear before you have the money. In other words, the bank has to protect itself against fraud, which DOES happen a lot.

    Keeping a 30 day new customer policy allows the bank to make sure the checks you deposit clear without risking you running off with the banks money. Typically when you deposit a check the money is not IMMEDIATELY cleared for you to use. The bank will actually give you money… a loan in essence… until the check clears. When the check clears (which can take a few days to a week) the money that they receive for the other bank pays them back.

    WaMu has a policy to give you at $100.00 of any deposit up front on the first day. The rest can be placed on ‘hold’ for a few days pending the check clearing.

    This is legal. The bank is actually allowed to hold a check for 14 business days according to government regulations. The larger the check, the larger the hold….typically.

    Accounts that are better established, say 4-5 years old, no history of overdrawn balances, no history of returned checks, no history of fraud will have the lowest hold time on the check. But if you try to deposit a check for 50,000 dollars you’ll probably still have a hold.

    Balance Transfer checks are supposed to be used for transferring a balance from one credit card to another credit card. They are not meant to be deposited into a checking account as a cash advance. It wouldn’t surprise me if this also had an effect on your deposit.

    And also out of state checks usually take a little longer to process and clear therefore there is additional time added for a hold.

  76. Vik Chikoti says:

    Mike,
    Thanks a ton for the reply; i was not complaining; i was just putting up what ever info i got when i did this so that it can be helpful to others!!

    Thanks also for reminding what BT is though!!! The card guys did not have any problem giving me a check and they do not care what i do with that i guess :P.
    Thanks,
    VC

  77. I have done business with Wamu since 1998. The only problem I had was when they sent me a debit Mastercard to replace my ATM card (they asked me first and I said yes). They said the pin would be the same and it was not. I went into a branch and had the pin changed to my old pin in 5 minutes. Then when they rolled out their new “Free Checking” they said in the fine print “Benefits do not apply to Free Checking Accounts opened before 3/06″. The old accounts charged $2.00 at non Wamu ATMs. I called the CSR and he said you have to go into a branch and they will convert it. I went and they did in less than 5 min. (Note: I opened the account in San Diego, CA and converted in Phoenix, AZ.) Soon after I got a solicitation to open the 5% savings and fund it from my *existing* checking and I did. No problems.

  78. Great site. It only took me about 2 minutes to sign up and receive an account number. I had initially thought that the Online Savings Account would only be serviced through mail, online, or phone (meaning I would have to mail or wire xfer my initial deposit). To my surprise, this was not the case at all as deposits to “online” accounts CAN be done at any branch. This little detail was a major deciding factor in choosing wamu over some online banks such as etrade or gmac. All and all,a good deal.

  79. I get direct deposits, however when they come in, my running balance is always —–. If I transfer the amount of the direct deposit to my savings account, my register balance will go negative. The day after the direct deposit everything is fine. Is this normal? WAMU says that I won’t be charged overdraft because the system will see the current day direct deposit.

  80. Robert,

    Same thing when I transfer money in from another account via EFT. It shows on in my available checking balance the day it comes in but if I x-fer to savings that day all of the sudden my online register shows the debit coming out before the x-fer goes in and a negative balance is shown on the register. Next day all is fine. Have done this twice and cross my fingers, so far no overdraft.

  81. Robert, Mark- This is perfectly normal. It’s just the way WaMu’s computers process the information.

    If you’re scheduled to recieved your direct deposit on friday (payday) the money will be in your account no later then 3am et. (WaMu’s HQ is in Seattle so midnight, end of the night, is really 3am for the East Coast).

    Anyway, if you spend any money that day, you can because the money is technically in the account. However… the transactions aren’t really processed in real time. At the end of the night 10pm ET the nightly ‘batch’ starts. This is when the bank processes all transactions during the day, debits and credits.

    During this process the computers process debits first, credits last. So it stars with the balance for the previous day and starts deducting your debits, which leaves you with a negative balance. Then it adds your credits, direct deposits/checks, and hopefully if you balanced your checkbook correctly you will end up with a positive balance and will receive NO overdraft charges.

    If you did overspend you’ll only be charged for any transactions that you couldn’t pay for. Which may end up being a couple because again, they don’t process real time. Depending on when they get a transaction and such, it could lead to a purchase at 9 am over drafting you as opposed to a transaction you made at 6pm. Also, they typically process the larger transactions first. If you spend 200 dollars at Office Depot, it’s extremely likely it will be paid first, not the 5 dollar cup of coffee from Starbucks.

    Think of it this way, the more you spend, the more aggressive that company will be to get their money.

    In the end the larger amount processing first can actually lead to several of your smaller charges to overdraft your account if you do not keep up with your balance.

    But to get back to your question. YES! It is completely normal for your balance to look negative on the day you are receiving your direct deposit. But, if you’re a little worried call WaMu’s customer service ask them to check EFT1 (Incoming direct deposit/debit system) to verify you’re direct deposit is coming through that night.

    Good Luck!

  82. Jennifer says:

    I have the 5% online account and checking and the interest rate has not gone down.

    I have not had any holds placed on checks for the online accounts.

    We have our business accounts with them too and they had 10 day holds for the first 30 days, but after the first week or so they always waived the hold on me when I requested it (although my deposits were generally less then $1000).

    Had a few problems at first with them locating the online accounts at the branch, but then that was fixed and it’s been good since!

    My only complaint now is that they keep closing branches. Luckily there are enough where we still don’t have to go out of the way to get to one, but I hope they don’t close that one soon too!

  83. The reason I was worried is that there are banks that are known for intentionally processing debits first, largest first and then charging for any negative balance even if a deposit the same day (including cash at a branch) finally results in a positive balance at the close of that days business. Example you have $100 in your account and a check comes in to be processed with that days’ work for $85, then a Fast food debit charge for $15 and two Starbucks debits for $5.00 each. And a deposit for $250 in cash made at a branch say at 12 noon (before cutoff time)

    They will process in batch

    Debit Credit Balance
    $100
    $85 $15
    $15 -0-
    $ 5 ($5) OD charge assesed–$35
    $ 5 ($10) another OD charge assesed
    $250 $240
    $70 $170 (2 OD charges)

    by processing largest first they maximize number of OD’s.

    I have never run afoul of this but search Compass bank on google and you will find many who claim to. I guess they have to make up for the unlimited “use any ATM” re-imbursments somehow.

  84. Stephanie says:

    If ever you are charged an overdraft fee and it IS a BANK ERROR, WaMu will take care of it and refund the charges for you. If your account is negative but has a deposit going in the same day, the account should not be charged.

    As for holds. WaMu has a standard policy of 7 business days for local checks and 11 business days for non-local checks for NEW ACCOUNTS. Holds will be placed up to 6 months from opening date, exceptions MAY be made at branches if the employees are familiar with your transactions and the account is in good standing – no overdraft charges or returned checks, equivalent average balance. Average deposits amounts is also another factor we look at before releasing a hold as well as number of accounts and how long you’ve been with the bank.

  85. Camilla says:

    Jonathan – Just an FYI.

    I was in a WaMu branch yesterday making my initial deposit into another 5% online savings account. This one will be an account for our 4 month old child. Many banks offer custodial savings accounts for your children, but the interest rates are usually the crappy .25%,l etc.

    Anyway, the guy at the bank told me to be watching for their new product to be launched in August. He told me it will be kind of a Savings Account/CD hybrid and will offer interest rates in the range of 6-7%! All he could tell me was it would require deposits each month, and each deposit would have to stay in the account for a certain amount of time like a CD and at the end of this term you would have access to the funds again just like a savings account.

    Should be interesting to read the official terms whenever this comes out! 6-7% is very enticing!

  86. ok i work for the bank..you dont need to open two wamu accounts, there is an option to link ur existing account to the online savings,

  87. Yuni,

    Yes, WaMu now allows you to link your existing checking account to the new online savings account. However, when this article was written 10/06. That was not the case.

    WaMu is continuously revamping their online service and accounts to help out the customers it’s a good thing too!

    When the 5% APY “Statement Savings” account was first offered it was ONLY for the new customers who opened their accounts online including the WaMu Free Checking. Yes, I worked at WaMu, I know this is a fact. It wasn’t really until a few months ago, when the re branded the 5% APY Statement Savings to the “Online Savings” account and changed several requirements such as online only statements that they added the feature to link the new Online savings account to the existing free checking account.

    Just clarifying why people thought they needed to open two accounts, at the time they did this review and opened their accounts it was required.

