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Old 19.09.2007, 13:56
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To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

In light of some questions on a recent thread I wanted to start a new post making the Americans on the forum aware of the benefits available via Wamu Bank (formerly Washington Mutual). This is great for ex-pats particularly, if you need to keep a US account while in Switzerland for payment etc.

They're checking accounts are 100% free. No fees at all.
- free money withdrawal from any ATM anywhere (although as with any bank subject to 1% foreign currency conversion fee)
- free international wire transfers
- 1 free overdraft protection/year
- Call them as much as you want from overseas collect.

Anyhoo, I think they're a great bank and if you're tired of paying to get access to your own money they're an ideal solution.

Cheers.
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Old 19.09.2007, 14:25
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

You should send Wamu this post. You could maybe get even more free stuff for all the FREE advertising you are doing fro them. I liked them before I knew all this stuff, now I really really like them.
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Old 19.09.2007, 14:27
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

I can't help it. It's almost like a fault of mine. So few companies treat their customers the way they should be treated so if I find somebody I like I usually tell everybody about them. Conversely, if there is a company I don't like I try and get everybody I know not to do business with them.

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You should send Wamu this post. You could maybe get even more free stuff for all the FREE advertising you are doing fro them. I liked them before I knew all this stuff, now I really really like them.
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Old 19.09.2007, 18:10
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

Like Chemgoddess, I try to share the good and the bad. In my case, my mother's accounts were with WAMU when she died and I was treated so insensitively by their clerks when I went in to deal with them. It was awful and I swore I would never do business with them myself and would spread the word about them. Maybe they are fine for ordinary bank stuff (don't know as I didn't bank there myself) but god help you if you have any thing other than a deposit or a withdrawal and actually need some assistance. One of the most difficult in my life made much worse than it had to be thanks to them.
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Old 19.09.2007, 20:06
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

I'm really sorry that that happened to you. I have no idea what happens when someones relatives die, although I do know that in that last year or so their practices have changed considerably. Not sure what to attribute that to but. . . . .. . .I'm really sorry about your experience with them. Could it have just been an inconsiderate employee? Or did it happen a while ago?
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Old 19.09.2007, 20:27
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

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Like Chemgoddess, I try to share the good and the bad. In my case, my mother's accounts were with WAMU when she died and I was treated so insensitively by their clerks when I went in to deal with them. It was awful and I swore I would never do business with them myself and would spread the word about them. Maybe they are fine for ordinary bank stuff (don't know as I didn't bank there myself) but god help you if you have any thing other than a deposit or a withdrawal and actually need some assistance. One of the most difficult in my life made much worse than it had to be thanks to them.
I'm sorry for the way you were treated, but do you think that any other institution will treat you better?
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Old 19.09.2007, 23:58
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

this is useful info, and frankly i am distressed at the inability of north american banks to deal with transnational circumstances, at least for middle class people (i have no doubt that the wealthy who use the private banks, with clouded windows in lugano for example are treated quite nicely). i deal with tdcanadatrust and they are lacking, i also deal with citizens bank, and US bank. jeeeez, all i can think about now is the freaking accountant i will need for tax season (i am open to suggestions for accountants who know canadian, american, and swiss tax law). in fact, i really need suggestions....
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Old 20.09.2007, 09:38
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

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I'm sorry for the way you were treated, but do you think that any other institution will treat you better?
Yes, actually, I do.
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Old 20.09.2007, 13:11
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

I always get charged transfer fees and pointless little charges with my WaMu checking account. I liked them while I lived in the US, but I'm growing to hate them now that I've been here.

Also, their entire business model (a successful one at that) is centered around charging 30 bucks for a 50 cent overdraw. That's why the checking is "free", and they don't offer the option anymore to have charges denied if there's not enough funds, so they can continue to collect the overdraft charges. The company is a damn nightmare for poorer folks in the US who get drawn in by the "100% free checking" spiel and end up paying hundreds a year in fees for miniscule overdrafts.

They've also been accused of altering the order of charges in order to maximize overdraft fees. If you have, say 50 bucks in your account, and you make a charge for 5 dollars, 2 dollars, and 55 dollars, in that order, they'll post the 55 dollar one first so you overdraw 3 times, instead of just the one time you would have overdrawn had the charges been done in order.

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I'm sorry for the way you were treated, but do you think that any other institution will treat you better?
I also have a Credit Union account, and I couldn't be happier with the service. So yes.
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Old 20.09.2007, 13:18
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

You should change your tagline.

dave

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In light of some questions on a recent thread I wanted to start a new post making the Americans on the forum aware of the benefits available via Wamu Bank (formerly Washington Mutual). This is great for ex-pats particularly, if you need to keep a US account while in Switzerland for payment etc.

They're checking accounts are 100% free. No fees at all.
- free money withdrawal from any ATM anywhere (although as with any bank subject to 1% foreign currency conversion fee)
- free international wire transfers
- 1 free overdraft protection/year
- Call them as much as you want from overseas collect.

Anyhoo, I think they're a great bank and if you're tired of paying to get access to your own money they're an ideal solution.

