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Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 15, 2020 03:43PM
I'd like to open an online-only checking account to make some recurring payments that I don't want associated with my "real" checking account. I want to keep very small balances. I don't trust that once the recipients have my account and routing numbers they won't abuse them.

Looking at various review sites, I have a suspicion that it's hard to go wrong with any of the top ten. Nevertheless, I've got the list down to three.

Has anyone here had negative experiences with Ally Bank, HBSC Direct or Schwab ...?

Specifically, I'm wondering whether you've had issues with overdrafts. I want to make sure that overdrafts are denied outright and not rolled into a consumer credit line with fees.

TIA!



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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 15, 2020 04:06PM
Quote
Sarcany
I don't trust that once the recipients have my account and routing numbers they won't abuse them.

That information is printed on checks.

If you're really that paranoid about who the recipients are, maybe you shouldn't be doing business with them.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 15, 2020 04:08PM
Quote
freeradical
Quote
Sarcany
I don't trust that once the recipients have my account and routing numbers they won't abuse them.

That information is printed on checks.

If you're really that paranoid about who the recipients are, maybe you shouldn't be doing business with them.

I have little choice. I need to join a gym for my health. There's not one within 20 miles that takes credit cards anymore.

My apartment community had a gym and they're opening a new one, but they just reported a permitting problem that will probably keep it closed for another couple of months.

There's a fitness center at the local community center, but when I went to check on it, I found that it's closed until May for renovations. Wasn't that great anyway.

I just need a place to go for a couple of months and need to be able to cancel and not worry about ongoing debits. Every single gym in the region has reviewers complaining about continued debits after they tried to cancel.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2020 04:12PM by Sarcany.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 15, 2020 04:09PM
There's always cash. The stuff is magical.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 15, 2020 04:09PM
I had Ing Direct which was later acquired by Capital One and the account is now called Capital One 360 or something like that. I think they have brick and mortar locations in NYC and other major cities, but I never been in any of them. All transactions I do are online. never an issue with them.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: February 15, 2020 04:15PM
Most places love charging fees for overdrafts.

Is there really a "bank" that will deny what appears to be a valid check/charge without a fee, unless you have closed an account and notarized a statement saying that no more charges are pending?



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 15, 2020 04:15PM
Quote
freeradical
There's always cash. The stuff is magical.

...And is accepted only for tee shirts and soft drinks at these places.



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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: February 15, 2020 07:49PM
We use an AMEX debit card for online checks, just drop in the payee name and amount and they send an AMEX check in your name/account # - no charge.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 15, 2020 08:26PM
>I want to make sure that overdrafts are denied outright and not rolled into a consumer credit line with fees.

As best I know they can't do that unless you've specifically agreed to it.

I've had accounts with Ally and ING Direct (now Capital One 360) and haven't had a single problem. Nor have I had an overdraft.



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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 15, 2020 08:27PM
But for your particular use case a prepaid debit card might be the way to go, if possible.



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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: February 16, 2020 07:42AM
You can set up an Azlo account for free. Don't know about paper checks with them, but you can send payments like any other bank.

[azlo.com]

Bill payment FAQ:

[support.azlo.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2020 07:43AM by Will Collier.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 16, 2020 12:39PM
I want to make sure that overdrafts are denied outright and not rolled into a consumer credit line with fees.

even if the overdrafts are denied outright, I think there will be fees. Banks always find a reason to charge fees.

If you are so worried about overdraft, it seems like you should find another way to pay for these services, maybe prepaid debit cards.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: February 16, 2020 02:14PM
Sorry if I wasn't clear: They will not accept any form of payment other than direct debit from a bank account, for which they require an account number and routing number.



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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 16, 2020 03:06PM
As mentioned, never an issue with ING Direct, now Capital One 360. But I never went negative in my balance, not sure if they would charge any fees. I think they would.

That being said, I would do anything possible to avoid such a service. Whatever the service is, there must be an alternative or you could do without it.

Good luck.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: February 16, 2020 03:38PM
Quote
Sarcany
Sorry if I wasn't clear: They will not accept any form of payment other than direct debit from a bank account, for which they require an account number and routing number.

Not that I have that wide experience but I don't think I've ever encountered that strict a payment demand before. Our local utilities (gas,elec) have similar direct bank account payments, but as an option. By not accepting online cc, debit payments they are just avoiding bank fees and given the numbers, those can be huge. Local PBS stations are trying to wean people off recursing monthly card donations for that same reason.

It's clear whoever it is wants maximum control over their income flow. Hopefully they'll be a bit easier to cancel than was the old aol and a few others.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: February 16, 2020 04:30PM
I would recommend Planet Fitness but there must not be one nearby (although I must admit I have never tried to cancel my $10/month membership, because, well, it's $10/month).

Otherwise, if you're worried about a gym continuing to charge after you're done with them (and yes, a lot of gyms are notorious for this), two things to consider. First, read all the fine print and simply don't sign a contract with any that have contract terms that you don't like. Second, only if you can't pay cash for something like a 3-month or other temporary membership then open a bank account specifically for the gym. Like others have said, I doubt you will find any bank that doesn't charge fees for an overdraft or NSF.

But when you're done with the gym, close the account.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2020 04:36PM by AllGold.
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Re: Looking for input: Negative experiences with online-only checking accounts...?
Posted by: rz
Date: February 19, 2020 01:29PM
Yeah, I think closing the account might be your only option if/when the gym keeps trying to charge you after you've closed the account.

I used to have a free membership to the Y through work, but they discontinued it a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, Y memberships are insanely expensive, so I haven't signed back up. Signed up for a year at a local neighborhood center's fitness "gym", but their equipment is old, and it was crowded whenever I could make it there. Got tired of having to wait for one of their 3 stationary bikes. I think Planet Fitness has options for using a debit card, but you'd have to check. LA Fitness, AFAIK, will only do the bank account. I looked into it last year, and the local ones here have the same issue you're seeing: many, MANY complaints about people following their instructions to quit the gym, only to keep getting charged.
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