  88. I opened the 2 accounts recently and was wondering when you use BillPay and electronic links for that treasury bill ladder–do none of those transactions count against the limit for a savings account (3 in, 3 out)? At my old bank I used to have autopay setup with my services to take the money from checking, but with wamu since there’s no minimum for the checking account I wonder if I can just do almost everything with the savings–direct deposit, pay bills, ins/outs from treasury bills–and not have any issues.

    Thanks very much to anyone who can confirm/clarify this.

  89. YES AUTO PAY COUNTS TOWARDS THE SIX TRANSACTIONS

    AND YES WIRE TRANSFER CAN ONLY BE DONE IN THE BRANCH…

    I KNOW CAUSE I WORK THERE..

  90. I spoke to a WaMu customer service rep. yesterday and she confirmed that on July 10 WaMu began allowing their current checking account customers to qualify for the 5% APY by opening an online savings account and linking the two during the application process. The new savings account would earn 5% and the existing checking account nothing. This is so much better than having to open up an online checking account with the online savings. Who wants to keep track of two checking accounts anyway?

  91. Just saw on the Wamu website online CD for any term from 6mo to 5yr at 5.35% APY

  92. When I started applying for this combination of accounts last time on WAMU.com, it asked me to chose either ACH or CREDIT CARD method for the initial funding. I wanted to find out more about the CREDIT CARD option and left/aborted the account opening process mid-way.

    Do anyone know if I chose CREDIT CARD to fund this new account, will this charge go as regular purchase item or cash advance item on my credit card? I called their CS, who said it would be charged regular purchase item., which I can’t believe. I also mailed their CS but the response I got said, they have stopped accepting Credit card for this purpose for security reasons. which also I couldn’t believe because just sometime ago I saw that option while applying on their website…

    I want to fund using credit card because I get 1% cash back ($5000 amount means $50 cash back) on my credit card transactions… but I don’t know what would happen if it goes as cash advance – I have never taken any cash advance from credit card, I don’t want to ruin my credit card history.

    Any thoughts?

  93. Vik Chikoti says:

    Shiv,
    Ur post is little confusing; to me at least!

    “I called their CS, who said it would be charged regular purchase item.” – What do u mean, the CREDIT CARD CS or WAMU CS?

    If u meant CREDIT CARD CS, then it does not matter if you believe it or not, but thats the fact!

    If you meant WAMU CS, then my answer is same as above.

    So its better we play it safe;When i opened the account, the initial funding i did was thru my BOFA checking account; Later on i deposited cash, BT Checks in person because both BOFA and WAMU are right across each other on my route to office.

    When i called, the WAMU CStold this – The online transfers INTO wamu are charged while online transfers GOING out from WAMU are not charged, thats the reason i did the deposits in person!
    Anyone correct me if i am wrong and importantly, no offence to anyone!!
    Thanks and good day!
    VC

  94. Hey Mike,
    Is it true WaMu online products (Online Savings, Online CD) have been available only couple months ago? Thanks.

  95. Richie,

    The Online Savings account has been offered through WaMu for at least half a year now. But, when it first came out it was known as a “Statement Savings” account that you could open it online for the 5% APY. After a month or two they renamed it to the “Online Savings” account and changed a few specifications: no paper statements allowed and a few others.

    Online CD has been around for at least half a year to a year I would think. It’s relatively new as in it hasn’t been around for 5 years and it offers a higher APY rate! But, it offers LIMITED support at the branch and through telephone banking. Support is offered online.

  96. I tried to open a new WAMU onling savings & free checking but in the end it asks questions such as: What streets have you lived in, what city have you lived in, what county have you lived in, etc.? I know I answered them correctly and they said it was wrong. I tried to open it for my mom and dad 3 times after I tried mine 3 times and they still said it was wrong. I called them up and they kept transferring me back and forth. Although I already have a brick and mortar normal free checking account. I want to open the 5% APY savings account. Any help would be appreciated.
    -Thinh

  97. Thinh,

    To answer those questions you need to enter in the information correctly. If not it will actually lock you out for so many days. Basically a deterrent against identity theft. After 3 attempts is when it locks you out, i’m pretty sure, should be for a couple of days to a week I think.

    If you don’t remember your address call up the credit bureau to find out what address they have on file, you may need to order a credit report. That is the address WaMu uses. It uses information provided by the credit bureaus.

  98. I recently opened a Wamu account because I read about it here and deposited a check for a little less than $13,000 (due to a balance transfer refund). The check was from Citibank. After I deposited the check I discovered that my account had been frozen due to check fraud. I called Citibank to verify that the check was good and they said it was good. I called Wamu to ask about the check and they said they needed a letter of verification from Citibank, which after calling Citibank they said they did not do. Someone eventually took pity on me and told me they’d send me a letter of verification. The other day I got a notice in the mail from Wamu that my accounts will be closed in about a week so I am desperately waiting for my letter of verification to arrive so I can bring it to my local branch.

    So my question is, is this normal for a bank to do? And once I give them my letter, will my accounts be immediately unfrozen? It would just be a huge pain if my accounts are closed. Sigh.

  99. It is normal for a bank to close an account if there is fraud of any sort.

    However, in your case it seems to be a misunderstanding. Perhaps it was caused by the “balance transfer refund”? Did the check look different? Or have any weird markings that might make it suspicious?

    I’m not sure if they will immediately ‘unfreeze’ your account, in all likelihood they may wait until the check actually clears after they receive that letter of verification.

    If I were you, call the 1-800 number and ask them to place a “General Alert” on your account. The general alert will not do anything to your account money wise. It doesn’t freeze it or unfreeze it, it just acts as a ‘memo’ of sorts that any employee can easily see. Ask them if they can place that General Alert saying “Customer awaiting letter of verification w/regards to check fraud case”. (1800 may tell you to request that at the branch, don’t let them tell you the branch can’t because they can)That way if they do decide to close the account they will see that note and it might buy you some extra time.

    You could also call the 1-800 number and ask to speak to Risk Operations. Risk Operations is WaMu’s “Fraud” department. They might be able to notate the account as well and help you with some additional details.

    Good Luck, hope everything works out.

  100. Stephanie says:

    How do you deposit check via ATM? Is there a deposit box i can use instead?

  101. When you use the ATM you just select “Deposit” and it will have on screen instructions to insert the check into a envelope write the amount on the envelope I think and then insert it into the ATM.

    There should be a night box but sometimes those aren’t emptied out every day.

    I would warn against depositing at an ATM as they usually take at least 2 days to clear which can cause problems for people and sometimes checks get lost or there’s a key in error which can affect your account.

    You should just deposit it inside and bypass any possible complications.

  102. stephanie says:

    Thanks Mike. I was worried that i dumped my check into the waste bin. And you are right, today is the 2nd business day and my check has not been credited into my account. I did check with the staff this morning and she said she will clear it today. Next time i will rather wait in queue than deposit into the ATM or night box.

  103. Another question for you, Mike:
    Do you remember how much you would earn (appx APY) when you opened a Platinum Savings around Spring 2005? It’s 2.95% when I opened it in Feb 2006. And thanks for the info re Online CD. You’re right, it’s been relatively new, only about a year ago.
    Appreciate all your time and help.

  104. Richie,

    I’m sorry, I don’t know what interest rate was being offered in 2005.

  105. waMu takes forever to clear my check how long does it take? I just deposit at the ATM 4 days ago

  106. Keven,

    If you deposited your check into an ATM the ATMs make an “Automated Hold Decision” of 2 business days. That’s because the ATM’s arn’t emptied out every day.

    Now, if you deposited your check 4 days ago, on Friday, then Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days. Your first day is Monday and 2nd day is Tuesday. So your check should have cleared by today.

    Also, when you deposit into an ATM the first $100.00 is made available immediately. The rest is put on hold for the 2 business days.

    Some advice for the future, never deposit the check in an ATM as it usually takes some extra time, most of the time if you have an established account there is typically no hold on your deposits if you go in the branch or it is a short hold.

    Good luck.

  107. thanks alot, i was able to pullout money on the 16th :D they sent me a letter.

  108. Thanks Mike for the recommendation. I called up the early morning services and ordered my credit report. I checked and I did enter everything correctly. I tried it over again many times, but still no luck. Although I have a few other bank accounts with 5%+, I still want a WaMu one since there’s many branches in my state Washington state, and it’s my main account that I write checks with. I want to just store my unused money in there and transfer instantly to my checking account whenever I need to. They kept saying one of the questions from the credit report was wrong. Which I know is right.