Cheers.
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Old 20.09.2007, 13:36
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

Chemgoddess, what type of account do you have? I just checked, I get charged 10 USD for every incoming international wire transfer.
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Old 20.09.2007, 13:51
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

I know it's free outgoing wire transfers. Which for me is perfect as I have no need to transfer money to my Wamu account only from. But also, if you've had your account for awhile, this whole totally free checking thing is relatively new (last year or so) so you might need to call and have them update your account. But even with a $10 incoming fee it's still a sh*t ton cheaper for transfering money around considering most banks charge $45 for out-going wire transfers.

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Chemgoddess, what type of account do you have? I just checked, I get charged 10 USD for every incoming international wire transfer.
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Old 20.09.2007, 13:59
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

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Chemgoddess, what type of account do you have? I just checked, I get charged 10 USD for every incoming international wire transfer.
I just called them Yesterday, I also have free checking but not the new free checking. All you have to do is call tell them this info and you will have the same acct # same debit card but free atm withdrawls, free wire transfers outgoing from the U.S. and also I have rewards on my debit card now(do not know if you have this Chem) but every year I will get 3% back on all my purchases with my debit as a credit to my account. And 1 time a year no overdraft charge. So enough said.
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Old 26.09.2007, 15:33
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

Can someone tell me if the free outgoing wire transfers from the USA can be done online with WAMU? I was recently in the market for a new US checking account so I called them and was told that ex-USA wire transfers can only be done through a branch teller.

After hearing this, I instead opened a free Investor Checking account at Schwab. No minimums, no fees, 4.25% interest earned on any balance, all ATM fees are refunded (even foreign), free checks, free online bill pay, no fee overdraft protection, free check card, FDIC insured, free ACH transfers to other US bank accounts, and plus it's great if you already have an IRA or use their investment products. Everything in one easy account.

You can do ex-USA transfers online, but the fee is $25. I mostly transfer money to the USA and incoming wire transfers (domestic or forgeign) are not charged a fee. This already is saving me $200/year compared to my old bank's charge of $10 for incoming wires.

I did the entire application online using my parent's US address and everything arrived within a week. Their customer service has been fantastic. I was assigned a personal concierge with his direct number if I every have questions and they accept collect calls from abroad.

I've read other reviews about the Schwab checking account and they treat their bank customers *really* well and don't charge all these ridiculous fees in order to keep you hopefully using their brokerage products. A great choice even if you only use them for a checking/savings account.
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Old 26.09.2007, 15:38
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

No, you can not do an online wireless transfer for free. Someone in the US has to be on your account and they have to do it in person. And I believe Wamu charges a $10 incoming fee although I have no idea because all my money comes this way.

Schwab sounds good though, I might wanna look into as I have a fare amount of money sitting in savings that could be making me money at 4.25 %.

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Can someone tell me if the free outgoing wire transfers from the USA can be done online with WAMU? I was recently in the market for a new US checking account so I called them and was told that ex-USA wire transfers can only be done through a branch teller.

After hearing this, I instead opened a free Investor Checking account at Schwab. No minimums, no fees, 4.25% interest earned on any balance, all ATM fees are refunded (even foreign), free checks, free online bill pay, no fee overdraft protection, free check card, FDIC insured, free ACH transfers to other US bank accounts, and plus it's great if you already have an IRA or use their investment products. Everything in one easy account.

You can do ex-USA transfers online, but the fee is $25. I mostly transfer money to the USA and incoming wire transfers (domestic or forgeign) are not charged a fee. This already is saving me $200/year compared to my old bank's charge of $10 for incoming wires.

I did the entire application online using my parent's US address and everything arrived within a week. Their customer service has been fantastic. I was assigned a personal concierge with his direct number if I every have questions and they accept collect calls from abroad.

I've read other reviews about the Schwab checking account and they treat their bank customers *really* well and don't charge all these ridiculous fees in order to keep you hopefully using their brokerage products. A great choice even if you only use them for a checking/savings account.
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Old 26.09.2007, 19:21
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Re: To the Americans: Wamu Bank is an ex-pats best friend

I remember Wells Fargo did this to me years ago...

Thought it was MORE than coincidental that the largest check just HAPPENED to come in first, allowing a bunch of smaller ones to overdraw

WAMU/WF/BofA...they all suck in their own way...

Best way to avoid them...GET RICH!

fduvall

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I always get charged transfer fees and pointless little charges with my WaMu checking account. I liked them while I lived in the US, but I'm growing to hate them now that I've been here.

Also, their entire business model (a successful one at that) is centered around charging 30 bucks for a 50 cent overdraw. That's why the checking is "free", and they don't offer the option anymore to have charges denied if there's not enough funds, so they can continue to collect the overdraft charges. The company is a damn nightmare for poorer folks in the US who get drawn in by the "100% free checking" spiel and end up paying hundreds a year in fees for miniscule overdrafts.

They've also been accused of altering the order of charges in order to maximize overdraft fees. If you have, say 50 bucks in your account, and you make a charge for 5 dollars, 2 dollars, and 55 dollars, in that order, they'll post the 55 dollar one first so you overdraw 3 times, instead of just the one time you would have overdrawn had the charges been done in order.



I also have a Credit Union account, and I couldn't be happier with the service. So yes.
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