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My Experience Opening FNBO Direct 6% Savings Account - Part 3

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FNBO Direct
Things continue to go well for me at FNBO Direct although transfers are slow (which was expected). My initial deposit finally showed up today in my FNBO Direct savings account. Below is the timeline of my application, account linking and account deposits.
  • Tuesday, May 1st - Applied online. Funded with HSBC account. Selected trial deposits to verify funding account.
  • Wednesday, May 2nd - Trial deposits made but not visible at HSBC.
  • Thursday Morning, May 3rd - Verified trial deposits at FNBO. Immediately received FNBO email stating that opening deposit has been processed and will be deposited within 3 business days.
  • Thursday Afternoon, May 3rd - Received email with account number and instructions for online enrollment. Did the online enrollment and initiated new trial deposits for HSBC and World Savings accounts.
  • Friday, May 4th - Initial deposit debited at HSBC. Able to see trial deposits at World Savings account. Verified trial deposits at FNBO. At FNBO, initiated a small transfer of funds from World.
  • Saturday, May 5th - Able to see trial deposits at HSBC account. Verified at FNBO.
  • Monday, May 7th - Initiated transfers at FNBO from World and HSBC.
  • Tuesday, May 8th - Initial deposit posted into FNBO Direct account. HSBC and World accounts debited.

As I mentioned before, FNBO Direct's electronic funds transfer service (via CashEdge) is slow and you lose at least 2 day of interest. Luckily, I didn't make a large initial deposit since it was debited on Friday and didn't show up at FNBO until Tuesday. One nice thing about the transfer service is that it does provide a status of the transfers. Currently, my two active transfers are showing the status in-process.

Here are some things that I've learned during this process (many from readers' comments. Thanks!):
  • FNBO Direct does not allow for a beneficiary. Joint accounts are allowed.
  • If you're linking FNBO Direct to your HSBC account with trial deposits, you either have to wait two days to see the trial deposits in your HSBC account or you can call the HSBC service rep after one day for the trial deposit amounts.
  • A reader did have success in the FNBO Direct application with the instant link verification with a GMAC account.
  • Readers have reported being able to push funds into FNBO Direct from a bank like GMAC and have experienced no more than one day of delay and loss of interest.
  • You can also fund the account with a check which should reduce the loss of interest.
  • Wire transfers are also accpeted. According to their online agreement, wires after 3:30pm will be processed the next business day. The incoming domestic wire transfer fee is $10 ($15 for outgoing).
  • To avoid losing 2 extra days of interest over the weekend, avoid initiating an ACH transfer from FNBO Direct on Wednesday or Thursday.

For more info on this 6% promotion and FNBO Direct please refer to:
  Tags: FNBO Direct, savings account

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Comments
30 comments.
Comment #1 by wanderer (anonymous) posted on
wanderer
GMAC is pretty good as far as transfer speed: whenever I initiate in or out transfers from GMAC it is done usually in 1 business day.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I would not enter bank to bank transfers at FNBO on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. They don't run like HSBC does. They run a day behind. Tuesday, for example, is really Wednesday at FNBO, and the money will be debited from your sending account on Thursday morning. Be careful unless you want to lose interest over the weekend. Transfers entered Friday through Monday will be fine.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Transferring money into or out of either FNBO or HSBC is like throwing your money into the dark. I have to admit I am a rate chaser. My local banks offer 2% interest at best so I love the online deals. I started with ING. I know Ing holds your money for a couple of days BUT at least you can see it! It says Pending and it shows the actual balance and the balance That will be available when it done pending. But when HSBC offered the 6% I had to go for it. But you have no idea whats going on with your money... for days.
Then finally you can see it, 1 day before it actually goes into your account.
Now with FNBO, I joined up with them, again because of the great 6% rate, BUT... I signed up on Thursday May 3rd, and went through the whole trial deposit, sign-up verifying, yeah yeah... Now it May 8th and My intial deposit left HSBC 2 or 3 days ago, I dont remember, But my FNBO account still says $0.00.
Geez, they take even longer than HSBC.
For me I wouldnt use HSBC or FNBO as a real bank account. I store my money there to make interest, When the rates drop I will move it somewhere else. It takes too long to move money in or out of either of them.
I use ING as an actual bank account. Savings makes a descent interest, not great, but descent, and I can get the money when I need it. ING Checking I use frequently. It makes interest unlike local B&M checking accounts and it is available when I need it, to pay bills and make purchases.

