Wachovia, Bank of America, and Quicken Bill Pay


B

BRH

I presently bank at Wachovia and have been using Quicken to pay bills
electronically for the past few years at no monthly charge. However,
because I'll soon my relocating to upstate NY, and there'll be no
Wachovia branch within probably 150 miles, I have to change to another
bank. For better or worse, I chose Bank of America, and have already
opened a checking and savings account with them.

Unfortunately, when trying to set-up Quicken 2006 to pay bills and
reconcile accounts etc thru BofA, I got an error. When I called BofA
for help, I learned that although electronic BillPay thru BofA's website
is free, BofA charges $9.95/month to link this thru Quicken.
According to the rep the monthly charge can only be waived if I open and
"Advantage" account and maintain a minum balance of $15K in it.

My questions are:

1. Do any BofA customers pay their bills thru Quicken without having to
pay this monthly fee, and without maintaining such a high balance in the
"Advantage" account? If so, what do I need to do to do this, as well?

2. If I can't pay bills electronically for free with BofA, does anyone
have any practical suggestions to continue banking with Wachovia, and
having access to an ATM without having one of their branches nearby?

I use ATM's frequently, and really hate paying bank fees (obviously).
I'd like to continue having my $$$ available to me thru local ATM's, and
also pay bills emectronically thru Quicken with no fee. For the past
few years, I've had my cake and eaten it too, and would like this to
continue somehow.

Thanks!
 
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J

John Pollard

BRH said:
I presently bank at Wachovia and have been using Quicken to
pay bills
electronically for the past few years at no monthly charge.
However,
because I'll soon my relocating to upstate NY, and there'll be
no
Wachovia branch within probably 150 miles, I have to change to
another
bank. For better or worse, I chose Bank of America, and have
already
opened a checking and savings account with them.

Unfortunately, when trying to set-up Quicken 2006 to pay bills
and
reconcile accounts etc thru BofA, I got an error. When I
called BofA
for help, I learned that although electronic BillPay thru
BofA's
website is free, BofA charges $9.95/month to link this thru
Quicken.
According to the rep the monthly charge can only be waived if
I open
and "Advantage" account and maintain a minum balance of $15K
in it.
Just to clarify: the "Advantage" account can be more than one
"account"; that is: it's your cumulative balance in all
"Advantage" accounts that counts. I can't tell you all the
account types that qualify, but checking and savings are both
counted; I wouldn't be surprised if CD's counted, and possibly
brokerage accounts.

And if you have to pay $9.95/month, you should check into
Quicken Billpay.
 
S

Sam Spade

My suggestion, use ETrade. Go on WWW.Etrade.com and read up on them. They
have no brick and mortar building but I consider them super. I use their
Bill Pay Free. I use their ATM at local stores which do not charge a fee. I
also have a local bank where I keep a few bucks in so I can use their ATM.
In short you may have to change your banking practices. My wife has Bank of
America for use as a savings account, again no charge. I consider Bof A to
be terrible in their fee structure period (can't emphasize that enough).
Perhaps at your new location it is better. Good luck. I should add that I
can't justify using Quicken for Bill Pay but again perhaps you can. In
Quicken I have my credit card accounts which I post to when charging and
reconcile when I get their paper statement.
 
R

Richard Scalzo

I use Bank of America but pay the bills directly through their website. I
use Quicken 07 but it's just easier for me to use their site. I then
download all of the data into Quicken every night.

I too was a Wachovia customer in NJ but when I moved up to NH, I closed the
accounts. There isn't any way to remain a customer and not pay the ATM
charges when using other banks. The up side of BofA is that they are all
over the place so getting to their ATM's is easy.
 
O

Oilcan

"Do any BofA customers pay their bills thru Quicken without having to
pay this monthly fee, and without maintaining such a high balance in the
"Advantage" account? If so, what do I need to do to do this, as well?"

Even if others do have free bill payment initiated from Quicken, they
may have grandfather clauses in their agreement with Bank of America
(formerly Nations Bank and others). These would not apply to you.