  109. I’m sure they have their reasons for what I feel is an overly-restrictive funds availability policy (it seems like they DON’T WANT me to deposit large amounts of money into their bank!) — but their inability to answer an email requesting a COPY of their funds availability policy is blowing me away. I’ve been there about a month, now, and it’s as if all the CSRs have been told to do whatever they can to avoid sending that policy out. They evade, they misread, they ignore…

    I find it REALLY constricting that, if I deposit more than $5000 in a day (my paycheck), they put a hold on it – -but they don’t hold the amount OVER $5K – they hold everything but $100.

    My “regular” bank is Bank of America — who you’d think would be tighter than WAMU — but I’ve never had a problem accessing my BofA funds like, the next DAY.

    I ‘get’ the ATM restriction, though I think it’s dumb (if BofA can empty their ATMs every day, why can’t WAMU empty an ATM -AT THEIR BRANCH-?) — but, even when I walk up to a teller and give her a LOCAL check for $5100, I’m told that I can use $100 of it, but they’re holding $4900 of it. Ridiculous.

  110. I’m sure you’re aware that there are multiple reasons why a check can be placed on hold, to name a few, instate/out of state check?, amount, company, length of time your account has been opened with the bank, average balance, overdraft/returned check history… etc…etc.

    If you want a copy of the funds availability you can clearly read it inside any WaMu branch. It’s on a poster and say something that says “Funds will generally be made available immediately but may also be subjected to a hold”.

    You can also walk into a branch and pick up a copy of the Account Rules and Regulations, the Funds Availability is outlined in that booklet. If you call you simply need to request they send out a Account Rules and Regulations booklet to your permanent address, that will take about 1 week for you to receive.

    Fastest way is just to walk into the branch and pick up the booklet. You should also have one from when you opened the account. Banks are required by law to provide one as it is a contract that you agree to when you sign up for the account.

    Also, WaMu does NOT empty out their own ATM’s. They have a company come to empty them out and all checks are then sent to a Central Processing Facility which explains why checks are not credited everyday. Although it is clearly stated on the ATM/Deposit envelopes that “Funds may not be available for immediate withdraw.”

    Another thing you can do to avoid a deposit hold is to deposit “guaranteed funds”. IE, a cashier’s check must be deposited immediately and funds must be available immediately (if deposited through a teller, ATM would still place hold until a human could verify the type of check).

    Direct Deposit is another way if you’re depositing paychecks. Direct Deposit is made available on the day you get paid. No holds with that one either.

    Your best bet is a Cashier’s Check, good luck.

  111. Oops, that above post was from me, lol.

    Good luck Em.

  112. I’m thinking about opening a checking and online savings acc. Do i need to maintain a min balance on my checking account in order to get the 5% interest?..
    Also, on the checking acc, Is my money available the next day if I make a regular deposit, not a direct deposit?

    Thanks

  113. Andy – No, there is no min balance required to keep to get the 5%. As for funds availability, that will depend on how long your account is opened, what kind of deposit you make, where you make it (in-branch or ATM), and other factors.

  114. Does anyone notice that it takes several days for Debit Card (non-pin) purchases to show up online? Is there a way to view these? I like to be able to see pending transactions, but I don’t see a way on their website.

    Also, how long does WaMu keep data on old accounts?

  115. Robert,

    It does take a couple days for a ‘credit’ purchase to show up. Typically within 3 days the charge will show up on your online account, although the ‘pending transaction’ may hit the account early, meaning you won’t be able to spend that money but you won’t see why it’s ‘reserved’ online.

    As of right now, there isn’t a way to see the pending charges online, although if you call the automated line, 1-800-788-7000 and enter in your account information you can hear the pending charges through the automated system. Best way is to keep a check register, even if you only use a debit card.

    I believe it’s standard practice for banks to hold customer account information for at least 7 years for tax/legal purposes. Although, it may take additional time to retrieve information on these accounts as the CSR’s can only see the past 16 months on their computers. Anything longer then that has to be requested by research or past statements which will take probably around 7-10 business days to receive.

  116. it is standard 2-7 business days is right. 2 days for local checks, 7 days non local, 11 days of its a check over $5k and no a usual deposit you make. If every week or month you deposit large amounts or similar amounts then chances are there will be no hold. IF you constandtly overdraft and bounce checks or deposit rubber checks then it reflects on your holds. THE RECEIPT they give you inside the bank will always tell you what money you have and when the rest will be available. ALSO THE FIRST $100 of any deposit will always be available unless you are overdraft in which case you have no one to blame but yourself. THe transactions sometimes you can’t see, but check your avail. balance, sometimes if will reflect less, if the bank seees you have funds coming out of your acct.
    ONLINE savings is great essp for those who don’t have high balances and would like to get a good APY.
    If you have more money like say in the 10k or more like 20k and aboove, WAMU has WMFS (wamu financial services..) which is the higher end of their investments.
    i work there.. so pretty much.. it really is free… everyones pretty nice… and at any bank you want to make sure a few tellers or SOMEONE knows you.. just in case.. a lot of decisions are based on how well they know you… as well as what they see on the system. It’s not just automated… that’s every bank though. DEVELOPE a relationship.

    hope this helps.

  117. I work for HSBC and unfortunately, as already mentioned on this site, they dropped the 5.05 APY down to 4.50, which is still high but a bit disappointing as well. The reward cards are decent. I have one that gives 5% back on all gas purchases. I’m expecting a $100 sometime in October which just means I’ve spent over 2G’s in gas…yikes!

    MC

  118. Has anyone actually gotten free traveler?s checks from wamu? The website for online saving says they are free but I?ve been told there is a charge of 1.5% if you don?t have the plus package. The plus package is $5/month?

  119. I got free traveler’s checks just yesterday, as a matter of fact, without the plus package. They seemed confused — at first saying there was a fee, then saying the fee was for the GIFT checks, only. When I got there, they acted like the lowest denomination of traveler’s check they had was $100 but, after calling another branch and coming up short, they looked, and they had $50′s. There was some mention that they think that AmEx is trying to break ties with them, since they don’t charge, and the traveler’s checks benefit may be going away soon.

  120. Where can I find the “fee schedule” online? I searched on their website but couldn’t find it. But I remember seeing it when I opened my account. Does anyone have a link to it?

  121. Robert – I think it’s only up when you sign up (and have the opportunity to print it out), when I asked for it later they just mailed me the entire pamphlet by snail mail (free). Shrug.

  122. Vik Chikoti says:

    My question is not related to WAMU but let me ask, please bear with me!!

    So how about Credit Unions; read on another forum where they are saying that local credit unions offer higher APYs with some catches though sometimes!

    I was wondering if anyone has any idea about unions like these and if anyone could throw some light on this context!!

    Thanks,
    VC

  123. I have been researching checking account all day and I am learning but still confused. I have had a traditional checking account with a brick and mortar bank for years and I am thinking about closing the account for a better one. I’m looking at Fidelity, Salem Five Direct, ING Direct and Washington Mutual. I was looking at all of these interest bearing checking accounts and that caught my eye since they are fee and loaded with benefits. My question is they all appear to be tied in with a savings account and it looks like you must move the money from the savings to the checking all the time and it can take days for the transfer to happen. Can anyone comment on this? My current account is worry free my pay check is deposited twice a month and I write checks on it and us my debit card. I like the idea of free interest bearing checking but I believe it could become a headache having to transfer money from savings to checking all the time. Are these interest bearing fee checking account legit or a pain to deal with? Thanks.

  124. Fresh Mexican Food Fan says:

    Larry, try Charles Schwab’s Interest bearing checking – They have 4% APY. no minimum, no Direct Deposit requirements, bill pay, unlimited checks etc. You need to open or have their Brokerage account. When you open them together, they waive all the min balance requirements. See – http://snipurl.com/1s53a

  125. Fresh Mexican Food Fan,

    Thanks for the advice. So the Charles Schwab Interest bearing checking is different than the others I am looking at in that I wouldn’t have to move money from savings to checking a couple of times every month? If it pays interest, is free and like my traditional checking account where my check is direct deposited and I write checks and use the debit card without having to do anything else then that is the account I’ll open.

  126. Fresh Mexican Food Fan says:

    Larry,

    There seem to be no requirement like that. Here’s some info from their website:

    * Day-to-Day Cash Management Zero ATM fees. We automatically rebate any ATM fee charged by any bank, anywhere, any amount.

    * Free online bill pay, checks and online check images.

    * Convenience of managing your brokerage and banking services from one website.

    * Overdraft protection.

    * FDIC insured.

    See their website for fine prints – http://snipurl.com/1s53a (shortened website address)

  127. I dont have a WaMu in my area but like the idea of instant transfers to/from the 5% savings account. Are there any other major banks (Bank of America, Suntrust, Wachovia) that offer this?

