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Novanut
(@novanut)
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September 4, 2009 1:36 pm  

Well when the rain stops I plan on opening an account (so I can get some wheels). Wasn't too successful on the search so thought I'd check with the experts here about the pluses and minuses on this bank. From the online search they look pretty 'fee' friendly on ATM's and accounts. Are there many locations? Hidden fees? Free toaster lol? Also looked at Firstbank but didn't get much fee info on their site with respect to ATM's. Dan (landlord) expressed disappointment with Bank of STX.

Day 4 and still loving it!

Thanks,
John


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chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
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September 4, 2009 1:43 pm  

I've had nothing but a great experience w Bank of StX!
Online banking/account transfer and 2 locations. The Peter's Rest location has drive through and is seldom busy.

I don't know about any of the other banks because I've only used Bank of StX

Best of luck


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margaritagirl
(@margaritagirl)
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September 4, 2009 2:00 pm  

We use Bank of St. Croix. We have had no problems.
Scotiabank wanted blood to open an account with them. LOL!


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HAPPY
(@HAPPY)
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September 4, 2009 2:08 pm  

Does anyone have any suggestions for the best place to bank on St Thomas on the East End and what it takes to open an account once you've arrived?


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Betty
(@Betty)
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September 4, 2009 2:31 pm  

I would use first bank, then bank st croix, then banco popular. I would never use scotia.


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Novanut
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September 4, 2009 2:47 pm  

Thanks all.

Does Bank of STX charge for ATM withdraws? How about Firstbank? Why never use Scotia?

On a more scary note, I just received an email from my stateside bank, Wells Fargo, stating my delivery preferences had been changed. I didn't make any changes. This morning I tried to access the account and it said my log in was no longer valid. The only two transactions I made using my debit card were at Stop and Go Food Store in Gallows Bay and the ATM at Firstbank, downtown. Last night I was able to check balances. This morning, no. Think any identity theft may be going on here? Inquiring and worried minds want to know...

Thanks again,
John


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GoodToGo
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September 4, 2009 2:49 pm  

Scotiabank is not American and hence no FDIC insurance on your deposits if that matters.

FirstBank I think is the largest on island in terms of locations but when I want to take case out of my Bank of America account I use a Scotiabank ATM as they share an affiliation with BOA and don't charge to use their ATM unlike all the others. I have FirstBank and their online banking is actually very good (I can do some things with it I can't even do with BOA) but the experience of going to the physical bank and waiting in long lines whether inside or drive through is another story. I think Bank of STX is best for lines from what I've heard.

Net-net, no perfect or exceptional bank here at all. You'll probably have to do your banking across a couple of places (just like shopping for groceries or doing anything on island!)


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Michaelds9
(@Michaelds9)
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September 4, 2009 2:50 pm  

Did you tell them you were going to use your card out of the mainland?
My bank did the same thing 2 yrs ago.
Had to call and convince them it was really me using my card.


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Marty on STT
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September 4, 2009 3:14 pm  

I used Banco Popular for the first 8 years here...been w/ Scotia since...I like 'em just fine...


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Betty
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September 4, 2009 3:19 pm  

The fdic thing, scotia makes horrible mistakes, service is awful.

I kept my stateside bank and having done other business books for quite a while down here I'm very glad I did. But I have a really great bank stateside. The customer service is fantastic and they are always friendly and take care of any problems right away. I have my current car loan through them the only thing I can do through them is get a mortgage. Theres no need to use the local bank unless you want to. We use our atm cards for free at first bank and bank st croix.


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Novanut
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September 4, 2009 3:39 pm  

OK. I'm convinced Scotia isn't the bank for me. Now leaning towards Firstbank.

Michael, G2G, Marty, Thanks for the advice. Just have to wait till I can open the account and get a phone (and wheels)... Then I'll call my bank. Tried online but no luck contacting them... Catch 22...

Betty, I plan on keeping my WF account, especially for business. Can you be more specific on the ATM's? Used Firstbank ATM yesterday and there was a $2. fee. Could I have used my WF card in Scotia without any fee?

Thanks,
John


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Betty
(@Betty)
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September 4, 2009 3:49 pm  

You can only use Scotia atm card at a scotia atm machine. Last time I checked which was many years ago.

