Do You Need to Switch Banks When You Move?

You finally landed that dream job, but it means moving across the country. There’s a lot to think about to make it a smooth transition. While you’re stressing about selling your old home, securing a new one, and dealing with the movers, it’s easy to overlook something as basic as your bank. But it’s important to consider whether you’ll have easy access to your funds after your move, or if a bank switch is in order.advantages-of-online-banks-when-you-move

If you’re banking with a nationwide or international bank, you’re probably good to go, but you should still check to ensure that there are branches or ATMs near your new home that you’ll have easy access to. However, if you’re currently banking with a local community bank or credit union, or a financial institution with a limited regional footprint, there’s a good chance you’ll have to open new accounts in your new location in order to access your money as conveniently as before.

One way to avoid having to uproot your funds every time you move is to bank with an online bank. With an online bank there are typically no branches, so you don’t need to worry about finding a new bank when you move. You can keep the same bank accounts wherever you go. At Bank5 Connect, our customers can access their money, free of charge, from any ATM within the SUM NetworkAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!, and if they use an ATM outside of the SUM Network and are charged a fee, we reimburse them up to $15 per statement cycle.

Here are some other advantages of using an online bank:

  • You can bank anywhere there is an internet connection. On online bank is open 24 hours a day (unless of course, the bank’s website is undergoing maintenance, which typically doesn’t last very long and is done during off-hours). And, in the event that internet service isn’t available, most online banks can be contacted by phone.
  • You have access to real-time account information, such as balances, deposits, and withdrawals, with just a few keyboard clicks. This provides for ease of access and lets you stay on top of activity in your account.
  • Since online banks don’t have infrastructure such as physical branches and overhead costs tied to them, they can usually offer higher interest rates on savings and checking accounts. For online banks with lending capabilities, those lower overhead costs can translate into more attractive loan rates for customers as well.
  • It’s easier to spot and fix problems with your account. For instance, you don’t have to wait for a printed bank statement to review your account activity.
  • You can pay bills using online banking. No more envelopes and stamps and questioning yourself about whether you remembered to sign the check before sending off the bill. Everything is done electronically, with an online record you can refer back to if necessary.
  • Transferring money from one account to another is a breeze using online banking. You save yourself time by bypassing a trip to the bank or going through a complicated process by phone.
  • Mobile apps are available from virtually all online banks to give you even more flexibility. With most online banking mobile apps you can take photos of checks and deposit them into your account, you can pay bills, and you can check your account activity on the go. It’s important, however, to avoid using public Wi-Fi (such as the networks available in coffee shops, hotels, and restaurants) when conducting online banking transactions, as these networks are not secure.

To learn more about making the switch to an online bank like Bank5 Connect, visit our website today!

Send Money Fast With Person-to-Person Payments

There’s no question that online banking has transformed the way we handle money. And you don’t have to look any further than person-to-person payments for proof.send-funds-with-person-to-person-payments

Person-to-person payments, also commonly referred to as “peer-to-peer payments” or “peer-to-peer transactions”, have revolutionized the way people can send money to each other. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend sitting next to you in a restaurant or a family member across the country – you can send and receive funds electronically in a matter of a few days, if not a few hours, depending on which person-to-person payment service you use.

If you have a bank account or credit card, you can use it to make a person-to-person payment using online technology that lets you transfer funds from your accounts via the internet, using a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

There are two basic approaches to person-to-person payments. With one approach, users establish secure online accounts with a trusted third-party vendor (such as PayPal or Venmo), designating which bank account or credit card they’d like to use to transfer and accept funds. The third party’s mobile application or website is then used to send or receive funds. Users typically are identified by their e-mail address and can conduct fund transfers with anyone who is also a member of that same third-party network.

With the second approach, customers use their financial institution’s online banking interface or mobile app to designate which account they’d like to transfer funds from, and the amount of funds they’d like to transfer. The recipient is identified by either their e-mail address or phone number, and they do not have to be a member of the same financial institution as the sender. Once the sender has initiated the transfer, the recipient will typically receive an email or text message with instructions on how to deposit the payment into their account. In some cases, the sender will have already designated exactly which account the money should be transferred to, and in that case the recipient will simply receive a notification alerting them that the transfer has taken place.