  128. Hi, hoping Mike from Wamu is still reading posts. I have had a Wamu account since they first opened in California and have generally been happy. Wamu does tend to put holds on checks (especially if they are larger checks). I recently added on the 5% online savings linking it to my old Wamu checking account for free. I might convert my old account to a new Wamu checking to get the free checks as long as my account number can stay the same.

    My question is with linking the checking and 5% savings. Now that the accounts are linked, does the savings mean free overdraft for the checking? For example, I keep around $2000 in checking and $3000 in savings. Can I put $5000 entirely in savings, put one dollar in checking and continue to write checks and use my debit card without incurring any overdrafts or fees? Essentially I keep all my money in savings and earn interest on money I normally would’ve kept in checking? Or do I have to continue to transfer funds from savings to checkings prior in order to clear checks and debit purchases?

    I only have one debit card from my checking and did not request a separate one from my savings if this makes a difference.

  129. Larry, with wamu online transferring money from your linked savings to checking (and vice versa) is immediate. There is no 2-3 day wait period. If you are transferring from an online bank to a separate brick/mortar bank it can take 2-3 days. Also, with Wamu, online you can do this 24/7 but you can also do this with a teller inside a Wamu bank and have them transfer the money from your Wamu savings to your Wamu checking immediately. Just know they may place a hold on new deposits for new accounts (unless direct deposited). Also, to get this offer you MUST APPLY ONLINE only! You can bank in a regular Wamu branch, but these accounts can only be opened online to get the deal. Also know when you open the account online, it can take a few days initially to get the deposited money transferred and verified into the account. This is just because of the new account status and is not normal.

  130. Siena,

    “My question is with linking the checking and 5% savings. Now that the accounts are linked, does the savings mean free overdraft for the checking?”

    Unfortunately WaMu does not offer free overdraft transfer service. Even though your cards are linked you still have to request that WaMu adds the Overdraft Transfer Service .

    The bad thing about the OTS is there is a fee of, I believe right now $10.00 per transaction. And what actually happens is if your checking account overdrafts by say $15.00, the OTS will take $15.00 dollars + $10.00 + an additional amount to keep your account positive instead of just zero. I believe that additional amount is defaulted to 15, or 20 dollars. While this is handy in case of an emergency or if you just forget about your balance, it does not present an acceptable permanent solution.

    If you do it often, as proposed in your hypothetical question you will end up paying more in service fees then you will be gaining in interest. Not appealing at all! :) The two other forms of overdraft protection from WaMu are Overdraft Limit (you can overdraft up to a certain amount but will receive an OD charge usually $30 per transaction, although they are starting to ‘tier’ the fees, first two in year 1 will be $30.00 and any after 2 will be $35.00), the Overdraft Line of Credit (ODLOC) is another option, based on your credit rating will act as a credit card of sorts. You can draw from that account if your checking goes down, and then make a full payment or a monthly payment + interest and I believe there is also a transaction fee.

    Your best option is to call WaMu, go online, or visit an ATM to transfer funds. Remember you can only transfer funds out of your savings 6x’s online or by telephone. You can make unlimited transfers from an ATM/Branch. Say you make 7 online transfers from your savings to checking you’ll receive an Excess Activity Fee of $15.00 I believe, this is based on a government regulation.

    Also, with your New WaMu Free Checking account, not to be confused with the old Free Checking account, you get one free waiver of a Overdraft or NonSuffient Funds Fee. Freebie, yay! And if you don’t use it, they roll over year to year.

    If you want to convert your old checking to the New WaMu Free Checking, you CAN keep your account number. That’s not a problem. You can visit your home branch or attempt to call the 1800 number. Last I remember the American operators at the 1800 number were able to fill out a form to request the change, not sure if that has changed though, but the branch can definitely do it.

    You can also call the telephone number to have them add your savings account number to your existing Debit card so you can withdraw money from the ATM.

    So to wrap up,
    1)Linked accounts still need to be registered for Overdraft Transfer Service (there is still a transaction fee if you use this service)
    2)WaMu Free Checking allows you one free OD/NSF fee per year.
    3) Customer Service/Branch can convert your old checking to new WaMu Free Checking allowing you to keep your same account number.

    Was a lot, I probably went more in depth then you were looking for but I hope I answered your question as well as gave you a little more insight to the OverDraft Protection. Knowledge is power. : )

    I’m subscribed to this post so I get emails when a new comment is added if you have any more questions.

    -Mike

  131. Vik Chikoti,

    Typically Credit Unions are better financial institutions to bank with because they do not exist to make a profit. They only make enough moeny to cover their costs to stay open.

    Usually this means they will have smaller fees, or are more willing to waive the fees if you ask. WaMu for example has a straight forward, No Bank Error = No Fee Waived policy. A credit union would be more willing to help you out, even if you have to push a little.

    Credit Unions can also offer lower interest rates for loans, always a good thing. And sometimes they offer higher interest rates with their checking/savings accounts. It all depends, each credit union is different but there are a lot of good ones out there unlike corporate banks. Also keep in mind, credit unions don’t have a lot of ATM’s and may charge you for using another bank’s ATM on top of that banks ATM fee. Some banks, like USAA, will reimburse it’s members up to $10.00 in ATM fees per month, pretty good. Shop around you’ll be surprised what you see. : )

    Credit Unions may also not have 24 hour customer service. WaMu for example has call centers in the US, Costa Rica, and Manila. These call centers are typically open from 5am – 1-2am but with the time difference it allows for 24 hour service. A local credit union may not provide assistance after 11pm, again something to look into.

    Generally Credit Unions are better for you financially, but corporate nationwide banks provide convenience. Hope this helps.

  132. Today, I was unsuccessful at making an international wire transfer at Royal Oaks Branch in Houston, Texas. This was the first time I was trying to make one after I opened this account. They did not always have Managers on staff to make the wire transfer. They were very not cooporative at all and told me to come when a manager was there. They did not know whether the manager would come during the next business day. I asked them whether having a Manager was their policy. They did not have a straight answer.

    I would call them up before you go to the branch to make sure that they have the staff to make the transfer.

  133. Is anyone having problems accessing check images or statements online since the new website rolled out? I was trying to view a few checks online and it said that the image “storing place” was unavailable. Also, it said that it couldn’t retrieve by checking statement from last month, and that it would be available in one business day. Is this related to the new website? I thought normally you could view up to 13 months of statement immediately, and that the rest would take an extra business day.

  134. Wamu not sure says:

    I wish the only problem with the new WAMU web site was with check images. I have been unable to pay bills online since last week. Called the rep several times, and after getting them to finally admit that there is a problem, they always tell me to try at 6:00am in the morning (to no avail). Where is their QA department. Very dissappointed after being a customer for over a decade. It is certainly hard for me to believe that a bank this big is not able to expedite a full resolution to these issues.

  135. Does anyone know if all WAMU CD’s, IRA’s, MM account are insured?
    My friend opened an IRA at her local WAMU, but after reading the fine print discovered that it’s not insured.

    Is that normal?

  136. Most e-banks pay you interest the day your money is deposited. I talked to a Wamu supervisor who said that Wamu does not pay interest on a deposit until the money is no longer on hold. So I then asked him how long is the hold period and he said he could not tell me. I told him that was ridiculous. Who in their right mind is going to transfer a fair size sum of money to Wamu if they cannot tell them beforehand what the hold is? I told him that Wamu just lost a large deposit.

    So you are not really getting 5% at Wamu, because they do not pay interest until after some unspecified hold period. If you are transferring the money from another bank, you get zero interest on the days between when your money leaves the other bank, and when Wamu decides to remove the hold from your funds. During this hold period, Wamu gets to use your money without paying you interest. If you have a large deposit, this loss of interest can be sizable.

  137. leake, You are right that you don’t receive the interest until after the funds are released from the hold, HOWEVER, if you are transferring a “sizable” amount of money then you should NOT be doing it via personal check. Personal checks can have holds as long as 14 business days especially when they are for such a large amount of cash.

    You can used “guaranteed funds” to get around this problem. That is a cashier’s check or money order. These are types of payment that no bank is allowed to place holds on by government regulation.

    You could also pay a small fee to have your funds wire transfered to WaMu. WaMu does not place any holds on wire transfers, so you would be earning the interest the day the money enters the account.

    And to address the comment of “During this hold period, Wamu gets to use your money without paying you interest.” while this may be true, WaMu does not make the majority of their funds off of the interest on your money. In fact, they make the majority of their funds from fees.

    In 2006 WaMu waived $15 million dollars in fees! And that’s that they have strict “No bank error, no fee waiver” policy.

