Tag Archives: banking

How To Beat The Big Banks

For those of you still using big banks as your primary bank, I highly recommend using an online bank for all your banking needs. These online only banks can now replace the brick and mortar banks we’re all used to.

While the large majority of my funds are in my online bank account, I do still keep around my big bank. It has a few features that make keeping it around worth it, including very convenient ATMs and transferring money to and from friends and family takes just a seconds.

I really dislike big banks. So while I use their service, I don’t want them to profit off of me, or profit as little as possible. I greatly prefer to give my money to those who provide excellent customer service and don’t charge fees.

There are a few things we can do to reap the benefits from the big banks but avoid letting them profit from us.

1. Always keep the minimum required balance, plus a little extra to avoid missing a payment. Make sure to avoid the fees but don’t keep money sitting in your checking account that could otherwise be kept earning real interest rates. The interest rates big banks offer in their savings accounts are incredibly low so keep your funds somewhere else!

2. Reap rewards without paying fees. I earn hundreds of dollars in credit card rewards each year. So they pay me hundreds of dollars and I get the convenience of paying in credit. Big win for me!

3. Use in-network ATMs. By only using ATMs in the network, you use the banks to access your money get access to your money while the bank doesn’t make a penny, no matter how often you use them.

And if you want to cut out the bank completely, use a Visa Prepaid card with
direct deposit, and you never have to worry about the bank profiting from you again. The process is super easy and gives you full control of your money!

This is how I take advantage of the bank and use them to my advantage while not paying them anything for all the benefits I get.

Do you use the big banks for the benefits without letting them profit?

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Prepaid and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Discover more at https://www.VisaPrepaid.com or view more Visa Prepaid videos at https://www.youtube.com/visaprepaid.

Presenting the Sweating The Big Stuff Prepaid Debit Card

The Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Suze Orman, and now Sweating The Big Stuff. You’ve been asking for it, so now you’ve got it!

I’ve been working on this for months to give users exactly what they want and need, so today I unveil the Sweating The Big Stuff Prepaid Debit Card!
Prepaid Debit Card
There’s a lot of information to get through, so let’s start! Please see the notes at the bottom of the post for clarification.


  • We report your usage to the major credit bureaus!*
  • Only costs $0.25 per transaction for you to use your money! On a $200 transaction, that’s just 0.125%!
  • Free to Refill**

*We do not actually report your usage to the major credit bureaus, but maybe we’ll consider it in the future if it means more money for us!

**As long as you refill from a linked bank account on Tuesday-Friday between 2am CST-6am PST.

What Makes This Card Different

Most cards aren’t endorsed by me or have a big nest egg with a sweatband on them. They’re so blah. Now you get to think of me each time you use your card! Plus, those other cards don’t help me financially, which is why I teamed up with myself to create something with my name on it!


There are however, SOME fees**, including:

  • $1 for pay by check
  • $2 per paper statement
  • $2 per over-the counter cash withdrawal
  • $2 per call to talk to a live customer service agent (after one free call per month)
  • $3 card replacement fee

***These fees are exactly the same as Suze Orman’s Approved Card

Sure you could just go to any branch of your local bank or credit union and have them set up a free checking account and give you a debit card with no fees, but where’s the fun in that? And more importantly, where’s the money for me?

Wells Fargo Offering Free Credit Check

UPDATE: This is being offered again between March 1st and April 15th, 2013.

I like free things. I like free samples at the grocery store. I love buy one, get one coupons for dinner at my favorite restaurants. But I especially love to get freebies on things I not actually want to have, but need to have. And when it comes to a credit check, I’m one of those people who needs to have it.

Free Credit Score

I’ve mentioned before that Lauren is a Wells Fargo account holder. And if you’re a Wells Fargo customer like her, then you’re eligible to receive your credit score – for free – any time between now and November 15th.

It’s part of the bank’s partnership with the American Bankers Association, which is sponsoring its 10th annual “Get Smart About Credit” Day on October 18th. Usually, you’d have to pay Wells Fargo for your credit score or credit report – but not now! Just go in to your nearest Wells Fargo branch and get a unique code from one of the bankers; you’ll use that code to get access to your credit score and report for free online.

Free Credit Check

Wells Fargo is also offering customers a free credit check between now and November. The company has pledged to spend 60,000 hours volunteering their services to educate young adults about their credit. Topics to be covered include understanding how your credit score is calculated, how your credit score impacts your borrowing power, and how to manage your finances so as to maximize your credit score.

Why You’ve Got To Check Your Credit

If you’ve ever gone to apply for a home or auto loan, only to have your application unexpectedly denied, you know why it’s so important to check your credit score regularly. But knowing your credit score isn’t enough – those three numbers, compiled by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, the three credit rating agencies, are just a snapshot of your credit’s health at any given time.

The government’s Free Credit Reporting Act requires those credit agencies to give you a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. There are a lot of companies out there that pledge to give you access to a free copy of that report – remember that catchy jingle for FreeCreditReport.com? – but only one, AnnualCreditReport.com, is authorized by the government to do so. The other “free reports” often come with strings attached, like monthly credit monitoring services or identity theft coverage.

Your credit report is where you’ll see the real dirty laundry of your finances. Habitually late on a loan? Forgot about a credit card you took out in college? Your credit report has it all. But remember – it may also have mistakes, like loans you paid off but weren’t removed by the lender, or may even show evidence of identity theft or fraud. I’ve gone over my credit report annually for years on my own, but the chance to go over it with finance professionals is a great opportunity.

So, if you are a Wells Fargo customer, be sure to visit your local branch in the coming weeks to take advantage of these freebies.