I’m a huge fan of online banks, as they typically offer great rates and services that you just can’t get at your local branch. It’s disappointing that Perkstreet has decided to shut down, but what alternatives are available?
Perkstreet was unique as it’s strongest feature was the rewards debit card, allowing you to earn gift cards without the risk of racking up a huge credit card balance. Unfortunately, the company announced today that it is ceasing operations and encouraging users to move their money elsewhere (some accounts that were opened on the Bankcorp Bank system can remain open). It’s possible the Durbin Amendment may have had some influence on the program’s demise, as the result of this bill’s passing caused many financial institutions to discontinue their debit rewards and free checking programs.
So what alternatives exist? Check for eligibility in a local credit union, which traditionally have lower fees and good rates for loans and savings accounts. Some may even offer a rewards program of their own, although these are typically only available on credit cards.
I’ve had a good experience with Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct). They’re savings rates are higher than any of my other bank accounts, and their checking account offers free bill payer and remote deposits through their mobile app and website. Paper checks are available upon request for a fee. Also, be sure to check our link for a special cash bonus for opening an account!
In my opinion, online banks are still the way to go, but who says you’re limited to one institution? If you’re committed to the brick and mortar branch, go ahead and find a local credit union that has low minimum balance requirements and find out what is required to avoid an inactivity fee. With Capital One 360, you can establish a link between them and your local account, allowing you to easily transfer funds between the two. You can then have the best of both worlds: an online bank with great rates and the availability of local branch!