    The moral of the story, if you’re want to send a large amount of money into another account with any bank, look at your options and pick the one that will let you earn the most interest (cashiers check, money order, wire transfer).

  138. Mike,
    Thanks for the reply. I was going to ACH the money from an on-line bank like Emigrant-Direct, from which it is difficult to get a cashier’s check or money order. I have enough money where interest for just one day is something to consider.

    Because WAMU could not tell me how long the hold would be on the ACH funds, I had to say forget it. Frankly, it makes me uncomfortable when a supposed big time financial institution cannot tell me in advance how long the hold will be on a specific type of deposit. I deal with a lot of banks, and never encountered one that could not answer this fairly simple question.

    And, as I said, to top it off, WAMU doesn’t even pay interest until the hold is over. Almost all on-line banks pay interest the day of deposit, no matter what the hold period. I told the WAMU supervisor that WAMU has got to get its act together concerning these issues. He actually agreed with me.

    Also note that I could find nothing at all on the WAMU web site about holds or about the fact that interest is not paid until the hold expires. I suspect this is because this information would put off a fair number of potential depositors. This seems very unfair of WAMU, perhaps even deceptive.

    As for making money, a bank with lots of deposits probably makes a not insignificant profit off of “free” money, even for just a few days. You multiply it times the vast number of deposits made into the bank.

  139. leake,

    If you’re doing and ACH deposit, it is just like a direct deposit from an employer, there would be no hold on the funds. If theanager didn’t tell you that then he needs to go back to training.

    As far as personal checks, that decision is made by a computer thus the employees dont know how long the hold is until it is place. Unfortunanty due to fraud the holds are necessary in today’s world.

    Holds are discussed in the rules and regulations pamplet for WaMu, and to be fair EVERY bank makesit extremely difficult to find this onformation online. Often it will be presented to you in electronic format as you open the account as you must agree to it to open up an account.

    From your post it really does seem like the manager you spoke with has to get his act together as any low level teller would be able totell you what i have.

  140. Mike,

    Most on-line banks put a five day hold on ACH deposits, but unlike WAMU, they pay interest the day the money arrives.

    Yes, most on-line banks make it extremely difficult to find answers to questions about holds and interest payments. But if you phone them, you can usually get an informed answer.

    Also yes, the supervisor I talked with seemed like an idiot. That in itself was enough to turn me away from Wamu. I told him it was an ACH transfer, and he said there would be a hold on it. So I asked how long. He said he didn’t know. I said “Maybe a week?”. He said “Probably”. If Wamu cannot hire moderately intelligent people to be supervisors, I can only wonder what sort of imbeciles must be working elsewhere in the bank. In point of fact, I still have no idea how long the hold is on ACH transfers into the online savings account. You say none, but the Wamu supervisor said maybe a week.

    If I want an Alice in Wonderland experience, I will read Lewis Carroll. I certainly don’t want it from a bank.

  141. Has anyone experienced any problems setting up the WaMu free checking and savings combo as as part of a living trust or a testamentary trust. There shouldn’t be any, but sometimes strange things happen with WaMu. Thanks for any info.

  142. ACH Transfer time: Interesting — a Wamu-initiated ACH transfer to my Bank of America checking account took 2 days longer than an HSBC-initiated ACH transfer. I thought I wanted a bank with local branches to REPLACE my HSBC account, for better access to my money. But, with Wamu’s LONG hold times on my deposits, and SLOW transfers out, maybe HSBC is really a better idea. If only I could make free ATM withdrawals from my HSBC…

  143. With regard to hold times, the big issue I ran into with WAMU was the hold time during the first 30 days. The hold time was something ridiculous, I believe 10 business days from the day they officially receive the deposit. Due to some holidays and weekends, that ended up being close to three weeks for me.

    I understand that is is a security issue for them. I would prefer having them run a credit check or some such thing. Three weeks is a long time to be without access to funds you own. And, of course, no interest accrued during that time.

    I would recommend making a minimal deposit into a WAMU savings account, just enough to open it, and then not adding any more funds for a month. After a month, hold times become more reasonable.

  144. One other relevant detail: the interest accrued is not paid until sometime between the 10th and the 12th of the following month. So there is a delay of almost 2 weeks. The impact would be small, but this delay would limit the compounding of interest.

  145. About WAMU International Wire Transfers. They are NOT free!
    Thursday I wire transferred $2000 from my Chase account and I recieved 1351 euros today in my Spanish account.

    I did the same thing from my free wire transfer WAMU account on Thursday another $2000 and I received in my Spanish account 1292 euros today.

    What would you rather do, pay Chase the $40.00 fee at a better rate or loose 59 euros? YOur loosing more money :(. WAMU Internation wire transfers are not free. Check the rate for the day before agreeing to the WAMU international rate of the day.

  146. Yes, only domestic wire transfers are free.

    Hold times and amounts depend on your previous activity level and time with WaMu. If you’ve already had a checking account with them for a while, then they become pretty generous. Always go to a teller if you can vs. an ATM, the hold will be less and you will know exacly how much and for how long (if any).

  147. This is a very good article, just to start off with.

    My parents have been banking with Washington Mutual since they acquired Great Western Bank in 1997, where my parents had their account before. They’ve never had any problems or complaints with Washington Mutual, and that’s one reason I decided to bank with them.

    When I turned 16 I opened a free checking/savings account jointly with my mother, (gotta have someone over 18 to get the account), and as of last month I opened my own free checking/5% savings account when I turned 18, and I must say, Washington Mutual has remained consistent with customer service and their products. I’ve always had positive experiences when dealing with them in-branch or on the phone, but perhaps I’ve just been overly lucky.

    As for the holding of checks, maybe it’s because I’ve been a customer with them for nearly two years, but my new account hasn’t had any holds on it. At all. Come to think of it, neither did my first account, either (perhaps that had something to do with my mother being the joint applicant).

    In any case, very good article. Props to the author. And props to Washington Mutual for being the best bank on the block (in my view, of course). :)

    - JM.

  148. For anyone interested in earning a 7.01% APY who has a Washington Mutual Checking account.

    Washington Mutual has recently and quietly promoted a savings account where anyone with a Washington Mutual checking account can participate. This means that you have to physical go into a Washington Mutual Bank and ask about it specifically or ask them about opening a savings account.

    The account title is called “Saving for Success”. It is set-up to act like a one-year CD-account where if you try to take money out of this account within a year, they will penalize you for withdrawing too early. However, it is unlike a CD-account where you have to make regular deposits into this account from the Washington Mutual Checking account. The minimum deposit is $25 and the maximum is either $300 or $500 (I cannot remember.) The initial amount to open this account is between $25 – $500. Once you have stated how much money you plan to deposit each month, I believe they will not let you change it (or it will be extremely hard to adjust it).

    When you sign up for this account, I believe they make you open another savings account called “Success Sweep Account” which only earns 2.00% APY. Supposedly this is a joint account to the “Saving for Success” account and the 2.00% APY is a “bump up” from 0.25%. This Success Sweep Account” is a liquid savings account with less restrictions on transfers and withdraws. I do believe there is a minimum balance to maintain if you do not sign up for both jointly. Although, I do not understand why someone would want to sign up solely for this account only earning 0.25%. I believe the purpose to signing up for this account is because after the “Saving for Success” account has fully matured, all the money and interest will be put into the “Success Sweeps Account”.

    If this interest anyone, I recommend talking to someone who works at Washington Mutual.

  149. I love my Washington Mutal savings account, no more messing around with ING Direct an their dinky rate that just keeps getting worse and worse.

    You have to open online though, no matter how hard you beg and beg and beg they won’t open it for you in branch. They say it is just impossible for them to open.

  150. Can someone tell me, how do you calculate the amount of your return per month? For instance, if I deposit $1000.00, how much return do I get every month?

  151. Hi,
    Thanks for all the articles. I want to open online savings and checkings account. Now I already have ING Direct and I a happy with its services. However i am interedted in WAMU . The only hesitation is , can I link other external accouts to WAMU for free and can transfer funds to and from any account as I can do in INGDirect.

  152. Hi again,
    I forgot to mention I dont have any physical brach location near my place. If I can link external accounts , whats the maximum allowed number of accounts and do they need to be Checkings only.

  153. Yes, you can link external accounts (checking or savings) and do electronic transfers for free. I don’t remember if there was a limit, I have 3 linked with no problems.