Bank of America's web bill pay is very robust. You can receive
statements electronically much like Quicken's WEB Billpay service for
free. However the one advantage to Quicken's Web Billpay is that you can
issue payments from multiple accounts - in my case four bank accounts,
two credit union accounts, one brokerage account (with check writing
prevedilages) and even my HELOC. No need for me to log into multiple
sites to issue payments. Quicken's Web Billpay does download payments
immediately after entered, while Bank of America's Web is not a timely -
I believe it is when the payment is sent.

My primary account is with E-Trade Bank and I have a high enough balance
(include brokerage) that they waive my ATM fees. However, they do have
agreements to use other ATMS without a fee (in my area Target stores and
a Chevron station). I use a local institution to make deposits (it takes
up to a week for E-Trade to post by mail) and transfer the money
electronically through Quicken Web Billpay. I only have a deposit every
month or two usually for very small checks. For E-Trade, Express Web
Connect does not work very well with Quicken 2008. Very difficult in
setting up and it will generally stop downloading at some point.

Oilcan

-----Original Message-----
From: BRH [mailto:BRH]
Posted At: Friday, May 23, 2008 11:16 AM
Posted To: alt.comp.software.financial.quicken
Conversation: Wachovia, Bank of America, and Quicken Bill Pay
Subject: Wachovia, Bank of America, and Quicken Bill Pay

I presently bank at Wachovia and have been using Quicken to pay bills
electronically for the past few years at no monthly charge. However,
because I'll soon my relocating to upstate NY, and there'll be no
Wachovia branch within probably 150 miles, I have to change to another
bank. For better or worse, I chose Bank of America, and have already
opened a checking and savings account with them.

Unfortunately, when trying to set-up Quicken 2006 to pay bills and
reconcile accounts etc thru BofA, I got an error. When I called BofA
for help, I learned that although electronic BillPay thru BofA's website

is free, BofA charges $9.95/month to link this thru Quicken.
According to the rep the monthly charge can only be waived if I open and

"Advantage" account and maintain a minum balance of $15K in it.

My questions are:

1. Do any BofA customers pay their bills thru Quicken without having to

pay this monthly fee, and without maintaining such a high balance in the

"Advantage" account? If so, what do I need to do to do this, as well?

2. If I can't pay bills electronically for free with BofA, does anyone
have any practical suggestions to continue banking with Wachovia, and
having access to an ATM without having one of their branches nearby?

I use ATM's frequently, and really hate paying bank fees (obviously).
I'd like to continue having my $$$ available to me thru local ATM's, and

also pay bills emectronically thru Quicken with no fee. For the past
few years, I've had my cake and eaten it too, and would like this to
continue somehow.

Thanks!
 
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B

BRH

Richard said:
I use Bank of America but pay the bills directly through their website. I
use Quicken 07 but it's just easier for me to use their site. I then
download all of the data into Quicken every night.
Can you clarify how to download your data (paid bills, etc) into
Quicken? Since I've always input my payment data directly into Quicken
which seamlessly interfaced with Wachovia, I'm not sure how one would
download any data to Quicken from BofA's website after the data is input
there. Is this done thru One-Step Update?
I too was a Wachovia customer in NJ but when I moved up to NH, I closed the
accounts. There isn't any way to remain a customer and not pay the ATM
charges when using other banks. The up side of BofA is that they are all
over the place so getting to their ATM's is easy.

That's exactly why I chose BofA when I realized that Wachovia doesn't
have any nearby branches to where I'm moving.

One option that I'm considering is to keep my Wachovia accounts active,
continue to pay bills thru Wachovia/Quicken, and just deposit $xxx/month
(via written Wachovia check) into my BofA account so that I have quick
access to cash via BofA's ATMs. Does anyone see any drawbacks to that
approach?

Thanks to all for their input so far.
 
L

Laura

Can you clarify how to download your data (paid bills, etc) into Quicken?
Since I've always input my payment data directly into Quicken which
seamlessly interfaced with Wachovia, I'm not sure how one would download
any data to Quicken from BofA's website after the data is input there. Is
this done thru One-Step Update?
Yes. Use the One-step Update. If you have already entered the data into
Quicken then you will need to match each transaction downloaded with an
existing one. If it has not been entered then you just accept the
transaction.

The actual mechanism for downloading (direct connect vs web connect) depends
on your actual BoA branch.
That's exactly why I chose BofA when I realized that Wachovia doesn't have
any nearby branches to where I'm moving.

