List of Free Online Checking Accounts

online_bank_freeThere’s nothing worse than checking your account balance and seeing you’ve been hit by outrageous fees for the stupidest things. Seriously, it feels like you have to jump through a million hoops, such as having an account open for a certain number of months, signing up for online bill pay, staying under a certain number of transactions, and so on, just to enjoy the “free” checking account your bank promised you.

As the Internet has evolved and technology continues to advance, however, a number of banks have introduced robust and easy to use online checking accounts that are not only 100 percent free, but provide excellent interest rates and perks as well. In fact, here’s the rundown on some of the best free online checking accounts available today.USAA

The United States Auto Association is known for providing members of the military and their families with insurance and financial products, but they also offer several other products, such as checking accounts, that are available for the masses to take advantage of.

USAA’s free checking account is linked to over 60,000 ATMs that can be used free of charge. Furthermore, as a USAA free checking accountholder, you become eligible for reimbursement up to $15 to pay for any fees charged by other bank ATMS. To top it all off, they offer free unlimited Web Bill Pay, a phone app for easy account management, and easy deposit options as well. Combined with top notch customer service, USAA’s free checking account is definitely worth considering.

Capital One 360

The Capital One 360 free online checking account is tough to beat. Not only does it earn interest just like a savings account, but there’s no maintenance fee whatsoever, the website is incredibly easy to use, and making deposits is even easier. When you also consider the fact that a Capital One 360 account provides you with access to thousands of free ATMs to use at your leisure, it becomes apparent why more and more people are ditching their brick and mortar banks for Capital One.

EverBank

When it comes to paying interest, the folks at EverBank are far from shy, paying 0.88 percent on balances under $10,000 and more for higher balances. In addition to offering a higher interest rate than what is typically offered for most money market savings accounts, EverBank also provides a Yield Pledge guarantee, ensuring your account will yield a better return than 95 percent of the competition. Talk about putting their money where their mouth is.

Ally Bank

Another online institution offering a free interest-bearing checking account is Ally Bank. With no minimum opening deposit, a free MasterCard debit card, no monthly maintenance fees, and the ability to conveniently make eDposits from your smartphone, it’s hard to go wrong with an Ally Bank account.

Mutual of Omaha Bank

Most people associate Mutual of Omaha with insurance products, but the longstanding Nebraska-based company has been providing folks with banking services for decades and has some pretty sweet offers for new customers. In fact, one such offer is a free online checking account that only requires a meager $100 opening deposit and pays an interest rate of 0.50% APY. Plus, they provide a free order of checks and access to a network of nearly 23,000 ATMS.

Bottom Line

Traditional checking accounts are slowly becoming extinct in today’s world. Long gone are the days of getting a free microwave for opening an account. Today, you get blindsided with absurd fees that chip away at your balance. Thankfully, online banking has emerged as a moneysaving alternative, allowing you to kiss your greedy brick and mortar bank goodbye and begin enjoying a free and rewarding banking experience. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that all of the online checking accounts mentioned above are FDIC insured, so you really do have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What is the Cheapest Tax Software

Tax Software ChoicesPlenty of tax filing software is now offered for extremely cheap prices—but nothing is cheaper than free. These free tax filing programs offer the cheapest filing and still offer plenty of great features and savvy tax advice.

TaxACT
TaxACT not only offers free filing software, but this company also gives its customers free tax guides, resources and complimentary email support for any questions or problems that might arise. TaxACT allows customers to file the basic forms that the other free software companies allow, like the 1040 and the 1040EZ, but this company also allows customers to file more complex forms and can tell customers if they need a more complex version of the software in situations like filing a Schedule C form. One of the other benefits that TaxACT customers receive is an inexpensive state tax filing. Other programs might charge up to $40 to file a state tax, where TaxACT only charges $14.99.

Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax now offers a free version of its software instead of just the paid versions. Customers can still get many of the Turbo Tax paid benefits without the high price tag. This software is extremely easy to use, and Turbo Tax does a great job of walking customers through the filing process, step by step. They also ask well-thought questions to ensure customers do not miss any deductions or face any fines or penalties for unpaid taxes. Turbo Tax also offers free advice and free online messaging throughout the process, so customers can feel confident they understand the line items and questions. Like TaxACT, turbo tax does charge a much higher fee to customers who need to file a Schedule C or other complex form. The entire process is saved from start to finish, so customers can pause or take a break from their taxes without worrying about lost information.

H&R Block
Though H&R Block is probably most well-known for their in-person tax filing and advice, their free online tax software gives the accountants a run for their money. They offer a user-friendly software that talks customers through the tax process, line by line. They also offer free tax support and audit advice. The best part about H&R Block is that a customer who has filed their taxes through the free software can call H&R Block or go into any local branch to ask questions regarding their filing. Like Tax Slayer, H&R Block offers free Schedule C and 1040 filing that is perfect for the self-employed. H&R Block also offers a standard refund or an additional five percent added to their customers’ refunds if they choose to opt for a gift card to one of 40 retailers instead of the standard refund.

Tax Slayer
Tax Slayer is one of the best free filing companies on the market since they offer many of the same features as other tax companies—plus a few other bonuses. Filing for a federal return is always free, and Tax Slayer has step-by-step instructions that assist customers in taking deductions and filling out line items. Like with Turbo Tax, Tax Slayer asks probing questions that help customers get their maximum refund and get deductions they might have missed going it on their own. One of the best features of Tax Slayer’s software—that trumps the other free software providers—is their free Schedule C and 1040 filing. Any worker who was an independent contractor or freelancer can finally file their taxes for free without a huge hike in filing software fees. Tax Slayer also offers audit assistance for a small fee and state filing for a reasonable price.

Caught in Anthem Hack? Get free credit monitoring – here’s how

Anthem Hack Credit ProtectionFrom the AnthemFacts site:

“Anthem is working with AllClear ID, a leading and trusted identity protection provider, to offer 24 months of identity theft repair and credit monitoring services to current or former members of an affected Anthem plan dating back to 2004.

This includes customers of Anthem, Inc. companies Amerigroup, Anthem and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, Caremore, Unicare and HealthLink. Additionally customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies who used their Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance in one of fourteen states where Anthem, Inc. operates may be impacted and are also eligible: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia, and Wisconsin.”

Good luck folks.

More info can be found at AnthemFacts.com

Five of the Best Investment Companies

5 of the best investment companiesWhen looking for an investment company, you will have a lot of choices. Yes, there are plenty of places where you can park your money. While true, if you are wise and you do your research, which you should, you will find that there are a lot of bad companies out there. With this in mind, here are the five best investment companies.

Betterment: This is not really an investment firm as much as the perfect solution for putting your money away. Betterment handles IRAs mainly, but you can roll over a 401k or other product to this company. This is a great service, and they claim that its hassle-free experience and it doesn’t require any paperwork, or very little. This is a great way to save money, and the company passes its savings on to clients. Not only that, when logging into Betterment, you can get great customer service via chat or email. Simply put, if you want to manage your money and ensure that it’s safe and sound, all while saving time, you should consider this amazing and technologically advanced firm.

Vanguard: Without a doubt, when you look at larger and more established companies, you will see that Vanguard is up there. This provider offers advice to employers, investors and people who want to invest for their retirements. This is true whether you have a 403b or 401k. Not only that, you can access plenty of mutual funds, ETF’s and any other stocks available on major and minor exchanges. To take it further, if you want to access your information around the clock, you should have no problem with this service as a user can log in via a smartphone app or the website. Simply put, if you want a well-known and respected company, you should head to Vanguard and check out the available offerings.

Fidelity: If you want a company offering a wide variety of services, check out Fidelity. Not only can you invest in a retirement account, but you can sign up for a cash account, or even a margin one. While it offers plenty of chances to invest, you can also use the account to pay bills and manager your finances. Remember, if you want a well-known name and you want it all, check out Fidelity. Much like with other services, you will enjoy top-notch customer service, and you can even get help in choosing the right funds for your long-term needs.