Maybe someday there will be online banks with great rates that allow you to actually be able to use them for everyday life, and Not just a place to store your money.

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Comment #4 by David (anonymous) posted on
David
Does anyone know if it's possible to link your E-Loan acc't with FNBO--or do I have to transfer my funds twice? First from E-Loan to my local bank, then second from my local bank to FNBO. If this is the case, I may end up losing 2 weeks of interest if I don't time it right! It would still be worth it for the extra interest, but I'm into streamlining the process.

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Comment #5 by David (anonymous) posted on
David
Actually, you can't really initiate a transfer frmo FNBO after 3pm on Tuesday without risking the loss of interest over the weekend. After 3 pm they treat the "initiatiion" date as Wednesday.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yipeeee! My opening deposit is showing at FNBO this morning, sitting there happily earning six percent interest. Thank you, Banking Guy. It took a while but was worth it. I did have to execute the re-do on the verify deposits. It's because FNBO does not use CashEdge for the opening deposit, whereas all subsequent FNBO bank to bank transactions ARE via CashEdge, requiring separate verification. Also I agree with other posters FNBO is a day behind on bank to bank. But this is not a problem as long as you know and factor in the delay. I like FNBO and I think it will work out. FNBO is similar to HSBC but there are important differences, e.g., the delay. These are not problems but merely things which must be learned. Failure to learn and understand, though, will result in loss of interest.

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Comment #7 by Terry (anonymous) posted on
Terry
As I stated on earlier posts, I started the application process on May 1st. On May 4 I had my account numbers and trial deposits completed and it was showing that my opening deposit had been taken from my local chacking account. The money had not shown at FNBO yet, but I went ahead and initiated another withdraw for a larger sum. Monday morning (May 7) my opening deposit was showing at FNBO, and the money had been taken from my local bank for the 2nd deposit. Today, Wed May 9, the second larger deposit is showing in my FNBO account, but the status still shows "in progress". Looks like I have only lost interest for 2 days because even though I started the withdrawel on Friday, it wasn't taken until Monday.

My experience has not been too bad so far, but I am anxious to see how long it will take to recieve funds the other way.

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Comment #8 by Terry (anonymous) posted on
Terry
Dave brings up a question that I have: In my limited experience with having funding accounts, I have always been asked for a routing number. How do you guys link online non checking account banks to each other? Like he mentions, I have often moved money out of one and to my local bank, ten back to another because I didn't think I could move money from, for example my AmBoy to the FNBO. Is there a way to do that and save time and a step?

My apologies if this is in the wrong area, but I have never seen anything about the best ways to link accounts.

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Comment #9 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Terry, it depends on the online banks. GMAC Bank, ETrade, HSBC Direct allow and others allow you to link to checking and savings accounts. Also, they don't require a voided check to create the link. The linking is done online often with the trial deposit method. You just give them your other bank's routing number and account number.

So once you have your FNBO Direct account number, you can create links into FNBO from your other online bank accounts.

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Comment #10 by Michael (anonymous) posted on
Michael
Many thanks for your advice on opening this account. I'm both a new reader of the blog and a new investor in online accounts, so the information you provide is quite helpful and reassuring. I started the FNBO application process on Monday, my account has been approved, and I'm now waiting for the initial deposit to hit.

Two quick questions on banking in general, if you don't mind my posting them here: 1) Are there any serious drawbacks (tax, credit, or otherwise) to frequently moving one's money between different banks? Say for instance that I pull all my cash out of FNBO come September and move it elsewhere (or, alternatively, that I keep many accounts open simultaneously). Need I have anything to worry about?

2) I have a fairly large chunk of cash saved up for grad school that I want to keep liquid. Do you think it's advisable to keep as much of this cash as possible earning 6% in the FNBO account while the promotion lasts, or would I be wise to lock in lower (but guaranteed) rates on 6-month and 1-year CD's now?

