Money Poll #24: Bank Accounts

As I was updating Quicken over the weekend, I got to thinking about how much more complex our finances are than they used to be. We now have multiple retirement accounts, a non-retirement investment account, and five different bank accounts. Yep, five. Our local checking account, our busines checking account, and three online savings accounts (Emigrant Direct, HSBC Direct, and ING Direct). In reality, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. We really only use one online savings account at a time (currently HSBC Direct) and leave the others open for rate-chasing. Anyway, all of this got me to wondering how typical (or atypical) our situation is, which brings us to Money Poll #24…


As always, I invite you to share details in the comments section.

Note: If the poll doesn’t work properly in the RSS feed you’ll have to click through. Sorry.

23 Responses to “Money Poll #24: Bank Accounts”

  1. Anonymous

    I have four.
    1.A credit union checking account from California where I used to live. I kept this for emergency money.
    2. A credit union checking/savings where I live now.
    3. ING savings/cds which I signed up for almost 2 years ago. I just got an ING checking, moving most of the money from my California credit Union, only because of the 3% interest.
    4. And Finally HSBC, I just signed up for this due to the 6% promotion, but the setup process takes forever.
    Now I will see who is better, ING or HSBC. ING rate has been staying put while HSBC is offering a great rate, but ING is easier to use. Soooo, Anyone got any better ideas??

  2. Anonymous

    I found that I had more than 10 accounts (not including company accounts), so I decided to concentrate my cash in two or possibly three at most, as most of the cash was just sitting in accounts with 0.5% interest. So I upgraded most of the cash. Now, I’m about to close my hsbc account for the same reason. Their cds here are lower than citi’s, and the rates are lousy for cash.

    Mmm. So now, it’s only three.

  3. Anonymous

    Well this is a little comforting to see so many other people have too many accounts like me.

    My wife and I are up to 14 checking and saving accounts now. Sign up bonuses and chasing rates are the main culprits. 22 credit card accounts with 10 currently involved in arbitrage schemes.
    Add to that several brokerage accounts and several more at

    Quicken now takes about 15 minutes to update. It’s madness I tell you. Somebody, please make me stop!

  4. Anonymous

    I am wondering if I have too many bank accounts. Maybe someone on here can help me see if I am going overboard. Here is what I got and why I have it open:

    personal checking – discretionary money (groceries/etc)
    bills checking – account to keep money in to make sure bills get taken care of.
    local savings – 1k to keep around in case of emergencies (when credit cards wont do)
    ing direct – all extra money goes here for high interest
    Credit Union savings – keep around to stay active with bank in case I need a loan (mainly car). They offer really good rates.
    Credit Union checking – so I can easily get money out of the CU savings account.

    The main problem comes when I pay off the CC each month. I keep a spreadsheet of where each transaction should come from (personal,bills,savings) and then make payments from each account to the CC. So I make 3 payments to the CC each month.

    Is it too much?

  5. Anonymous

    By myself, I have a brick & mortar bank (to keep my sanity), a credit union (for great loans if ever needed – probably for a car in the future), and an online bank (for the interest rate). My father and I hold two joint accounts for emergencies, and my mother and I hold a joint account so she can still baby me. No problem there. She’s my Mom!! 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    We have three savings accounts (really “labels” under one joint account) at our credit union, and our joint checking account. The three savings accounts are a “tax escrow” account, a general savings account, and a loan payment and payoff account we use for hard-money lending.

    Our e-fund is in another CU account with my wife as primary; we did this originally since we occasionally have over $100K in our CU accounts.

    The CU pays 5% on its savings accounts and has a local branch, which I use every month or so for wires and paper check deposits.

  7. Anonymous

    BofA checking-Joint
    BofA savings-Joint
    USAA checking-Wife
    USAA checkin-Me
    USAA money market-me
    USAA savings-me
    Penfed savings-Me
    Igobanking savings-Joint
    ING savings-Joint
    citi savings-wife
    citi checking-wife
    citi savings-me
    citi checking-me
    grand bank of texas savings-me
    Wachovia savings-me
    Foreign account savings-wife

    Total 16

  8. Anonymous

    1. Primary operating account. Checking at NBD/FCNBD/BankOne/Chase/JPM-Chase/whatever the fsck they’ll call themselves after the NEXT merger…no interest, but no fees for anything either, and all unspent funds are transferred elsewhere at the end of the month.

    2. Primary personal savings account at ING. This is where the “pay myself first” automatic transfer goes at the beginning of every month, and also where the “whatever’s left over” manual transfer goes at the end.

    3. Joint savings account with my fiancee at ING. Not much in this right now…will probably replace #2 account with it after we’re married.

    4. Joint savings account with my fiancee at my mortgage bank. This has $10K and change in it, but it’s frozen as additional security on the mortgage. Will be unfrozen and moved to someplace paying better interest when we refinance. (It gets released at the end of August, but we’ll be refinanced before the end of March.)

    5. Old savings account at Comerica, from when I lived in Michigan. This still, IIRC, has my mother’s name on it as well as mine, just to show how old it is. No clue how much money is in it.