One option that I'm considering is to keep my Wachovia accounts active,
continue to pay bills thru Wachovia/Quicken, and just deposit $xxx/month
(via written Wachovia check) into my BofA account so that I have quick
access to cash via BofA's ATMs. Does anyone see any drawbacks to that
approach?
That should work. Setup money transfers bwt your Wachovia and BoA accounts
to make your life a little easier. Some stores only take local checks so you
might also get checks from your BoA account.
 
J

JM

One option that I'm considering is to keep my Wachovia accounts active,
continue to pay bills thru Wachovia/Quicken, and just deposit $xxx/month
(via written Wachovia check) into my BofA account so that I have quick
access to cash via BofA's ATMs.  Does anyone see any drawbacks to that
approach?
I currently operate exactly this way using Wachovia and another FI.
With Wachovia you can execute electronic transfers to/from external
bank accounts. They offer express transfer [one day for a fee] and
regular transafer [three banking days for no fee]. Has worked very
well for me.
Have only been using Wachovia Banking for a few months and am
impressed with their integrated system - can view checking, savings,
brokerage and credit card accounts in one screen - execute transfers,
pay bills, etc. Interfaces with Quicken very well. Another plus -
checks issued by Wachovia are not debited to your account until the
check clears - a new experience for me.
Based on my limited experience, would definitely recommend keeping my
primary activity with Wachovia as you propose.
 
B

BRH

JM wrote:

Thanks for the positive reinforcement, JM!

One option that I'm considering is to keep my Wachovia accounts active,
continue to pay bills thru Wachovia/Quicken, and just deposit $xxx/month
(via written Wachovia check) into my BofA account so that I have quick
access to cash via BofA's ATMs. Does anyone see any drawbacks to that
approach?

I currently operate exactly this way using Wachovia and another FI.
With Wachovia you can execute electronic transfers to/from external
bank accounts. They offer express transfer [one day for a fee] and
regular transafer [three banking days for no fee]. Has worked very
well for me.
Have only been using Wachovia Banking for a few months and am
impressed with their integrated system - can view checking, savings,
brokerage and credit card accounts in one screen - execute transfers,
pay bills, etc. Interfaces with Quicken very well. Another plus -
checks issued by Wachovia are not debited to your account until the
check clears - a new experience for me.
Based on my limited experience, would definitely recommend keeping my
primary activity with Wachovia as you propose.
 
G

Guy Scharf

BRH said:
I presently bank at Wachovia and have been using Quicken to pay
bills electronically for the past few years at no monthly charge.
However, because I'll soon my relocating to upstate NY, and
there'll be no Wachovia branch within probably 150 miles, I have
to change to another bank.
If you like Wachovia, why not continue to use them for electronic
banking?

When we moved from CA to WA, we kept our Citibank account because I
liked the Quicken interface. We continue to use Citibank for all our
bill paying, deposits, etc. We do have another checking account at a
local bank, which we use for writing checks. But almost everything we
pay is done electronically, so the combination works fine for us.

While I don't think Citibank has a physical branch closer than
California, they do have a shared ATM network. There is an ATM at
another local bank that we can use for cash withdrawals with no ATM
fee. It looks like there is at least one ATM available in every city
around us.

Guy
 
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H

Han

If you like Wachovia, why not continue to use them for electronic
banking?

When we moved from CA to WA, we kept our Citibank account because I
liked the Quicken interface. We continue to use Citibank for all our
bill paying, deposits, etc. We do have another checking account at a
local bank, which we use for writing checks. But almost everything we
pay is done electronically, so the combination works fine for us.

While I don't think Citibank has a physical branch closer than
California, they do have a shared ATM network. There is an ATM at
another local bank that we can use for cash withdrawals with no ATM
fee. It looks like there is at least one ATM available in every city
around us.

Guy
Citibank had no real branches in NJ when we moved from LI to North
Jersey. I did the same as Guy did, and added an account at the local
bank next to the train station. Now Citibank has machines in
Seven/Eleven stores, so the problem of getting cash from that account is
almost eliminated. I believe that this should work in any 7/11 store,
but only know for sure in NJ and MA.
 

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