I'll be giving Wells Fartgo the same treatment VERY sooooon.
Advantis Credit Union is great. ATM fee refunds (up to $25/month), branches close to my work and home, interest earned on my checking account, and easy to use online banking. woot
ADvantis has the highest interest rate (2%) of any checking accounts in town. I actually opened an Advantis account today and am switching over from Rivermark because of this (whose rate dropped down to .75%). It seems little, but that's about 1$ a month for every $1000 (at least, on my meager savings). Doesn't seem like much, but it really adds up. YOUR BANK IS PAYING YOU!!
I migrated from Chase (formerly Washington Mutual) to Unitus Community Credit Union over the last month. I finally closed my Chase account this past Wednesday. Here are some things additional to consider:

1) Direct Deposits - it can take up to 2 full pay cycles for your direct deposits to properly direct to your new account. Plan accordingly.

2) Letting your payments run through. I made sure to wait a full week after running my last debit card transaction before closing my Chase account to insure all debits had properly cleared. Probably not necessary, but I felt better about it.

3) Make sure to cancel or re-direct all automatic payment systems to your new account. If you're like me and use these services, this can be a bit of a logistical bear. But it's nice never having to remember to pay a power bill.

I chose Unitus Community Credit Union for a few reasons:

1) They have an interesting rewards program on their checking account. You earn points for using your debit card as a credit card (1 pt. per dollar). These points can be redeemed towards airline tickets, consumer products, gift certificates, etc. If you have a credit card, points on that card are doubled.

2) Checking account is interest bearing.

3) Interest loan rates are low.

4) Excellent customer service. I phoned many times before deciding to switch. Prompt, friendly and "real" people.

5) They have many Oregon locations (some with weekend hours).

6) Out-of-network ATM forgiveness plan up to $12 per month. Basically, if you use an ATM outside of the credit union cooperative, up to $12 of feers are forgiven each month. Very cool!

7) ATM services at 711 through the 711 banking kiosks.

8) And finally, Unitus, unlike Rivermark and Advantis, DO NOT charge for depositing/counting change. It's rather silly, but this was what sealed the deal for me.

The downside is that their website, iPhone app and online banking system are a bit lackluster. They're totally useable, but don't expect the same level of online service you'd get from a National bank. Their website did have an interesting feature for search on the CUDL network for car dealerships. I was able to find a car for use with my preapproved auto loan in minutes. The whole car purchase was painless.
The big banks are parasites, but playing devil's advocate for a second, credit unions exempt from Federal and most State taxes.
Also, on Unitus, I found a website that ranked cash reserves for Oregon credit untions. I forget the precise details, but Unitus was higher on the list than Rivermark (the other credit union I considered).
Switched to Advantis today. Waiting to close my Chase account. Was a WaMu customer for ten years. Yee-ha!
I have been really happy with Advantis since I switched a few months ago.
Got my first-ever credit card through 'em too, no frills or anything but it's super low interest.
We're going to switch to Advantis. Scheduling has made it so we haven't gotten around to it quite yet but it will definitely be happening before the Wells Fargo fees kick in. The big banks are all too happy to stick it to their customers after running off with their tax dollars but this is going to backfire on them badly.
Another thing. Wiring the money isn't necessary. Most banks will cut you a certified check for the balance when you close your account. Wiring money can take several business days.
Another option is our really wonderful community bank Albina Community Bank. They do a lot of really great things in the community. I have had account with them for around 17 years and don't know that I have ever paid them a dime in fees. Of course, I don't overdraft or bounce checks but an credit union will charge you for that too.
I've been with Advantis for almost 20 years. I've never had a single problem with them, and their interest-earning checking account is probably the best deal around. They also just opened a new branch at 15th and Fremont, so you can do your banking, go to the library, and eat samples at Whole Foods all in one stop.
I like First Tech CU.. always been good to me.
Rivermark, definitely. I have interest bearing checking, real people answer the phone & help me- they're nothing but great. I'm in the middle of helping my boyfriend move over to them, right now.
Thanks, Smirk, but where's the advice on how to bump your dank?
I've been using credit unions since I was fifteen, and love it. Lots of my friends have bitched about the fees and service (or lack thereof) from their banks, and I've always felt kind of perplexed as to why they don't just switch over.

Right now I use Unitus, and I just want to +1/Like what Fruit Cup said about them. I've been quite pleased with them since I moved back to Portland about three years ago, and have less than no desire to ever join a "real" bank.
I just dumped B of A yesterday! The guy who helped me acted extremely hurt by my decision, which made it extra fun for me.
lol@Joneser. True story:

A few weeks ago, I was taking care of the banking for my store (who banks with BoA), when the teller asked me about my personal account. I told him I wasn't interested, but he just had to push it. So I told them how (long story short) BoA fucked me out of about $400 five years ago so I ragequit, and his reply was "Well a lot has changed in five years!" "Well $400 is a lot of money!" And then he continued to push it! So I told him I would think about it (with no intention to do so) but I was happy with Umpqua. "But that's a small bank." "Yeah, that's what I like about it." Jerkfuck.
Another +1 for Advantis -they are awesome. Wells Fargo recently lost my business after their fee increases.
Advantis rules. I only wish they handled business accounts too.
@Joneser, when I dumped Chase, it was early in the morning. I think my representative had a hangover. He looked pale and disinterested. I had a great time!
Can anyone recommend a bank or credit union in SE that allows its account holders to make deposits and immediately withdraw from that amount? I'd like to dump BofA but the ONE nice thing about them is when I deposit a check at an ATM, I can immediately access some of that money. I am usually broke so being able to take out cash or use the money right away is important to me. I tried to switch to Umpqua but it takes days for checks to go through with them.
Just an FYI, largish banks really don't give too much shit about cheap-o personal accounts versus business accounts and people who meet their minimums. $ for $, a business account is much more profitable for a bank than a personal account.

What BofA is doing by raising their fees is reducing the chafe and the flotsam of their poorer customers, which cost them more money to support. They know EXACTLY what they are doing raising fees: legalized lower-class cleanup.

Having said that, most of these Credit Unions have abysmal online setups, and I wouldn't consider them until they offer more features. Let me know when a Credit Union has dual-factor authentication for online banking.
@ #24: And let me know when said dual-factor authentication prevents the larger banks from being hacked anyway.

There are a number of credit unions with online banking that is comparable to their larger, for-profit brethren. It just takes a bit of research and education on the consumers part.

I'm in the process of wrapping up my relationship with Bank of America after being a customer for nearly 20 years. Cannot wait until everything is done! It's probably on par with divorcing someone.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.