Sorry if these queries are off-topic, but I'd appreciate any thoughts!

p.s. terry, if you go to the "transfer funds" page at FNBO, then click on "add transfer accounts," you'll see a link for "external investment accounts." Click this to see the online brokerage accounts from which you can transfer cash directly (E-trade and Scottrade are two of the options, but it seems my account with TDAmeritrade can't be directly linked).

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Comment #11 by Terry (anonymous) posted on
Terry
Thanks Banking guy and Michael. I will have to check things out more thoroughly I guess. I just assumed you would need a routing number to add the accounts and have never seen one listed for any of the online banks.

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Comment #12 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Some online banks list their routing numbers. The CSRs should also be able to give you this. You can also get routing numbers from Federal Reserve Financial Services

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Comment #13 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Michael, about your questions, the main drawback regarding moving your money to different banks is the potential loss of interest when the money is being transfered. As mentioned in this post, you can incur up to 4 days of no interest at FNBO or HSBC when you transfer your money. If it's not an IRA, there should be no tax issues for transfering the money. You'll just receive more 1099's from the different banks.

About your second question, this FNBO deal is like a 5-mo CD since they're guaranteeing 6% until 9/28. But it's better since there are no restrictions or penalties on withdrawals or deposits. It is possible that rates could be lower in September so you could do better in a 12-mo CD now (purely from maximum return point of view and not considering liquidity). However, it's hard just to find a 5.5% 12-mo CD. 4.5 months at 6% followed by 7.5 months at 5% (assuming you can find 5% after the promo) would equal the return of a 5.37% 12-mo CD.

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened my account when banking guy did and for my second deposit I mailed a check in (from Florida) on Saturday and today (Wed.) it is posted on FNBO-but it is not out of my interest checking account-so I may be getting double interest-atleast I didn't lose any.

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Comment #15 by Stephe (anonymous) posted on
Stephe
David, I linked my E-Loan account to the FNBO account (using up E-Loan's one and only external account spot) and had E-Loan send my money to FNBO. It showed up at FNBO two days later.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the reader who sent in a check from Florida, would you update us to let us know when FNBO actually debits your external checking account? Thanks.

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Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Same with me, I also linked Eloan to FNBO directly. The trial deposits from Eloan showed up on FNBO this morning but not the opening deposit (opened on 5/5). Should I go ahead and transfer my Eloan funds into FNBO or wait until opening deposit shows up?

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Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If there's a fee of 15 dollar outgoing wire transfer, then how can I withdraw my funds? Cancel the account?

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Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I funded this account with a wire today. Here is some info, I learned.

Wire must be completed by 3:30 pm Central time or you lose a day of interest (I think). You should initiate in the morning and then ping your bank at mid morning to make sure no one drops the ball.

Wire incoming - $10 fee (although they did not debit my account with the fee yet)
Wire outgoing - $15 fee (cheap, compared to other banks!)

Typical banks charge $20 external wire (it varies).. so your typical cost to do a wire is $30 into FNBO

Leaving FNBO it will cost you $15, and most banks don't charge to receive. So the total average cost to use wires to fund FNBO will be a total of $45.

If you are depositing enough $$$ such that 4 days interest is more than $45, then a wire makes more sense. Plus, for me, I am loathe to give money to cashedge (ACH) and worrying about whether it is a monday or tuesday, etc gives me heartburn.

From their FAQ:
You can wire funds directly into your FNBO Direct account for deposit. Wire transfers will not be used to open or initially fund the account; however, after you complete the application process with the initial funding and enrollment, you may wire funds. To wire funds, please provide the other financial institution with the following information:

FNBO Direct
PO Box 3707
Omaha, NE 68103-0707

External Routing and Transit Number/ABA:#104000016

Your account number at, FNBO Direct, which is located on your statement.

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Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm the Florida person. And I checked again at 11:20 PM EDT and the money is now out of my checking account. So it didn't stay long-but again I didn't lose any interest.