  154. Just wanted to share with you guys a recent experience that I had after opening the Wamu checking/savings account on line a couple of months ago. On November 1, 2007, after reading this blog, I decided to I decided to move a fairly large cash balance to Wamu to take advantage of the higher interest rate while keeping the funds liquid until the top of the year when I plan to reallocate the money in my investment portfolio. The initial deposit was made with a certified check from my Bank of America account to me. A few days ago, I went into a local Wamu branch to get a cashiers check for a little over 40k. I showed all of the proper ID, and after taking all of the necessary precautions to insure that I was the proper person making the withdrawal, they refused to give me the certified check. By the way, this research took approximately an hour that I did not have. They requested that I return the following morning when a higher ranking employee would be there to consider my request. By this time, I had become frustrated with what I thought to be “over-precaution” and a major inconvenience to me the customer. I told them how disappointed I was and should I be forced to return the following day, I would be withdrawing my entire balance which exceeded 250k. I returned the next morning essentially ignored for the first 20 minutes that I was there When inquiring as to when the higher level employee would come out to help me, I was informed that she was in the back verifying fund on the original deposit made almost 2 months ago. If I might ask, is there a way to verify funds on a certified check? Isn’t the whole idea behind it being certified is that it is official and that the withdrawal or purchase has already occurred? Maybe I’m missing something. Anyway, I assume her research was verified and she appeared approximately 50 minutes later appeared to finally grant my request of giving me “my” money. I withdrew all but $1 and went around the corner to a bank that had been courting my business for over a year. Customer service is very important to me whenever conducting business. In this case, it was non-existent. In fact, I was viewed like a criminal and that is an unfortunate thing. This account may work for lower level balances and transactions, but I would not advise it with higher level balances and transactions. It did not appear that they were used to it and they assumed that there was a problem first instead of treating me like a valued customer and meeting my banking needs. Worst of all, once they could not find any reason not to give me my money, they never once apologized for the significant inconvenience that they caused me. I would never recommend doing business with Wamu under any circumstances.

  155. Does anyone know if it is possible to link two WaMU savings accounts with the same checking account? I want to use one savings account for normal daily expenses and another specifically for balance transfers. And I’d rather not have the hassle of dealing with two checking accounts.

    -Pam

  156. Yes, you can have more than one savings account linked to your checking account and get the relationship rate on both.

    -Robert

  157. Can somebody tell me is this possible in WAMU (checking and online savings) accounts

    Open both the accounts online.
    After account opening, how long will it take to deposit a mon wamu check into wamu checking and/or savings account? (no of hold days)

    Can the check be deposited directly into savings account in the bank or it has be done manually into checking at the bank ado online transfer later into savings?

    Is the transfer from checking to savings instantaneous?

    Can the ATM card be used to withdraw from savings account?

    If yes how many transactions allowed per month and whats the max per day?

    Iam thinking of WAMU cos they have good physical presence in california.

  158. For the first 30 days, any check over $100 will have a hold of up to 11 business days. After 30 days, this dramatically decreases. I rarely have funds held, if I do, it’s only for two business days.

    Checks can be deposited into either checking or savings. Depositing a check into checking, and then transferring the money to savings isn’t as wise, as it will use one of your 6 monthly transfers that the federal government imposes on savings accounts.

    Yes, the transfer from checking to savings and savings to checking is instantaneous.

    The ATM card can be used to withdraw from savings account, however, I’m not sure whether or not WaMu would charge you for this if you were using a non-WaMu ATM. If you withdraw from checking at any ATM, WaMu will not charge you.

    You can make unlimited ATM withdraws from you savings, however, other kinds of electronic transfers are subject to limitations. I think the max you can withdraw from an ATM is $500 per day.

  159. I’ve tried the wamu online savings and the fidelity mysmart cash account. Fidelity’s offering is better. You can keep your saving in a money market mutual fund and earn near the top interest of any online bank and it will auto draft debits from the money market fund to cover the FDIC core as neeed. So you can keep all your money earning money market rates at all times.

  160. Robert,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Is there any difference between depositing a check into savings account physically and by doing thru ACH?

    Which one is better?

    Thanks

  161. What are you referring to when you say ACH? Would you be depositing the check with direct deposit? ACH has its pros and cons. The funds are available immediately, once they show up in the destination account. However, there can be a period of up to several days while the money is between accounts. For the first 30 days that you have your account open, I would recommend using ACH, as any check you deposit over $100 will be subject to holds. After that, I prefer checks, because WaMu gives you at least $100 the day that you deposit the check, if not more. I think part of this has to do with where the check is drawn on, and the size of your accounts. I keep about $2000 in my savings and about $500 in my checking, and rarely have holds on checks. However, I haven’t deposited anything larger than $600 or so.

    Happy to help. I would just recommend trying WaMu and seeing how you like it. Don’t make it your primary checking or savings until you’re sure that you’re happy. If it ends up not being for you, you can always close your account.

  162. By ACH i meant the online transfer of money from non wamu account to wamu savings account.

  163. hi i was just wondering if you could help me out with a question about WaMu.

    i have a cell phone pending transaction on my free checking which would cause me to overdraft. it is still pending, so im wondering if it will count as an overdraft, and therefore i have to pay the fee?

    i was planning on canceling the cell phone plan to begin with, so if i cancel it and do not have to pay it the overdraft will be gone.

    but i was just wondering if WaMu will count this as an overdraft?

  164. I do everything online, or I did until I signed up for the WaMu Free Checking and online savings. Their ACH platform is so slow that I am actually going to go to BoA tomorrow and get cash out and then go to WaMu and deposit it in my savings account. I’ve got an allotment for direct deposit that will take effect in a couple of weeks at WaMu, but until then, I just can’t wait for their slow online service. I’ve had problems with their customer service on the phone and at the branch…always the same answer, “our system won’t let us do that”. I’m talking about simple things that banks do every day. I want the interest rate, and fast transfers to checking, but I’m glad I haven’t made them my main banking service. Bank of America and other online high yield savings offer same day/next day transfers online. The only way I can get around their slow online service is to pull money out using my accounts from other institutions. As far as getting money into my account online, it’s just rididulous how long it takes. Hopefully the direct deposit allotment will cure that. I’ve been banking online for so long that I’m shocked at WaMu’s slow online policies about transfers. Why in the world would you have to schedule a transfer into their bank 3 business days in advance for them to even initiate it?

  165. WaMu has a slow ACH system on purpose. The alleged reason is to prevent fraud when making external transfers.

    That doesn’t answer the question of why they make it so slow for even long standing customers who are transfering in and out of accounts that have been linked for years.

  166. I had WaMu Online Savings for about a year now. I opened because it offers
    1. very high rate for a non-internet bank
    2. local branches
    3. no minimum

    Since other banks(GMAC, FNBO, HSBC, and others) offered higher rates, I didn’t put much money into the account. However recently, those other banks have lowered their rates so much. WaMu is now very attractive with the 4.25%.

    Today, I went too a WaMu branch and ask which account offers free Cashier’s check, which I occasionally need. Surprisingly, the person said they are free if you have a checking account. Sweeeet!

  167. WaMu’s ACH is so slow that I’ve decided to close my account. It took 7 days from initiation to funds being available from an external account to my WaMu account. My money was on hold for 6 days. It’s even worse for transfers from WaMu to an external account.

  168. I opend my account with Wamu last summer and enjoyed the +4% interest for my savings account. Last month I noticed the interest they paid me wasn’t penciling out to 4%. They had lowered my rate to 0.25% and didn’t even tell me!!!!! I called them furious and they apologized and credited me the difference on the interest. Then I get my interest credit this month and they did it again!!! I’m going into a branch next week and am going to lay down the law. If this happens again I’m gone with all my $$$$.

  169. Josh,

    Glad you enjoyed the high interest last year! Unfortunately you can, “Lay down the law,” all you want but that may not change things. When you opened the account you agreed to a small detail that is usually overlooked. Washington Mutual reserves the right to change the interest rate at any time without notice.

    I think, generally speaking, we’re done seeing the 5%+ interest rates. With the economy slowing down and major financial institutions taking financial losses in the millions of dollars range, they have to find ways to save money.

    If you really want to leave WaMu, that’s your prerogative, but remember, EVERY bank has a minor detail such as the one above. I have a great bank, USAA, but I’m pretty sure I get less then 1% interest on my savings account. Why do I stay with them? They’re a great bank, great customer service (even when they do not waive fees for me), and they try to help you with financial advice in a non condescending way.

    If I really had the money, I wouldn’t put it in a savings account at 4% interest, I’d put it into a money market account, mutual funds, or stock (probably not at the moment though). Anyway, my point, other banks may do the same, is it worth the time and effort for you to get all hissy pissy and move all your money and account numbers to another bank just over some interest? Hope you’ve got oodles of money in there to actually have a legitimate concern.

