Banking on St. John
Just wondering..... I'm Moving to STJ in a month, haven't seen a lot of ATM's around the island (I know of one one up by the Tap Room). How do you access you accounts from the mainland? Do most people open an account down there and simple transfer funds? I currently bank with a local one out in California...... Any ideas appreciated! Thanks!
When I moved here, I closed my stateside account, asked for all the funds in a cashier's check and then used that cashier's check to open a local bank account on St. John. I can't remember whether there was a hold on the funds initially, but I know I traveled with plenty of cash to tide me over. There may be a better way to do it, but this is my experience. I'd definitely recommend you open an account locally. It'll make life a lot easier. Good luck!
there are two bank operated ATM machines on island. One is First Bank and the other is Scotia. Both are in Cruz Bay. I moved here August of last year and have not opened a local account. Probably won't open one either in the near future. The service from the banks is not known to be customer friendly. The one thing I would hate to go through would be to go to either bank on or near the first of the month. The lines are long and slow. I have known co-workers and friends to wait in line over an hour. If you have time for that, go for it. I don't. When I arrived I was mailing my pay checks to a family member that banked with the same bank I did. But then I found HSBC. Free internet banking plus they pay interest. Now I mail my payroll check to HSBC, never a problem. I do mail it with a delivery confirmation receipt. HSBC's debit cards can be used worldwide with no withdrawal fees. I started by transfer money between my original bank and HSBC. Then just migrated over to HSBC. Mailing my deposits is not as big a bother as it may seem. There will come a day when I have to open a local account. I am just putting it off as long as I can. Hope this helps.
True, the lines are often long, but that's why I always use the ATM. You get a receipt with each deposit and withdrawal, which I save until the correct corresponding item shows up on my account online (yes, they have online banking). I've never had issues with deposits or withdrawals showing up incorrectly, or not showing up at all. Can't say the same for Scotiabank, however.
Good call on the HSBC account. We keep most of our funds in an online Emigrant Direct account, which pays interest, and we distribute funds between that account and the FirstBank account when necessary for writing checks or withdrawing cash.