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Comment #21 by David (anonymous) posted on
David
Stephe, Thanks for your reply. Yes that is the catch--Eloan only lets you have one linked acc't. I found that out by secure messaging them. They responded within 2 hrs. I like Eloan--I only wish they'd raise their rates. This shuffling around money is a little annoying.

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Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have a question on providing employer. Do they actually call the employer's phone number to inquire? If I don't want to disclose my employer, should I give a fictitious phone number or state Unemployed instead? What are the pros and cons? Thanks.

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Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
It took a full week to move funds to FNBO. Lost 2 days' interest.

Mon May 7 - Initiated transfer from FNBO's web site
Tue May 8 - FNBO initiates the transfer
Wed May 9 - Money leaves my external account
Thu May 10 - Money in transfer and visible in neither account
Fri May 11 - Money shows up in FNBO account with a deposit date of 5/11

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Comment #24 by goldie (anonymous) posted on
goldie
If anyone gets a NEW update on the when or if there will be a beneficiary set up implemented for FNBO savings please post. It would be greatly apprieciated and I will do the same. As of right now, I was told by CSR, the plans are on the table. Not much to go on.

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Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I goofed, and ended up losing close to 10 days interest on my funds. My funds were transfered out of Vanguard MM Fri 5/4, and the process of opening up the FNBO account started 5/2. But I reintered my home checking account Mon 5/7, which took 1 extra day to transfer the $.30 & $.13 into account and verify the amount. So I actually made my large deposit 5/9. Now it won't show on the FNBO until 5/14. Weekend comes into affect. Read it and weep.. I'm now helping my sister open her account and I know all the short cuts.

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Comment #26 by goldie (anonymous) posted on
goldie
To the above posting in goofing with transfers. Look on the bright side and dont feel bad. FNBO is for 153 days - approximate set up = 148 days. HSBC was for 62 days on new money - 3 days for ACH = 59 days. My transfer goof from Amboy (then at 5.35) to HSBC 6.0 promm was around 10 days lost interest. Doing the math, I lost money. If you leave your money in for the full promo, you will not loose. Your sister is lucky to have you.

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Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Get this: I have been UNABLE to open an FNBO Direct online account!! My online application was "declined" on May 3, and, despite numerous e-mails and phone calls to "customer service" and their promises of a call-back and written explanation, I have received absolutely no explanation from them for declining to take my money. I will be filing a complaint with the appropriate Nebraska banking authorities. Perhaps they were unable to verify a piece of information, but they have simply failed to tell me anything - and they now have all my personal data!

Rick

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Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the poster above who wrote: "It took a full week to move funds to FNBO. Lost 2 days' interest.", and who then went on to provide detail. Thanks for your report. You did very well and timed your transfer intelligently. It would NOT have gone well for you, though, had you initiated things on a Tuesday. As I wrote earlier in this thread, with FNBO it is best to initiate transfers Friday through Monday. If you initiate things on a Tuesday, a Wednesday, or a Thursday, your loss of interest will include a weekend. Avoid this if possible. At HSBC, with a Monday initiation, the money would have come out of your sending account Tuesday morning. But at FNBO it takes the extra day, just as you confirmed. I had precisely the same experience and I agree with the timing you reported. Loss of two days' interest is pretty standard with ACH transfers through CashEdge when weekends are avoided. You did well, and you were smart to avoid loss of interest over a weekend.

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Comment #29 by anony-mouse (anonymous) posted on
anony-mouse
To the anonymous poster above me-- actually, Tuesday is okay for FNBO transfers; you won't lose weekend interest (I read in a post somewhere as long as the transfer's initiated before 3pm Tuesday you'll be okay). I initiated a transfer (confirmation email said request received at 2:57pm) on Tuesday and I had the money in my account by the following Friday. Maybe I just got lucky; who knows.

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Comment #30 by Jeoff Wilks (anonymous) posted on
Jeoff Wilks
I've been using Emigrant Direct for a while now (linked to a Bank of America checking account). Interest is a tiny bit lower than FNBO but my transfers in or out *always* post the next business day in both banks.

If you're seeing lag it's probably because of HSBC Direct. That was the worst one I ever tried -- your money disappears for 3-4 days ...

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