Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Today, our team is taking time to spend the holiday with family and friends, but we’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’re thankful for (related to financial products of course)!
Nick: Thankful for CFPB, Credit Unions and Startups
As you know, we launched MagnifyMoney in May of this year. Before launching the site, we spent countless hours reviewing financial products and tools to help people save money.
During the past year, a few things have really stood out for me:
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Complaint Service. There are a lot of times when the government creates unnecessary bureaucracy or just wastes taxpayer money building bridges to nowhere. But the CFPB Complaint Service is a true public service. We have all been lost in the complex maze of a bank’s customer service department (even people who worked for banks are not immune to these service black holes). With the CFPB complaint service, you have the ability to get your complaint heard. Two members of the MagnifyMoney team had problems solved by the CFPB. It is truly a great service, and I am thankful it exists.
- Credit unions are looking to grow. Because of their unique structure (credit unions do not have shareholders), they can afford to charge much lower interest rates. Thankfully, over the past year, we have seen credit unions make it easier for people to join, and they have created truly incredible products to help people with credit card debt save money. Some of the great offers we have seen this year include 99% for the life of the balance with no balance transfer fee – which is amazing. I just hope the credit unions continue to invest in better digital experiences so that more people can take advantage of their offers.
- Startups are looking to make bank accounts cheaper and easier to use. I have learned the
name of many small, Internet-only banks that are quietly looking to change the way we bank forever. They are innovating, eliminating unnecessary fees, paying 100x higher interest rates and creating amazing digital experiences.
I am hopeful that, over the next 12 months, we will see even better deals for consumers. And we look forward to sharing those deals with you at MagnifyMoney.
Erin: Thankful for Mobile Deposits and No ATM Fees
As an early adopter of online banking, I’ve been cashing checks with my smartphone since 2011. I probably would have tried earlier, but I was far from an early adopter to the smartphone.
I haven’t needed to step foot in a bank branch for personal deposits for years and I’m thankful I can save my time (and in some cases gas money) by depositing checks and handling my financial life from the comfort of my home, or office or wherever else I’m logged into a secured wireless network.
Speaking of Internet-only banking, I’m grateful for ATM fee reimbursement. It further nullifies the need to go into a bank branch, because I can use any (non-sketchy) ATM and ignore the obnoxious alert that I’ll be charged $3. I can ignore extra fees because my bank reimburses me! No need to fret about losing some of my money to a giant, monster, mega bank.
Just remember, loyalty doesn’t pay. Always be on the look out for the best deals. If your bank used to reimburse ATM fees, but plans to stop the practice — it’s time to switch. If your bank charges you $12 to move money from savings to check to cover an overdraft fee — it’s time to switch. If your bank only offers 0.01% interest on your savings account — get out of there! But probably not right now. Right now you should go enjoy turkey, pumpkin pie and time with your loved ones.