Before initiating a person-to-person payment, it’s a good idea to check into such things as fee structures, funds availability, and privacy practices.

  • Fee-related questions to consider before choosing a person-to-person payment service include whether there are charges to sign up, send money, or receive money. At Bank5 Connect, there is no fee for Standard Delivery of person-to-person payments, however fees may be incurred if Expedited Delivery is selected.
  • Check into the service’s policy regarding when funds will be deducted and when they will be available to a recipient once a transaction has been initiated. Some services are quicker than others in this respect.
  • Check out the service’s privacy settings and adjust them to your preferences if possible. And keep in mind that a service provider’s privacy policy may change, so it’s always a good idea to periodically recheck them after signing up. At Bank5 Connect, we take your privacy and security very seriously. You can view the privacy policy and terms of service associated with our person-to-person payment service here.

Bank5 Connect’s person-to-person payment service is called Pay People, and is available through 5Online, our online banking system. To learn more about Pay People, or to sign up for online banking and being taking advantage of person-to-person payments, visit us at http://www.bank5connect.com/home/online-banking/moving-money

 

Make Money with a CD — Guaranteed

Some things in life are a “sure thing,” and a certificate of deposit is one of them. It guarantees that you’re going to make money on your money, no matter what.make-money-with-a-cd-guaranteed

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a financial product similar to a savings account. Where a CD differs, however, is that it has a specific, fixed term and a fixed interest rate. It is intended that the CD be held until the end of the term, when it “matures”. At maturity, you can either withdraw your money along with the accrued interest, or you can choose to roll over the funds into another term and continue saving.

There are short-term and long-term CDs available at most banks. Short-term CDs can range from three months to a year, while longer term CDs typically range from 18 months to 5 years. Typically, the longer the term length, the higher the interest rate.

At Bank5 Connect, we offer CDs with terms of 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months. And the minimum deposit for our CDs is only $500. Our 24-month CD is a special “Investment CD” that provides more flexibility by allowing you to transfer funds into your CD at any time. This can allow you to save even more!

It’s important to point out that there is usually a penalty fee for withdrawing money from a CD before the term is over. Be sure to read all the fine print regarding withdrawal penalties before deciding which term length is right for you.

So, how much can you earn with a CD? We offer a handy calculator that lets you estimate your annual earnings using different average monthly balances and term lengths. Try it out to get a sense of what Bank5 Connect CD product could be right for you.

CDs are considered one of the safest ways to save money with a bank. Unlike stocks and other types of investments where interest earnings can fluctuate drastically or you could be in danger of losing your principal, a bank CD has a guaranteed, fixed interest rate you can depend on, and the money in your account is insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). What’s more, if your CD is with Bank5 Connect, it’s insured past the FDIC limit of $250,000. Because Bank5 Connect is a DIF-member bank, all of our deposit accounts, including CDs, are insured in full. This means that any dollar amount above the FDIC limit is insured by the Depositors Insurance Fund.

To learn more about our CDs, including current rates, go to http://www.bank5connect.com/home/cds. And don’t forget that it’s always a good idea to consult a tax advisor before making any major investment decisions. Happy saving!

Reward Yourself with a Debit Card Rewards Program

Wouldn’t it be great if you got rewarded every time you used your debit card to make a purchase? Notice we said “debit card,” not “credit card,” which traditionally is the type of card tied to a rewards program.AdobeStock_107696212

At Bank5 Connect, our Visa® Debit Card gives you the power to earn points every time you sign for your card purchases, complete a PINless transaction in-store, or use your card to make purchases online. And those points can be traded in for lots of great rewards. We’re talking vacation packages, gift cards, electronics…the list goes on and on.

How does our UChoose Rewards® program work? You earn 1 point for every $2 you spend when you choose the signature option at retailers, complete a PINless transaction in-store, or when you shop online using your BankFive debit card

Want to start earning debit card rewards? All you have to do is open a Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking Account, then go to http://www.uchooserewards.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! and complete the online rewards registration form. You can also redeem your debit card rewards points on the UChoose website. Just click on “Redeem Points” once you’re logged in.