TD Ameritrade: This is another large investment firm that offers you plenty of resources and information to learn more about your potential investments. While this is a great company, you have plenty of other options, and you will probably do better if you want a simple solution. But, if you are going to invest a lot and want more help, you should consider TD Ameritrade as this firm provides you with commission-free ETFs. Finally, if you are looking for a firm that offers you round the clock support, you should seriously consider TD Ameritrade as you can get help via phone, chat or email, all hours of the day and night.

Boggleheads: If you are looking to chat with other like-minded people who are into investing, head to Boggleheads. While you are not going to invest money here, you can meet other people who want to invest in their futures. This is not a day trading forum or a place for people to discuss complicated ideas. No, at Boggleheads, you will land on a site that caters to its clients. Simply put, when you are here, you can learn all about the best ways to invest your money for the short and long-term. Ideally, when you land on this site, you will simply search, read and listen. When doing so, you can learn how to make money in the future. Otherwise, if you don’t head here, you may fall victim like many other investors have in the past.

With these five resources, you can invest your money wisely and make a lot off your savings. While true, it’s wise to consider your short and long-term plans if you are looking to save for the future as times change, and you must stay on top of things.

The 5 Best Credit Unions

5 Best Credit UnionsCredit unions are worthy alternatives to traditional banks. With major instability in banking, the time is right to consider credit unions. Finding one of the best, however, is not easy as there are many from which to choose, some local, others national.

Why Credit Unions

As for-profit organizations, banks use their resources to maximize earnings, and consumers are means to that end, not that they do not care about their customers, but the first question they always ask themselves is how much can we make from our customers without driving them away to other financial institutions.

Credit Unions are nonprofit organizations owned by their members offering a wide array of financial services. At credit unions, customers are members and owners. Membership eligibility is limited, and requirements vary from one credit union to another. Each member owner has one vote no matter how large the account, and all elected directors are uncompensated volunteers. Under this policy the credit union serves the financial interests of all and not of a small, favored group of depositors.

As to the best credit unions, any of the following five seem to qualify:

  • Navy Federal Credit Union, perhaps the largest in the USA in number of members, over 5 million, and value of assets. Eligible for membership are active-duty personnel and reservists of any of the national armed forces, Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees, government employees at DoD installations, DoD contractors, or immediate family or household members of those eligible. Membership is open enough for millions to partake of low interest rates on mortgages, car loans, unsecured personal loans, and credit cards, low- or no-fee savings and checking accounts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), certificates of deposit (CDs) for savings, and exceptional customer service. This credit union is also a great workplace, where employees also can be members and where there have been no layoffs, something banks can’t say. Navy Federal has 223 branches and 450 automatic teller machines (ATMs) on several networks. Many credit unions don’t put much effort into online services, but Navy Federal recently updated and modernized its website and mobile applications with 24/7 live customer support.

 

  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union is another with many members all over the country. Traditionally open to members of the armed forces and DoD civilian employees and their families only, accounts are also available now with donations to either Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association, and membership, more liberal here than at Navy Federal, is for life and brings responsive customer service, low rates on car and unsecured loans, mortgages, and some of the best rewards credit cards. Pentagon’s 1.4 million members enjoy low- or no-fee checking and savings accounts, retirement investment and wealth management services, and ATM services at each of 26 branches and at thousands of other locations worldwide. Pentagon rates are often better than those of Navy Federal, and its customer service, while not 24/7, is still of high caliber.

 

  • NASA Federal Credit Union has 80,000+ members and branches mostly in the Washington DC area and participates in the CO-OP ATM network with thousands of locations across the nation. Traditionally limited to National Aeronautics & Space Administration personnel and their families, membership is also open to National Academy of Sciences, National Space Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science members. Members have access to first-class customer service, discounted rates on home loans, low-interest credit cards, interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, and money market accounts.