  170. Hello everyone.. My fiance is going to wire $2,600.00 to me today and he’s going to do it thru his WaMu account. He’s in Arizona. They told him he would only be charged 1$. Just wondering, would I get the same amount of money converted to pesos (I’m in Manila, Philippines) and how many days it will take before the transfer will be reflected in my ATM account? I’ve read Maria’s bad experience I just hope it won’t happen to us :( If there’s a charge to be deducted how much would that be most probably?

    And can WaMu transfer to any bank internationally? I’ve checked out the site of my bank here and they’re not on the list of banks with remittance tie-ups and correspondent banks.

  171. Miho,

    Not familiar with the WaMu costs of wire transfers anymore, however, remember, when you recieve the transfer it may be less then what he sent. Why? Good question. WaMu doesn’t actually wire transfer to international banks, instead, they transmit to other banks which do the currency exchange and tranfer for them. IE, Bank of America (off the top of my head). So if Bank of America charges 10 dollar per wire transfer it will come out of the ‘final amount’ that your fiance transfers.

    After WaMu’s fees he transfers $1000, Bank of America takes $10 for a fee, which leaves you with $990 and then the exchange rate means you may lose some so you will receive say $975 dollars in pesos.

    As far as where can WaMu transfer, typically just call them up and ask them what info they need, which is typically the bank address, wire room address, and the SWIFT code. If you’re having money transfered to WaMu it usually goes to a bank, to another bank, which then forwards it to WaMu minus any fees. IE Spainish Bank -> Bank of America -> WaMu.

  172. Thanks so much, Mike. He sent this morning (US time) I hope I’ll have no problems in receiving it. I’ll keep you posted! :)

  173. Its really funny how two times now I have applied online for their 4% saving/free checking and two times I get the same message..Sorry we cannot confirm your information. You can only apply once every 7 days. There is no reason they couldn’t open an account for me. I gave all the correct answers to their security questions. Seems to me a lot of people have had this happen. I’m going to the BBB & the Att. Gen. If you go into the bank as they suggest you won’t get any where near the 4%. No thanks Wama.

  174. Bella57,

    It sucks that you’ve had problems trying to sign up for the Online Savings Account at WaMu. Unfortunately I don’t believe the Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau would be able to help you out in this case, as you have omitted any mention of trying to get support for your issue. You have also not mentioned what WaMu customer service has said in response to your issue, if you have contacted them at all.

    Here is a suggestion for you. WaMu acquires all the information they gather during the application process from the credit bureaus. So if you are actually entering the information correctly there is a possibility it is not matching WaMu’s “check” because the information provided from the Credit Bureau is incorrect.

    If you call WaMu customer support they will advise you to check with the credit burreau’s to ensure their information is accurate and up to date. Many people have issues with this due to the credit bureau listing an older address, previous house, apartment, or incorrectly spelled street name. I believe the first one you should call is Experian. Verify information and retry the application process.

    I can already hear you yelling about how it’s not your responsibility to have to pay to view your credit report to make sure that it’s correct and that the bank should fork over the cash for it. Well, I’m afraid that’s not true. It is your responsibility to make sure your credit report is accurate for instances like this AND to prevent cases of identity theft.

    You can go to, http://www.annualcreditreport.com , to receive up to 3 free credit reports a year. This is part of a law passed by Congress to allow consumers to keep up with their credit reports. If you are declined for any lines of credit, by law, you are allowed to ask for a copy of the credit report that the credit agency made their decision on.

    I apologize now if I have come off as a bit forward, but these are the actions you should take to achieve a successful application process in the future. Good Luck.

  175. I would agree that there does not seem to be any foul play here. WaMu used a third-party service to verify ID – the same one also used by many other banks – and it is based on your credit report. The system is not perfect. If your credit report is incorrect or not up-to-date, then you will likely have problems answered the questions “correctly”.

  176. Just checked with the Wamu CS; they said the APY is now 3.49 or 3.5. Probably the title should be changed from 4.75 % to 3.49%.

    Thanks,
    VC

  177. This is down to 3.30% APY now.. :(

  178. Vik Chikoti says:

    wow………..5% –> 3.49% –> 3.30% — any guess whats it gonna go down till…..

    Thanks,
    VC

  179. The fine print at the WaMu website states that the “bank” is not FDIC insured. Does this bother anyone? How is it that WaMu can offer such a high interest rate on their savings accounts? They currently are 1.25% higher than my credit union, which I thought was pretty good until now!

  180. Tony,

    I believe you misread the fine print on the WaMu website. The wording is below:

    “*WaMu Investments, Inc., WaMu Insurance Services, Inc. (“WaMuIns”) and WaMu 1031 Exchange are affiliates of Washington Mutual, Inc. and its banking subsidiaries. Insurance products and services offered through WaMu Investments and WaMuIns are: not FDIC insured; not a deposit or other obligation of or guaranteed by Washington Mutual or any federal government agency. Investments offered through WaMu Investments are: subject to investment risk and may lose value.”

    Basically it says WaMu Investments is a part of Washington Mutual, Inc. However, they are not FDIC insured.

    To clarify, the bank itself IS FDIC insured, the INVESTMENT part of WaMu is not. Typically Investment accounts ARE NOT FDIC insured which is why you may loose money in investments. Typically you cannot lose money in a DDA account because of the fact that the government guarantees your money up to 100,000 per account.

    Another quick check on the Checking and Savings section of the WaMu website will also clarify you’re misunderstanding with the following text:

    “Deposits are accepted by Washington Mutual Bank (WMB) and Washington Mutual Bank fsb and are FDIC insured.”

    You can also call WaMu Customer Service to verify this information @ 1-800-788-7000.

    Also to address your question about the high interest rates. Typically Commercial banks can offer a better interest rate, however, there is a trade off. That trade off is typically service charges and fees. Is there a monthly service charge on that interest bearing account? Or does your bank have a high overdraft fee? At WaMu that charges is $30+ per transaction.

    While a Credit Union may not be able to provide a high interest rate on your savings or checking accounts they will be able to provide you a better interest rate on that Auto Loan or will be more understanding of any financial difficulties with regards to overdrafts. They may also have better Debit Card benefits and can offer you a credit card at a better interest rate.

    Hope that addresses both of your concerns, Good Luck!

    -Mike

  181. It sure does help, Mike. I appreciate the information. I guess I just misunderstood the disclaimers. My savings with my credit union is a money market account, which has the same rules and risks…that I may lose money. I guess I didn’t put two and two together since the WaMu calls thei account a “savings account” when it’s actually a money market account.

    Overall, the credit union is a good place to have my money. They are very good with loans and credit card services. One of the many pluses of being a member.

    It would be interesting to see just how low the interest rate at WaMu continues to go. It started at 5% and now it’s 3.25% in a relatively short period of time. Even my credit union account started at 3.0% when I first opened it. Now it’s 2.0%. Eventually things should level out, considering even PayPal’s money market fund when from 4 something % to 2.88%. Whatever the case, I don’t feel too safe having a large sum of money in PayPal.

    Overall, the market sucks and that’s all there is to it! It’s hard to get anything out of interest when the numbers are so low!

  182. I think what Bella57 was talking about was the problem I’m having. I’m not sure, because I didn’t come up against the “can only apply once every 7 days” thing, but I’ve applied five times over the last few weeks and each time I get this:

    We’re sorry. Our system(s) are currently unavailable. We’re working to correct the problem.
    Meanwhile, we are unable to process your application at this time. Please return later to apply.

    That has nothing to do with what information is in my credit history, that is a supposed computer error that seems to systematically stop me from opening an on-line savings account to link to my current checking account. When I opened my account in the branch we were assured we could still do the on-line savings account, the webs application is set up to allow it, and all the information on the website seems to indicate it should owrk. So why haven’t we been able to do it? Did we get snowed into opening a checking account with a bank that’s lying to us? It really seems that way right now. I mean, is the system ever going to be available?

  183. Emmanski says:

    I just did my very first wire transfer from my WaMu Free Checking account to a $ account in the Philippines. The receiving account got it within 3 days. So that’s not so bad.

    As WaMu promised there was no fee for the Wire transfer. I saw a $20 charge that got refunded instantly. Very good.

    While I am sure my bank in the Philippines told me they do not charge when receiving wire transfer, I am wondering maybe the Intermediary bank (HSBC in my case) did charge me. Wamu did not warn me about this though. The money, by the way, ended up $19.50 less than what I sent.

    I only sent $200 as it was more like a trial kinda thing. Could it also be that it is below the minimum amount where they make the transfer free?

