This review is for: Money Market
Rates aside, this is about as good an account as you could hope for.
I love love love being able to withdraw money from any ATM I want and get fees reimbursed. And it's a money market account, so obviously it comes with paper checks and checking. And it's got good overdraft protection, which I appreciate (though if you're using overdraft protection, you're under the minimum account balance and paying $10 a month for your account, which you shouldn't do).
One of my big peeves with online banks is depositing money. Most of the time I don't mind waiting a few days for my mailed-in deposit to go through; but sometimes you really need that money quickly. USAA has got the unrivaled "remote deposit" option (take photos of the check on your iphone, email the photos, voila), which State Farm does not. But State Farm has probably the next best thing, free FedEx overnighting of deposits to the bank. Very cool.
The obvious drawback to this account (and the reason it only merits four stars) is the interest rate. Oddly, you'd have to have $50K in this account to earn the same interest rate that you can get on State Farm's Interest Checking account with $2.5K. Weird. But it's not a terrible rate; to my knowledge, only Ally has a higher interest rate with roughly the same feature set. So if State Farm gets their interest rate above Ally and keeps it there for some time, State Farm would be the best Money Market account out there. And even now it's not too shabby.
Posted by lastgasp11 -- Sept. 29, 2009
This review is for: Interest Checking
This is a pretty solid account. It's got all the little perks and features you'd want (ATM reimbursements, bill pay, overdraft protection, etc.). And they've apparently offered free Turbo Tax in the past for their customers (I don't know if that's an every-year thing or not).
Not that this isn't obvious from this bank's page on bankfox, but it's worth remembering that you only get the 1.55% interest rate if you have more than $2500 in the account. That's a pretty good interest rate for a checking account, so if you've got the money it makes sense, but if you don't, you can get interest elsewhere with a lower balance.
I don't by any means *know* that this is the case, but I'd imagine that they'd have fairly consistent rates over time, as I assume they use this bank account to drive customers to their (presumably more profitable) insurance products.
And while I don't have a whole lot of experience in this arena myself, my understanding is that their customer service is somewhere between satisfactory and good.
Posted by tubaTHEface -- Sept. 18, 2009
This review is for: Checking
If you're interested in a checking account from State Farm then the only reason to get this "plain" checking account instead of the Interest Checking account is if you think you can't or won't keep $500 in the account which is the balance needed to avoid the $10 monthly fee (in the Interest Checking). And the benefit with the Interest account, of course, is that you start to earn interest at $2,500.
But, like I said, if you're just keeping minimal cash in the account (although at least $100 because otherwise you'll be paying the $10 monthly fee) then this account is great. You get almost all the same features as the Interest Checking (minus the interest) but including ATM fee rebates up to $10 a month, which should be plenty with careful planning. Of course there is a direct deposit requirement to get this rebate, but c'mon, who doesn't get their checks direct deposited into their accounts? Even unemployment checks can be direct deposited!
Posted by yoyowalka -- Sept. 18, 2009
This review is for: Savings
If it weren't for the tiered interest rates, I'd say this is a good account.
The account has online bill pay, debit card, AND they reimburse 10 of ATM fees per month which is great. Because of this I don't need to worry about which ATM I use, which is very nice.
The monthly service fee may bother some people, but I don't think it's a problem, because I just pretend that 100 is zero and then never go below that - and 100 is not too much to keep in the account.
The problem for me with this account is the different interest rates for the different amounts of money in the account. I know a lot of banks do it, but for some reason I find it really annoying. Because my balance changes, I can never tell which rate I should have, and then am never sure when I see my statement if the bank is playing sneaky interest rate games or if they've changed the rate.
If State Farm changed this to a single interest rate for the entire account, I'd like it a whole lot more.
Posted by casarosa -- Sept. 16, 2009
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