So whether you’re filling up your car’s tank at the gas station, going out to dinner, or picking up groceries, be sure to use your Bank5 Connect Visa® Debit Card. You’ll be on your way to accumulating the points you need to get the rewards you deserve.

You can learn more by going to http://www.bank5connect.com/home/high-interest-checking/overview/uchoose.

Don’t Fall Victim to a Ransomware Attack – Be Vigilant and Alert Online

Bank5ConnectChances are you’ve heard about the recent “WannaCry” ransomware attacks that have affected more than 200,000 computers in over 150 countries. Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming more and more widespread, and Bank5 Connect would like to remind its customers about what they can do to protect themselves online. Here is some advice for helping to avoid ransomware attacks and other similar email phishing schemes.

• If you receive an email you weren’t expecting, be cautious from the get-go. Never click on any links, or open attachments in an email from someone you don’t recognize.

• You should also be on high alert if you notice poor grammar or misspellings in an email, especially one claiming to be from a legitimate company or organization. Quite often, these can be signs of a phishing email crafted by a con artist.

• It’s also common for phishing emails to use time-based deadlines or threats. If the email says you have “24 hours” to do something, or threatens you with jail time or hefty fines if you don’t respond quickly, you should be wary.

• Remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive an email promising you money, prizes, or even a job, you should tread with caution. Never provide personal or financial information to claim winnings you weren’t expecting. Likewise, if you ever receive a check (or the promise of a check) you weren’t expecting, don’t deposit it! Many money laundering schemes use unsuspecting people as middlemen. Remember to never conduct banking transactions for people you don’t know.

• Never provide personal or financial information from someone who requests it via email. Keep in mind that the government, and most banks and companies you do business with will never try to obtain sensitive information from you online (or over the phone for that matter). BankFive will never call or email you to obtain account information. If you receive an email requesting information and you’re having a hard time determining whether or not the communication is legitimate, just pick up the phone and call the company. Just remember to look up the company’s phone number on your own to ensure you’re calling the right place. Don’t rely on a phone number provided in an email that may be phony.

• And remember that if you ever do follow a link in an email, be very cautious of the site you end up on. NEVER enter your passwords, usernames or other personal information on a site you reach via an email link. It’s very common for phishing emails to “spoof” a website in order to trick users into thinking they’re on the authentic one. In reality, they can capture any sensitive information you enter on a phony site. If you’re looking to log into your account after reading an email, you’ll be safer entering the site’s web address directly into your browser, or using a bookmark to access it. This will help to ensure that you’re entering your info on the legitimate site, instead of a fake lookalike.

For more information on how to stay safe online, visit our Fraud Prevention page at http://www.bank5connect.com/home/security/fraud-prevention.

Lost or Stolen Wallet? Follow These Tips!

You just got a promotion, so you and your partner decide to celebrate by enjoying a fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant. The meal is exquisite, the conversation engaging. As the evening winds down, you ask for the check, and…you can’t find your wallet.AdobeStock_78078438

Not exactly the ideal ending to an otherwise wonderful night. But it really doesn’t matter where you are when your wallet goes missing. The feeling’s the same – gut-wrenching anxiety.

But you’re not alone. Almost everybody suffers through this traumatic experience at least a few times in their life. Whether the loss is temporary or permanent, there are ways to cushion the blow.

Once you realize that your wallet has disappeared, take stock of what was in it. If you had credit cards in there, contact the card issuers immediately and report them as missing. By law, if your credit card is compromised, credit card companies can only hold you accountable for the first $50 worth of charges that occur before it’s reported to them. So, if you report your missing card ASAP, before any fraud takes place, you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized charges. Once you’ve reported your card missing, the credit card company will likely place a hold on the card and issue you a new one.

In the case of missing ATM and debit cards, your liability for unauthorized use depends on how quickly you report the loss. If you report the cards as missing before they’re used without your permission, the financial institution cannot hold you responsible for any unauthorized transfers, according to federal law. To report a lost or stolen Bank5 Connect debit card, call us immediately at 1-855-552-2655 during regular business hours. If you need to report a missing card after hours, you can call our 24/7 support center at 1-800-472-3272.

