Sep 08 2009

My bank failed me

Arg! My brick & mortar bank (for now) is National City. The bank is switching over to PNC and First Niagara. Some branches around here made the switch from National City to First Niagara this weekend, and it has been a mess for me.

Before we got married, Shane opened an account with N.C. back in Indiana. Shortly after we married and moved to Pittsburgh, we turned his account into a joint one and added an additional joint checking so we could have separate debit accounts.

So…his original account is staying with National City and will switch over to PNC in November. However, the one I have has switched this weekend to First Niagara.

What does this mean for me?

I could not use my old debit card this weekend. I have not received a new one. The banks were closed because of the switch and the holiday. I could not access my money.

Further, we cannot log in to any of our accounts on the National City web site. Later today, we should be able to log in on First Niagara. I *hope* that everything will run smoothly and that we’ll be able to pay our bills without issue.

*edited to add:* I was able to set up login info with F.N., but it’s only the checking account and savings accounts that we opened while in PA. The others are still at N.C., but are inaccessible online. It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to move money from Shane’s checking to mine, which is how we have our budget system set up. And, our insurance and charity sub-accounts aren’t linked anymore. ARG! What a headache! *

We received some vague info in the mail about it, and I made a phone call to clarify which accounts would be affected, and what that would mean. I was told that I should receive my debit card by Friday (Sept. 4). I don’t have it yet.

Luckily, I haven’t had to spend money this weekend. On Friday when my debit card was rejected at the grocery, I used my credit card that I rarely use. I’m glad I had it in my wallet, but what a pain!

I’m really annoyed with the whole thing, and it has taught me that having a small amount of cash at home can come in handy for situations such as these. And, it’s helpful to have an alternate form of payment if your card bonks out.

We’re going to look at other brick & mortar banks and we’ll probably make a switch, though it’ll be a hassle. Any recommendations?

7 Responses to “My bank failed me”

  1. I’m a big fan of credit unions, actually. You should look and see if there are any in the Pittsburgh area you qualify for membership in. I’m in the process of switching to one where I live (from one of the banks here), and I qualify simply because of my zip code. Since you’re looking to switch banks, it’s a good time to do some research and see what they have to offer. They tend to have higher savings account interest rates and lower loan rates, too.

  2. What a pain in the butt! When Wachovia failed last year, we were worried that we’d have a similar headache from the switch to Wells Fargo. We haven’t even noticed a difference, though. Our Wachovia debit cards still work, and the service is as good as ever.

    How stupid that they just up and canceled your debit card! It would make way more sense to send you the new ones and deactivate your old card only after you’ve activated the new one.

    Anyway, we really like Wachovia, but I don’t know if you have branches there. Wells Fargo maybe? Or maybe now is the time to try doing most of your banking through ING? I’ve always been happy with their customer service.

  3. Oh, no! It seems like First Niagra is taking over Pennsylvania. (Doesn’t it seem odd to have a First Nigra bank in the middle of PA farm country?) Our bank (East Penn) was also purchased by FN last month. We may stay with FN for check cashing and check writing but switch all of our savings and CDs to ING. FN’s interest rates were awful the last time I checked!

  4. We’ve had both Chase and Wells Fargo. LOVE them both, especially WF. They have even taken overdraft fees off when we called them and asked. Their customer service is always very friendly and helpful.

  5. Credit Union, Credit Union, Credit Union! I just can’t say enough good things about my credit union!

  6. I don’t have any awesome recommendations – other than my personal desire to be with Charles Schwab Bank LOL … I’d probably second the Credit Union suggestion (our local one only has a savings account – *sigh*)

    Good luck…I hope it works out soon for you and doesn’t mess up your budget too badly!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..38 Weeks = Insanity =-.

  7. I’ve been really happy with Citi – if you have those there. :)

    Great online features that make it almost more like ING but you can still have a teller if needed. I’ve never had a problem with fees or closing/opening new checking accounts, savings accounts, and CD’s

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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