This review is for: Savings
I was attracted by the savings interest rate since it was the highest advertised at the time. Account set up was lengthy, many steps and a lot of security questions, and back and forth with emails and verifications. They even hard mail you a little battery powered token code generator that has to be used to get a new code for each login. At first I though it was fine, plenty of security is positive, although the set up became a little tedious. I ran into a the show stopper when trying to set up external bank-to-bank transfers. Even though the trial deposit to the other bank had already been completed and I had verified it on line, they called me by phone about half an hour after I did the verification. They told me that they have an extra account number verification step where they have to get identity confirmation over the phone from the other bank, and the other bank would not do that without my approval, so they had to set up a conference call with myself and the other bank to take care of that. That was already very irregular, I have never heard of anything like that for any other bank before and it made me uncomfortable. The real sticking point was, the first question they asked me in the conference call was to give them the account number for the other bank. That set off all the alarms. If they even bothered to read the warnings on their own web site home page, you should NEVER give out any account information over the phone. I read that as, no account information for their bank as well as any other bank. They would not back down on that issue and I ended the conference call with the approval not done. After all, how could I confirm in real time if the call was legitimate, or if I was being scammed and the other bank representative wasn't just a confederate sitting at another desk at the same place on another phone line? I later spoke with Clear Sky customer service and was informed that the conference call for verification is their policy, but their representative should not be asking me for the account number over the phone. It's not clear if they consider their own account number special in that regard and don't care about the other bank account number. I checked a few days later and the link was still pending approval so I decided to abandon the account.
A second lesser but common issue I have experience with other banks, the advertised savings interest rate dropped from 1.50% to 1.40% before my account application was even approved. That has become a very annoying trend with the banks, to lure you in with what appears to be a good rate but is actually just a carrot dangling in front of your face with no intention of every actually paying out that rate. I think it's dishonest and weighed in significantly for why I gave them the lowest possible rating.
Posted by bankfox3 -- June 15, 2010
This review is for: Checking
A checking account can be considered the most basic personal finance account that anyone can own. It is an account that is provided to individuals from financial institutions, mainly banks and credit union. Checking accounts are service based accounts and allow account holders to easily access their money through deposits and withdrawals. Checking accounts holders are able to write checks to pay bills or make purchases. With almost every account, holders will be issued an ATM card to access ATM machines for fast access to their money. Most ATM checking account cards also double as a debit card with a credit card logo, allowing holders to conveniently pay for their purchases without having to carry around cash.
Almost every bank and credit union offers customers the option of opening a checking account. In some cases you will need to start the account with a minimum deposit. Many times you can find an account that does not charge any service fees. Many accounts however, have a monthly service fee or a fee if your balance drops below a certain dollar amount.
Most accounts come with unlimited check writing, deposit and withdrawal capabilities. Some however do charge you additional fees when you write a certain amount of checks each month.
It is important to keep track of your balance. Most financial institutions will mail you a monthly statement, but it is wise to keep your own ledger. With internet technology today many checking accounts can be accessed and managed on line. Never spend or write a check for money that you don't have in your account as that will cause you to bounce your account and have to pay additional fees.
Posted by amazonworker30 -- Feb. 23, 2010
This review is for: Checking
I'm trying to open a joint account with Chesapeake bank (the people who run Clear Sky Accounts). I chose their account b/c they're all online, have a decent interest rate, have a decent HEALTH score, $1 to open, I can transfer money easily, etc etc. But the online experience opening the account wasn't fantastic (only on certain screens could I choose to save and finish later) and once I submitted my application I didn't hear from them for awhile. I called them yesterday, and they said there were problems with my driver's license number - which is strange because: 1) they have the correct number on file, and 2) they didn't alert me to that via email or anything. They were super nice on the phone and they promised they'd call me back yesterday. They didn't, so I just now called again. The woman who answered said my account had been rejected and they had emailed me that (I hadn't received an email from them, actually). So I explained the situation to her and she spoke to her supervisor. She said they are reviewing my application (again, the driver's license number seems to be a stumbling block - even though it's correct!) and will call me back today.... So I guess if I don't get a call back today then I won't pursue this further and will open another account somewhere else. I love my other bank (USAA) so maybe I'll just open the joint account with them.... Sad. Redeem yourself, Clear Sky! (If they come through, I'll re-post with an update.)
UPDATE: Was summarily rejected. When I called to ask why, they said the info I'd given didn't match my credit report. So I ordered a credit report to make sure I didn't have incorrect information on it or a problem with identity theft. Everything in it was correct AND it matched the information I'd given them. Not pleased!! But the joke's on them because I'm taking my business elsewhere.
Posted by amydshelton -- June 22, 2009
This review is for: Checking
Clear Sky’s Checking is their an answer to ING’s Electric Orange...
Just like Electric Orange, it’s an entirely paperless checking account - which means all checks must be handled through their free online billpay system - this is good and bad. It’s good for running a streamlined operation, avoiding the hassle of paper, and saving the planet. It’s bad when trying to pay for girl scout cookies or a softball league. It’s a trade-off I’m willing to make. My paper-check writing occasions are few enough and far enough between that that I feel comfortable I could manage with cash - and what girl scout wouldn’t like cash?
The only drawback to Clear Sky relative to ING is that they’re a whole lot smaller - which is apparent in their somewhat limited ACH system with relatively low deposit ($50k/day) and withdrawal ($10k/day) restrictions. The caveat, however (as told to me by one of their CSRs) is that, whenever necessary, I can just call them up for a temporary increase - in either direction - up to $250k.
So although they’re small, they’re working to get over their limitations, and that hopefully means they’re hungry for growth and will be smart about continually to deliver for their customers.
Posted by SgtPepper -- March 17, 2009
This review is for: Savings
I was pretty interested to see Clear Sky Savings pop-up on the radar recently. They're offering a good rate, and a first visit to their website offers the potential for a legitimate internet bank. So I called them up hoping for the best.
And it looks like they might be for real. The Savings account offers a 100% online application, online statements, their own ACH system with up to 3 linked accounts, and only a soft credit check. And with the rates that they’re offering, Clear Sky’s Savings account is a real competitor to ING’s Orange Savings.
However, there are 2 places they fall short relative to ING - 1) Clear Sky has a max account balance of $250k per person. While this won’t affect me, nor the majority of america, I’m sure there’s a few people out there that it matters to and 2) Clear Sky has some real inconvenient limits on their ACH system - at $50k/day for deposits, and $10k/day for withdrawals. *But* - when I spoke with the csr, she informed me that if I needed to move more money - in either direction - I would just have to call in to get a temporary increase up to $250k. And given my experience with their friendly customer service and (lack of) wait times, this is not a problem for me.
Even with a few limitations, I think Clear Sky is a new contender in the online banking world. And once they get their ACH system improved, they could shoot right to the top.
Posted by SgtPepper -- March 16, 2009
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