And don’t forget about your driver’s license! You’ll need to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to report the loss and order a replacement card.

If you were unfortunate enough to have been carrying around your Social Security card (or number) in your wallet, you’ll have a bit more cleaning up to do. First, you should report the loss of your Social Security card or number by calling the IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-4490, the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT, and you should also file an online report at IdentityTheft.govAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!.

You should also contact each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) to have a temporary 90-day fraud alert placed on your credit report. This will require creditors to verify your identity before approving any new credit, which can be vital in stopping someone from fraudulently applying for credit in your name with your compromised Social Security number. And luckily, placing a fraud alert on your credit report does not negatively impact your credit score.

It’s also a good idea to file a report with your local law enforcement agency. In the event that you fall victim to identity theft down the road, you’ll likely need a copy of a police report to apply for an extended fraud alert on your credit report.

To help prevent an identity theft disaster resulting from a lost or stolen wallet, security experts suggest keeping your wallet on a “lean diet” – that is, only keep what you absolutely need in it. For instance, one credit card and/or debit card, your driver’s license, your health insurance identification card, and one or two other “must have” items. And remember to NEVER carry around your Social Security card or Social Security number, or any Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Having these items in your wallet is just an invitation to trouble.

Life After College Calls for Smart Financial Decisions

College provides a great opportunity to spread your wings and try new things. But it doesn’t take long for reality to set in once a degree is in hand. That’s especially true when it comes to finances.AdobeStock_61732074

You may have student loans to repay, or you may need a new car to get to and from work. And then there are those pesky living expenses to consider, like rent and food and utility bills.

Sorting through it all can be a challenge. But you can prepare yourself for what’s ahead by drafting a financial blueprint for the future. Here are some guidelines for putting together that plan:

  • Brush up on personal finances. One thing you’ll quickly discover is the need to create a budget. It’s critical to get a sense of how much money you have coming in, and what you can realistically afford to spend each week or month. Maintaining a monthly or weekly budget will give you a firm grasp on your finances and help you decide where you may need to tighten things up a bit to stay financially sound. But it’s also important to establish a plan that’s practical. You don’t want to create a budget that’s so tight you can’t enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Leave a little bit of wiggle room so you can afford to go out to a nice dinner or a get a specialty coffee every once in a while without feeling guilty.

 

  • Protect yourself with adequate medical insurance. You may be young and healthy and ready to conquer the world, but it only takes a slip on the ice or a car accident to bring you back to reality. Life is full of unexpected medical emergencies, and health insurance provides a cushion to cover the ever-increasing costs of recovery from an injury or illness.

 

  • Establish a rainy day fund. What if you do end up in the hospital with a broken leg or lengthy illness? Will you have funds to carry you through until you can get back on your feet? Or maybe your car will conk out while you’re driving down the highway. Will you have enough money to fix it or get a new one? If you have a rainy day fund, you will.

 

  • Avoid racking up debt. Credit cards are typically easy to get and even easier to use. But again, discipline is the key to handling credit. Put a strict limit on the number of cards you have and keep your maximum spending limit at a manageable level, say in the range of $500 to $1,000 per card. You can always increase the spending caps as you grow older and financially wiser. You should also aim to only charge what you can afford to pay each month. Paying off your full credit card balance on a monthly basis will help you to avoid costly interest charges. You don’t want to end up paying hundreds of dollars in interest over a long period of time for something that only cost $100 to begin with!

 

  • Start saving now, and on a regular basis. Get into the habit of putting aside a portion of each paycheck in a savings account. Encourage yourself to save by setting goals, such as buying a new car or a home. And even though it might seem ludicrous to start saving now for a retirement that’s decades away, you’ll be surprised how much you can make on the money you save today. If your employer has a 401k plan, sign up right away, especially if your employer will match or partially match your contributions. And if your job doesn’t offer an employer-sponsored plan, don’t dismay! You can still save for your retirement through an Individual Retirement Account, commonly referred to as an IRA.

The more you can do now to prepare for your financial future, the better off you’ll be down the road. And remember that the financial choices you make today will follow you throughout the years. Best of luck college grad!