    Can anybody confirm if they have similar experience?

    Thanks!!

  184. MightyMiho says:

    Emmanski, I’m glad to know that your experience with WaMu was good. Can’t say the same thing about the wire transfer my fiance made in March though. I’m in Manila and he’s in Arizona and the transfer took almost 3 weeks to get here. It was sooo nerve-wracking since he sent more than 2,000 USD, and they can’t even track where the money was. It didn’t help that the employees of the WaMu branch where he sent the money from were rude and not even cooperative at all. My fiance only learned that the money arrived already when he called my bank here in the Phils. The experience was very bad that now we’re forced to use Moneygram which charges high. At least we’re sure when I’ll receive it.

    About the deduction, I was deducted about 500 pesos during the transaction, depends on the bank how much i guess (mine’s Allied Bank).

  185. So Im in England and I need $1900 to pay rent at the place I am staying..would it be better for my family in the US to wire transfer money from their WaMu account into the housing department’s Barclay’s bank account OR should I just withdraw cash out of a machine here? Im trying to find the cheapest way to do it… I keep asking CS about fees and such but they arent very helpful…

    also, if I do a wire transfer do I get charged by WaMu and Barclay’s? I know Barclays is a sister branch of BoA….anyone have any advice?

    p.s. here is what i have learned…if you are coming to England open up a BoA account back home so when you come here you can bank at Barclays with no transaction fees or anything..my friend has BoA and she uses her card and withdraws money from Barclays and it is as if she is banking at home…

  186. Just recently all my checks written for personal or to a business have been clearing in my acount within 48 of writing them. Which is fine, but interesting they are clearing SO FAST. Is this happening to everyone?

  187. I opened account with wamu just for wire transfers. I made 1st transaction to canada and I was charged $5 (canadian bank told me) then wired to Pakistan $1000, i was charged $21.50 for this transaction. called wamu that what is free wire transfer, she first said that its should be free, then i asked her abt HSBC she said its middle bank through which they transfer money. lastly she mentioned that there is a fee for correspendence charged by wamu and hsbc. so people make sure its NOT FREE WIRE transfer, you’ll be charged with hiddens feeeeees.

  188. ABC,

    If you have a WaMu Free Checking accoun then the outgoing wire transfer IS free. Other accounts will pay upwards of $25 dollars per transfer which is post to your account as “Outgoing Wire Transfer Fee”.

    The charges you were charges were NOT charged by WaMu, rather through intermidiary and recieving banks. So WaMu held up their end of this account benifit. They cannot control if another bank is going to charge you for using their services. Just like WaMu cannot control if the recieving account is charged a “Incoming Wire Transfer Fee”.

    FYI, it is standard practice for the middle man to charge for their services which is what your being charged here. WaMu even informs that there may be additional charges through these banks and it is your responsibility to find out what they may be. Or you can wait for the transfer to go through and find our how much money was subtracted from the recieved amount.

    It is also worth mentioning that you can lose a sum if money through exchange rates as many international banks do no recieve the cash in American Dollars (but it is exchanged through a bank like Citibank I Bank of America first) rather they recieve the transfer in local currency..

    Hope this helps you feel like you wernt cheated. If you do, perhaps you could educate us about a bank that has “truly” free wire transfers.

  189. Looks like WaMu online savings is back up to 4.00%. Guess they are trying to build capital. As long as FDIC doesn’t go broke, guess this is best rate around.

  190. Jonathan,

    A friend of mine forwarded this article today
    http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=253485

    And now I am wary of MMA form Wamu (4 %), what do you think about it. I am a regular reader of your blog and have learned a lot so far.

    Thanks and keep blogging,
    SB

  191. SB – That article is about money market mutual funds, which is not FDIC-insured, which are sold by brokerage firms.

    Washington Mutual is an FDIC-insured bank, which is completely different. They can offer savings accounts and money market deposit accounts. Just be sure to stay under the coverage limits.

  192. lost $100 today through a key-in error.

    employees tell me I will probably never see my $100 again.

    Warning to all : Do not use Wamu’s ATM to deposit money.

  193. Cash or check? A check should be easily fixed. One should never deposit cash at any ATM from any bank. What happens if they count it wrong?

  194. Vik Chikoti says:

    Is the APY still the same or did it go down..:(
    @ thier website it states for the following 95117 Zipcode..
    Relationship Rates2 Standard Rates2
    Balance Tiers Interest Rate Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Interest Rate APY
    $0 – $9,999 2.47% 2.50% 0.10% 0.10%
    $10,000 + 2.47% 2.50% 0.10% 0.10%

  195. Vikram Chikoti says:

    damn it my account says this now..
    Annual Percentage Yield: 2.25 %
    please update the misleading title of this page..for the sake of new comers on this website

  196. Francoise says:

    My account was supposed to have started at 4%; well, it started at about 3.5% and is now down to 1%. They say interest rates can change at any time, so what is the point of advertising the 4%?

  197. WAMU is terrible…….does nothing to protect the consumer against fraud. Had a situation and WAMU made no attempts to help just gave the run around. Spoke to a total of 6 different people all giving a different story. Customer beware!!

  198. Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau’s Online Complaint System.
    Your complaint has been assigned case # xxxxxxx.
    A confirmation will be emailed to : xxxxxxxx
    Please print a copy of this for your records.

    Filed on : April 15 2009

    Filed by :
    Timothy Bxxx
    xxxxxxxxxxxx
    xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Filed against :
    JPMorgan Chase
    1301 2nd Ave
    Seattle WA 98101

    Complaint Description:
    On 4/13 I made two online transfers from my secondary checking account to my primary checking account, one at 11:16pm & the second at 11:37pm. I transferred the funds to cover pending purchases that had not yet posted. The funds were immediately available at the time of the transfer. The next day I had three overdraft charges on my account for charges that had posted at midnight on the 4/13 and the funds transfers were dated 4/14. I immediately (4/14) called online customer service (800-788-7000) to find out what had happened. The first representative I spoke to said that the system was down for maintenance at around 11pm which is why they didn’t post that night. I then asked to speak to someone who could take care of the overdraft charges since I had previously been told that the cutoff time was 11:59pm for transfers. I was transferred to Elaine Bolcrane who told me that she would need supervisor approval to waive any fees. I was put on hold then connected with Kiana Curtis. I then explained to her the situation. She first told me that the cut off time was 10:00pm for transfers to post the same day. Later in the conversation she told me the cutoff time was 11:00pm. When I asked her about the time discrepancy she denied quoting 10:00 pm. She waived one of the three overdraft charges but told me that I would have to speak with a Senior Account manager regarding the other two. I gave her my contact info and was contacted today (4/15) by Matt Rosinski. After I explained the situation he told me that the official cutoff time was 9:00pm but “unofficially” transfers will usually post the same day if done before 11:00pm. I explained that I had been told multiple cutoff times on different occasions, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00& 12:59, and asked for the charges to be reversed, he refused. I then asked him where it states the cutoff times in the Online Banking Service agreement, which I had already reviewed and found no specific time listed. He said “no it’s listed as 9:00pm”. After a few minuets of looking he says “oh it doesn’t say anymore they must have removed it.” He then said that the cutoff times are “published in an internal document not available to the public.” The online agreement states: “Our Internal and External Transfer Cutoff Times may vary from time to time without notice and may vary based on the state, pricing region or processing system to which the transfer or Deposit Account is assigned in our records. Call us at the customer service number at the end of this agreement for our current Transfer Cutoff Times.” (Section 4, paragraph ii, item 4). Customer service number listed at the end of the agreement: “For customer service call: (800) 788-7000″, ironically the number I received different cutoff times from. I was told four different cutoff times by different people on several occasions. Even with all the points to my case he refused to reverse the charges citing that “The bank has determined that is was not their error.” He also refused to give me the last name of his manager Ruby, transfer me to her or request that she call me regarding this matter. I am stuck with the overdraft fees and STILL do not have a firm confirmation of the actual cutoff time. If a financial institution is going to be unwilling to reverse charges then the cutoff times should be clearly published.

    Your Desired Resolution:
    Reversal of the remaining two $33 overdraft charges that were posted to my account.

    This case will be reviewed by a complaint specialist at the Better Business Bureau, and then forwarded to the business for their response. It is our policy to allow the business 10 working days to respond to your complaint. You will be notified when the business has responded.

    What would you like to do next?
    View the status of your complaint
    Return to the BBB Homepage BBB Privacy Policy

  199. I have money at Wamu/chase and have no complaints so far except the falling interest rates. Although I have found a 5% at Flux Holdings.

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