My bank my just have a different deal with the atm provider then yours. My bank is not a national chain. Try bank st croix and see what happens. They have one in gallows bay next to the post office and one in peters rest next to quality.


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Novanut
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September 4, 2009 4:02 pm  

Muchas Gracias!

I'll give it a try.

John


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pamela
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September 4, 2009 4:11 pm  

Scotia Bank as stated is not a US bank and not covered by FDIC. They are ALSO not regulated as to the banking hours. For example if First Bank (or any US based bank) closes for a Friday holiday they have to have at least one branch open on Saturday morning. Same with a Monday Holiday like this weekend.

When we first arrived we liked the idea the Scotia was not a US bank and didn't report to the IRS automatically (yes, I am an aging hippie) but found out that they can also stay closed for 3 - 4 days if they like. No convenient.

I am a big fan of Banco Popular in STT.

Pamela


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chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
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September 4, 2009 4:16 pm  

Novanut, I can look into your identity theft.

Just PM me with your Credit card #, Routing #, and checking account #


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Novanut
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September 4, 2009 4:33 pm  

Novanut, I can look into your identity theft.

Just PM me with your Credit card #, Routing #, and checking account #

Call me a skeptic, or just downright gunshy but that doesn't sound like a good thing at this time, unless you're pulling my leg...

I'll have to pass on that right now, but thanks for offering...


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chefnoah
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September 4, 2009 4:49 pm  

Absolutely pulling your leg !!!


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Novanut
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September 4, 2009 5:25 pm  

Whew! We newbies can be pretty gullible, remember...


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nforbes
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September 4, 2009 5:53 pm  

LOL chefnoah!


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fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
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September 4, 2009 6:24 pm  

I opened a FirstBank account recently and learned that they will hold ANY check from a stateside bank, even a cashier's check (which is as good as cash at any NORMAL bank) for 7 business days before giving you your funds. They even had some weird policy about travelers' checks. If you want access to your funds in a reasonable time period, open your account with cash!


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GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
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September 4, 2009 7:04 pm  

If what I was told is right even cash deposits are not available with local banks until the next day.

I've had a few occasions when I first got here and my wife was still stateside and my first few checks were paper checks while I waited for Direct Deposit to work that I found it was much quicker for me to Express Mail my paper check to Bank of America for deposit! I generally had the funds within about 3 business days of mailing which is much better than local banks!

I opened a FirstBank account recently and learned that they will hold ANY check from a stateside bank, even a cashier's check (which is as good as cash at any NORMAL bank) for 7 business days before giving you your funds. They even had some weird policy about travelers' checks. If you want access to your funds in a reasonable time period, open your account with cash!


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nforbes
(@nforbes)
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September 4, 2009 7:59 pm  

my cash deposits are always available that day. as long as it's before 3, i think you're good. other first bank checks clear the next day.


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Trade
(@Trade)
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September 4, 2009 8:02 pm  

I don't know about Scotiabank on STX but I've used them on STT for years & have used the ATM card in Europe even. It's got Cirrus on the back of the card & works lots of places. I just use it for checking & a small savings account for Paypal/Ebay. I can't pay stateside bills online with it but I can transfer $$ between the 2 accounts & I think it's possible to pay Innovative bills with it but I haven't done that online.


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Novanut
(@novanut)
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September 4, 2009 9:34 pm  

Which brings me to my next question;
I have a Paypal account with my WF accounts as the base. Is there some way I can transfer $$ back and forth from my new firstbank account back to my WF, assuming I set it up in Paypal, of course? Or am I just asking for trouble? I did a project awhile back for a client who emailed my Paypal account from his.


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GoodToGo
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September 4, 2009 9:50 pm  

I don't know the best answer for PayPal but I do know they charge merchants 4% of transaction costs so make sure you don't transfer your money that way! (Hopefully there is a cheaper 'transfer' option instead of setting up and paying yourself as a set of merchant accounts.)

Which brings me to my next question;
I have a Paypal account with my WF accounts as the base. Is there some way I can transfer $$ back and forth from my new firstbank account back to my WF, assuming I set it up in Paypal, of course? Or am I just asking for trouble? I did a project awhile back for a client who emailed my Paypal account from his.


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