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Old 05-22-2017, 05:57 PM   #1
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Banks or Credit Unions

We are just starting to work toward full-time and wondered about suggestions for the best bank(s) and/or credit union(s) for RVers.

We saw that Alliant Credit Union is affiliated with Escapees and wondered if anyone had experience with them.

Any thoughts or info is appreciated. - Thanks.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:20 AM   #2
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I guess I wonder why you feel the need to change from what you have. If you are happy with your current financial institution stay with them. Other than that we are very happy with Alliant and our Merrill Lynch account(gives us a BOFA credit card).

We have found the Alliant website easy to use and not much advertising. We also have a Penfed account and can't stand the website, way too much advertising and makes for busy screens.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:08 AM   #3
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Ice3 - Unless there is a specific reason for changing banks, you could consider sticking with your current one.

There are 2 primary reasons to change banks - 1) to help establish your residency in a new state so your old state doesn't come after you for income taxes and 2) because you want a bank with a national presence with branches all around the country.

As far as reason #1 goes, it looks like you are from PA. We are also originally from PA. PA does not tax IRA proceeds, pensions or SS benefits. If you are retired, therefore, there is little reason for PA to pursue you for taxes unless you have significant income from other sources.

Regarding reason #2, with online banking that is available today there is little reason to go to a banking office. We have used the same bank in PA for the last 11 years of full-timing. We get cash by using a debit card at Walmart. Almost all bills can be paid online. On those rare occasions when we have a check to deposit, we used to mail it with a deposit slip to the bank. However, our bank now has a phone app that allows us to scan both sides of a check and transmit it for deposit electronically. I can't remember the last time we set foot in a sticks-and-bricks bank.
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:23 AM   #4
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Ally bank works best as our bank for many reasons.
A) no minimum balances on accounts
B) interest on both checking & savings
C) savings interest comparable to many CDs (currently over 1%)
D) free e-deposits of checks
E) e-deposits of checks up to $50,000
F) good networks of free ATMs
G) rebate of fees for using any ATMs out of Ally network
H) good 24 x 7 customer service: phone, online, chat
I) free, unlimited paper checks
J) good mobile app & good website

There's more but I don't get a commission or work
For them so :-)
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:29 AM   #5
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Banks or Credit Unions

Have been with a non-profit FCU since 1975. Never charged any fee. Have not been in a bank or used and ATM for over 20 years.
Security practices that are always effective.
Interest-plus checking. No-fee CCs and debit cards. Lowest loan rates.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:11 AM   #6
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We have been full time for six years and kept our bank and credit union accounts. We work part time so we are able to deposit our checks with our banks smart phone app. Works really well. Our SS checks are direct deposit. I really see no need to change your bank.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:28 AM   #7
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Thank you for all the input.

Currently we have our account with a small regional bank. I use their ATMs but they do not have a national network.

Also, our local bank has already closed down my debit card when I was on vacation. No clue what they would do if we're traveling full-time.

My main reason for looking for a different bank is because I had heard that because of the Patriot Act financial institutions can freeze your account if there are any questions about residency. I have already run into problems with items returned to sender because our mail forwarding service is a commercial entity.

As I understand it from the person at SBI (mail forwarding) it is a bank policy issue whether they are friendly to full-time travelers. I thought that the bank that other full-timers use might be my best option.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:12 AM   #8
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My FCU was pleased that we had a fulltime life. They know my buying and travel habits.
Debit card is all I need to get cash at all larger retailers.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:22 PM   #9
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Our bank is regional bank with no national network and we have no issues. You must call them and let them know when you are traveling or they will freeze your account because they suspect fraud or stolen card. Communication is essential even with the larger banks as well. When purchases are made in several different areas, it throws up a red flag.
As far as the Patriot Act freezing your account, I doubt it, unless they see unusual activity or large deposits.
Banks don't care whether you are a full timer or not. I personally would keep what you have and if it doesn't work out change it later.
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Old 05-23-2017, 02:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bsirby View Post
Our bank is regional bank with no national network and we have no issues. You must call them and let them know when you are traveling or they will freeze your account because they suspect fraud or stolen card. Communication is essential even with the larger banks as well. When purchases are made in several different areas, it throws up a red flag.
As far as the Patriot Act freezing your account, I doubt it, unless they see unusual activity or large deposits.
Banks don't care whether you are a full timer or not. I personally would keep what you have and if it doesn't work out change it later.
Thanks for the follow up. Currently I put travel alerts on credit cards, etc. For full-time are you saying to just keep updating travel alerts?

Part of my concern with changing later is figuring out a residential address, which is needed to first open an account. They won't accept mail forwarding service for that. It's easier for me to use our current residence before we go full-time.

I'm thinking maybe I'll open a couple now, while it's easier, and see what works best and close the others. Not sure. Some of the full-timer bloggers mentioning having multiple banks in case of problems.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:29 PM   #11
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Ally will accept both a residential (domicile) address AND a mailing address.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:59 PM   #12
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Ally will accept both a residential (domicile) address AND a mailing address.
Thanks Stripe34. I guess the part I'm not quite understanding is how to give a domicile address if full-time. The person at SBI said that in Florida our driver's license will show our motorhome registration # as our "address" but I don't imagine we can give that as our domicile.

I'm still in the learning/planning stage but trying to get it straight so we don't have any surprises when we are full-timers.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:37 PM   #13
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We use the FCU and the UPS store. 5 years, no troubles. The UPS number is legally a suite number. Legal for all govt entities, including the FCU, taxes, DL, etc.
$144/year plus about 7 bucks per monthly delivery to wherever we are.
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:59 PM   #14
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We use the FCU and the UPS store. 5 years, no troubles. The UPS number is legally a suite number. Legal for all govt entities, including the FCU, taxes, DL, etc.
$144/year plus about 7 bucks per monthly delivery to wherever we are.
That's helpful to know. Especially the part about the # being a suite number so legal for government entities. - Thanks!
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