East River Bank - Responsive, Friendly, With 1.40% Go Green Checking Interest Without Pitfalls
Philadelphia's East River's still current 1.40% Go Green checking account (min. balance, $100, no stated maximum) remains the top interest-bearing checking account in the tri-state Delaware Valley area. We fled Wachovia two years ago, fearing higher fees and poorer service once Wells Fargo took full command, for East River and have not looked back.
Their Go Green account is NOT a reward checking account, that is, it does not have all the qualifying conditions of an RCA. It might serve East River to add some conditions, as the bank's statement indicates it has very low income other than from interest on loans. (They do not issue credit cards. They do, of course, issue ATM/debit cards on the Visa system.)
To open an account, you need to stop by one of their two offices, both on Ridge Ave. -- in the East Falls or Roxborough neighborhoods -- Philadelphia, and have the usual proper ID.
As with many mostly smaller institutions, East River debit card holders can access the Allpoint system nationally, and in Canada, Australia, and Mexico without any ATM charge. (I assume there is at the very least the 1% Visa fee against the value of foreign transactions.)
It is not quite clear to me why their Go Green account beats their savings instruments. I have asked... only to get basically a smile.
At one point, I needed to cash out on an expiring IRA CD, for a home purchase. Well, wherever the CD document was, ERB did not buy me in paperwork. They e-mailed refs to the forms, which I scanned, completed, and e-mailed back. They promptly transferred the funds to my Go Green account.
Almost exclusively I bank electronically.
Have been completely pleased with the way their bill pay system works. (I do not know which third party processor actually effects the payments.) We have linked up our three credit cards to our checking account. When the card-issuer sends out a bill, we can see it via our ERB account without having to log into the card issuer (that is, we've provided ERB with our userid & password; that was our choice), and pay the card-issuer.
They are a member of the PopMoney system, which allows for direct money transfers bank to bank, as well as to those with e-mail accounts, etc. Whenever I have had a question about an online service, their IT manager, Mr. Leslie, fairly rapidly responds with real assitance. What a gem he is -- and he seems typical of ERB service. A good bank with which to deal.