 

  • Suncoast Credit Union based in Tampa with branches in the Florida Gulf Coast area has partner ATMs and branches nationwide. The largest Florida credit union with over 580,000 members and 50 branches limits membership to family of current members, Florida school employees, and locals who live and work in the Florida counties where Suncoast operates. Membership has expanded slowly, however, and the credit union invites inquiries about eligibility through other means. Suncoast members say they love their credit union’s competitive rates. Like most credit unions, Suncoast offers investment services, interest on checking and savings accounts, and wealth management to create and sustain portfolios.

 

  • Alliant Credit Union has 280,000+ members worldwide. Based in Chicago, it has a dozen branches and thousands of free ATMs. Membership is for employees, retirees, or members of any “qualifying company or organization” and their relatives, spouses, and domestic partners or anyone who lives and works in a “Chicagoland Community,” or any member of “Foster Care to Success.” The credit union initially served United Airlines employees and since has extended its services to other organizations and has merged with other airline credit unions. Even if not a member of a qualifying organization, a donation to designated charity a gets the donor a pass to competitive rates on auto and home loans, high-interest retirement and investment accounts, education savings accounts, and low-interest credit cards. Alliant’s mobile applications include depository services only a few competitors offer.

Sodexo History Milestones

1966
Pierre Bellon launches Sodexhoin Marseille, founded on the Bellon family’s experience of more than 60 years in maritime catering for luxury liners and cruise ships. Operations initially serve staff restaurants, schools and hospitals.
Pierre Bellon
1968
Operations commence in the Parisarea.
Paris 1968
1971-78
International expansion begins with a contract in Belgium. Development of the Remote Site Managementbusiness, first in Africa, then in the Middle East. Start of Sodexho’sService Voucher business.
Remote Site Management in the Middle East
1983
Initial public offering of Sodexho shares on the Paris Stock Exchange.
La Bourse de Paris - The Paris Stock Exchange
1985-1993
Sodexho establishes activities in the Americas, Japan, South Africa and Russia, and reinforces its presence in the rest of Central Europe.
Japan
1995
Sodexho becomes the world market leader in food service thanks to alliances with Gardner Merchant in the UK and Partena in Sweden.
International school meals
1997
The group’s holding company changes its name to Sodexho.Sodexho joins forces withUniversal Ogden Services, the leading remote site service provider in the United States.
Remote Site Management on offshore oil rigs
1998
Sodexho shares are accepted into the Paris Stock Exchange.Founding of Sodexho Marriott Services, with Sodexho holding 48.4% of the outstanding shares. The new company is the North American market leader for food and management services.
North America market leader
2000
Albert George is appointed Chief Operating Officer of Sodexho.Sodexho and Universal Servicesmerge to form Universal Sodexho, becoming the leader in remote site management.
Pierre Bellon and Albert George
2001
Sogeres (France) and Wood Dining Services (USA) join Sodexho.Sodexho acquires 53% of the share capital of Sodexho Marriott Services, which changes its name to Sodexho Inc.
Railway dining services
2002
On 3rd April 2002, Sodexho shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
New York Stock Exchange
2003
Jean-Michel Dhenain and Michel Landel are appointed Group Chief Operating Officers, succeeding Albert George.
Jean-Michel Dhenain and Michel Landel
2004
The succession plan for Pierre Bellon is put into place.The Board of Directors announces that effective on 1st September 2005, the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer will become separate functions.
Pierre Bellon in 2004
2005
On 1st September 2005, Michel Landel becomes Chief Executive Officer and Pierre Belloncontinues as Chairman of the Board.
Michel Landel
2006
Sodexho, the world leader in Food and Facilities Management Services, turned 40 in 2006.This important milestone provided an opportunity to look back on four decades of extraordinary growth, which have transformed a small family business, founded in Marseille, into a global market leader.
Pierre Bellon book
2008
In 2008, the Group has changed its name from Sodexho Alliance to “Sodexo”. The Group also is rejuvenating its virtual identity including a simpler, more modern design of its logo.
Logo Sodexo