General Question

squigish's avatar

What's the best way to manage two bank accounts on different sides of the country? Can I use Paypal?

Asked by squigish (185points) October 18th, 2007

I have one bank account in Minnesota, at a local credit union, and another in Connecticut, at a small bank that only has branches in CT. What is the best way to manage the two accounts? I have a debit/atm card for each, and the CT one refunds all my atm fees anywhere in the country. Is there an easy (electronic) way to transfer money between them? Maybe using paypal or electronic bill pay? Can I schedule a direct deposit into one account to automatically be transferred out of that account and into another one? Are there any disadvantages to this plan?

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10 Answers

ben's avatar

I have a setup similar to this. Almost all banks with modern websites allow you to transfer money electronically from one checking account to another. It’s free and very convenient, and mine also allows for automatic payments in either direction. You shouldn’t need paypal or eBillPay.

All you need is your routing (ACH) number which can be found on a check. Plus, you only need to setup the automatic link from 1 of your two accounts. From there, you should be able to transfer money in either direction.

squigish's avatar

neither of my banks was able to do this type of electronic transfer. However, it seems that I can transfer money from one account to my paypal account and then from my paypal account to the other account for free, it just takes a few days to process.

glosski's avatar

if you have bill pay, consider setting yourself up as a vendor account or your other bank account up as a vendor account. then they will mail checks – usually for free

glosski's avatar

are you sure the Paypal is free? usually costs a few dollars…

ben's avatar

I’m shocked that neither bank has electronic transfer.

Well, if the Paypal thing doesn’t work (or costs money—you certainly shouldn’t have to pay), you could always set up a third account at some online bank and link it with these two. Slightly less convenient, but also will work.

squigish's avatar

The paypal thing seems based on their terms of service to be free. I’m not actually sending the money to anyone, just putting it into my paypal account and then taking it out again. The only disadvantage is that it takes a couple of days.

If I did set up an account at an online bank, would that be faster? Are there any particular banks that you recommend?

ben's avatar

I doubt it would be any faster… it’s probably working the same way an another bank would.

The only bank I can really rave about is USAA… but in general you can only join if a parent or grandparent joined while in the army. They’re fantastic, though. ING is okay, but nothing special.

nerfmissile's avatar INGDirect has been a great service. I’ve used it since 1999. Savings accounts bear >4% interest, with overnight liquidity. Can manage several accounts from one page. Very slick, very professional and prompt customer service and unbeatable rates.

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