Forum Highlights: FDIC Reward Checking Rules, New Monthly Fees and More
A reader emailed me a suggestion that made a lot of sense. He suggested highlighting a few of the forum posts on a regular basis. I liked the idea. This will help readers who may not regularly read the forum, and it will help to encourage more forum participation. It will also give me a chance to recognize and give thanks to the DA members for their contributions to the website. I've listed a few recent forum posts on topics that I think may interest the most DA readers. If you don't see your username mentioned this time, keep posting and you will likely see your posts mentioned in future forum highlights posts.
- FDIC's warnings about reward checking accounts: Pearlbrown posted on a FDIC report for banks that covers compliance issues for reward checking accounts. It explains the documentation and disclosure requirements that banks must meet to ensure customers are not misled.
- New monthly fees at VirtualBank: If you have been keeping a small amount at VirtualBank, beware of these new monthly maintenance fees. Darkdreamer4u posted on the email he received from VirtualBank describing the new fees.
- Ally's Loyalty Rewards Program Extended: This rewards CD customers with an extra 0.25% rate when they renew CDs. Cumulus reported that this has been extended again. The new termination date is now March 31, 2013.
- New Jersey Money Market Special: Stormdog123 posted on a money market account special at Oritani Bank.
- T-bill Rates and TAG Expiration: Shorebreak reported on an interesting MarketWatch article which describes how the failure to extend the TAG program is pushing very short-term Treasury rates to near zero.
- Hidden Fee when closing credit union accounts: The minimum balance that you maintain in your credit union savings account may no longer be yours. 51hh describes in this post how Plus4 Credit Union charged him this amount when he closed his Plus4 accounts.
- Bank Review: Mistakes at Salem Five: cdinvestor described the problems he has experienced with his accounts at Salem Five. One of the problems was when Salem Five Direct quietly cut the eOne Savings account rate while it kept listing the promo rate on its public website. Rav was one of the first to warn about this.
- Non-Bank Investments: I often post in the forum on non-banking topics such as non-deposit-account investments. One recent example is my post on an interesting WSJ article, How To Boost Income Without Too Much Risk. I also posted on a USA Today article on the Treasury's complicated method of giving digital savings bonds as gifts.
Discussion Forum Tutorial
If you're not familiar with our discussion forum, the following is intended to be a short tutorial. The forum is more complicated than the old "open thread" post. Please understand that the forum makes things more organized which becomes important as more people leave comments. If you like a simple blog format, you can view the forum using this link. This page shows the latest featured threads in an expanded format that shows the first post of each featured thread. Click on the title of the post to view any comments for that post or to leave a comment. Unlike the blog, the forum requires you to log in before you can comment.
You can get to this Featured Threads page by using the forum menu and clicking on the "Featured Threads" link. Then click on the "Posts" link below the menu. I actually prefer the "Threads" view which shows just the title of the posts along with the number of comments or posts for each thread.
I'm the one who gives a thread "featured" status. I try to select those that I think are most interesting. The "Latest Threads" link in the forum menu will show you all of the threads including ones that haven't been marked as featured. The "Latest Posts" link will show you the latest forum comments.
Posting to the Forum
If you find a noteworthy bank deal or some interesting financial news, please consider posting this information in the forum. This can be done in 3 steps:
- You have to be logged in to post in the forum. If you have never registered, just click the "Register" link on the top right of a DepositAccounts.com page. Note, you don't have to be logged in before you write your post, but it's required before the post can be submitted.
- Find the appropriate subforum. Start at the top of the forum and click on the appropriate topic.
- Click the "New Threads" button at the top of the subforum page, and follow the instructions. For the subforums that are specific to a particular bank, you first have to identify the bank. When you get to the message box, you can start typing your information. Note the icons at the top of the message box. These can be used to format your message. The one I use most is the link icon. This isn't active until you highlight the text that you want to convert into a link. Once the link icon is active, you can click on the icon which will open up a box where you can enter the web address.
Viewing and posting are more complicated in the forum than in the blog, but as I mentioned, this helps keep things organized. For more details on using the forum, please refer to my forum announcement post.