    6. “Demand draft” (checking) account from Suburban Family Credit Union. This might actually be closed now…I know I haven’t touched it since late 2002, and it never had much money in it. When I lived less than 90 minutes away from the nearest ATM that it’d give me free access to, I used this in place of the #1 account.

    7. Business checking account with Washington Mutual, for the video-production business I’m in the process of starting. This account was only opened this month and only has $500 in it, but (hopefully) will soon see a great deal of activity, once I finish the recruiting-and-shooting-and-editing phase and thus have some product to sell.

    8 to [UNDISCLOSED]. Various accounts for my non-US-based businesses. Used to receive deposits from overseas clients and shelter them from US taxes as assets of an offshore corporation, rather than income of a US citizen. Which is all I’m willing to say in public about them. (For the record, yes this is legal. For me. In my situation. But my situation is somewhat unique, and I don’t reccomend that anyone else try it unless they know exactly what they’re doing, and have obtained competent advice from both an attorney and an accountant who are familiar with such matters.)

    So yeah. Lots of bank accounts. I’ll eventually consolidate some of them (for example, the mortgage reserve account will go away as soon as we refinance to a more lenient mortgage lender, and the personal ING account will probably be replaced with the joint ING account after we’re married, at which point there’ll be no point in keeping the older one open), but my life will probably always contain a profusion of banks.

  9. Anonymous

    All total, I’ve got 8 with an eye to opening more real soon.

    ING – 1 Savings, 1 “Electric Orange” checking
    Emigrant – 1
    HSBC – 1 (If they ever mail me my password, this will be my primary savings account for now.)
    WaMu – 1 Checking (formerly my primary), and 1 Savings @ 5%.
    Bank I work at: 2 checking, 1 of which is my primary.

    I also plan to open a DDA account at a local credit union since I do plan on buying a house some day, and another at BoA since I have a code to get $75 for opening an account.

  10. Anonymous

    (1) joint checking at the credit union, which holds a few CDs and gets enough direct deposit to pay the car loan; (2) joint checking at the local bank, most used; (3) money market account with the retirement funds, just accrues interest; (3) new online savings with ING, love it — and thanks for helping me get the $25 bonus, Nickel.

  11. Anonymous

    1 local B and M, DD and pay bills from here
    4 online for bonuses /rates (Ing,HSBC, Etrade,Citi)will close citi soon
    1 money market with investment account
    3 old, unused with NFCU (inertia,keep to asscess CD’s)
    1 at penfed so could open cd’s
    1 other , same reason as Penfed

  12. Everyone please note that I’m asking about bank accounts here, not retirement accounts… As I said above, we have numerous accounts of various types, five of which are bank accounts of some sort (checking or savings). I have modified the text of the question to make this more clear.

  13. Anonymous

    Well, I have the checking at the local bank, and a savings account there I really should close (balance=$.03). There’s the HSBC wedding savings fund, and my Roth IRA. Then I have custody of a Coverdell for my goddaughter.

    I’m thinking about opening a taxable investment account, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. And I’ll start contributing to a 401k after the wedding (before you yell, there’s no employer matching contribution that I’m missing out on).

    So right now, five, but it’ll be seven by the end of the year.

  14. Anonymous

    Four: Checking (interest-bearing), taxable savings, Roth, & traditional IRA. All with the same institution, all online. Does not include employers 401k or credit-card accounts.

  15. Anonymous

    Let’s see. Household checking and linked savings (std and money market) at my credit union, ING account linked there, too. Checking and savings for personal stuff (vacation and ‘fun money’) – Minor amounts in that one, but I keep it open to have safety deposit box, check cashing privlidges at that bank – it’s in the building where I work and very convienent.

    Rollover IRA account (NYL), Roth (at Vanguard) and 401(k)(at UMB – required). Taxable investment account.

    So five at brick banks, one online bank, four investment. Holy cow. It COULD be more complicated, I guess!

  16. Anonymous

    We try to keep most everything with one bank in order to take the benefits of premium/private banking which requires high deposits or combination of deposits and creditlines. This is for our joint account. I also keep seperate accounts for my wife and I, in order to maintain credit history seperate for both of us. we do move money around to higher interest savings accounts.

    There are benefits to premium banking for those with high savings.

  17. Anonymous

    We have our accounts (finally) at one institution (ING). Keeping separate savings accounts helps visualize what we’re saving for. We keep a separate accounts for Emergencies, Working Capital, Vacations, Gifts, Oil Pre-buy, Taxes and Insurance, the next Car Purchase/Car Repair, etc… each account has an automatic deposit set to go to it weekly or monthly based upon the targets for the account.

  18. Anonymous

    I have a credit union account from where I used to live, a personal checking and an online savings (Emmigrant.) I’m looking to open another online savings and a business checking account and link the two to keep better track of my business affairs.

  19. Anonymous

    I have not gotten around to opening a business checking account yet, and we recently closed out my wife’s checking and savings account after we got married. I have a local bank checking, and two online accounts, so I put three.

    Now that I think about it, though, I should have said four. I have my paypal account set up as a money market account, so I can get interest off of money coming into there as well.

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