Newest Review: ... so if you do need to have a bank where you are able to deposit cash then this is not for you, however cheques are easily deposited by... more
Say NO to high street banks
Member Name: T_007
Date: 08/07/02, updated on 08/07/02 (724 review reads)
Advantages: Good interest rates, website is easy to use, cashcard looks nice
Disadvantages: Paying in can be a bit of hassle
I opened my account in March 2001 because I wanted a switch card to purchase things off the internet and the Natwest refused to give me one. Places accepting Solo were rare, I was not happy.
I was also looking for a higher rate of interest because all Natwest gave was about 0.1%.
I'll stop complaining about Natwest now (I'll save that for my Natwest review).
Right. I entered some details on the website, which took a lot less time than other online banks I tried. After completion it tells you there and then what you are eligible for, which is good... no waiting around for snail mail etc.
Registering is pretty simple, just remember to write down all your customer IDs, plan numbers and stuff because there are a lot of them. At the start you'll have to receive a few things in the post, fill in a few forms and send proof of ID. But it'd be just the same (and inevitably worse) at a high street bank.
The cashcard (also Switch debit card) and cheque book are a pretty cool silver. And there's the added bonus of it having the word 'intelligent' on it, so you can tell your friends thats why you're with the bank.
Besides that, you can withdraw money from any cashpoint without being charged anything. Imagine on Friday night and you need a tenner for the pub, but so does everyone else. Huge queue outside HSBC and you can go and use the deserted alliance and leicester machine. Brilliant.
I have only had to phone them a few times: when I got my login details wrong too many times and when I was changing address. The helpline is charged at local rate and you're never left on hold for very long. You can also use the telephone banking service to check your balance and order cheque books etc.
The website loads fast and is uncluttered and easy to use. All your transactions up to your most recent statement are shown. You still get postal statements, once a month. You can transfer money from o
ne "jar" to the next with a few clicks.
I don't have an overdraft with them (I'm unemployed, a student. It would be a very bad idea for me) so I can't really comment on the facilities there. I have gone overdrawn once or twice by a few quid, and repaid it within a few days and I haven't got charged.
Intelligent Finance was the first bank to link together current/savings accounts, loans, credit cards and mortgages. Basically this means that you can choose to pay less interest on your loans and none on your accounts. If you only have a current and savings account with them (like me) you will get the (higher) savings interest rate on both accounts. The current rate is around 3% for current accounts and 4% for savings accounts, which is very good, several times higher than high street banks.
Money can be paid into you account from jobs via BACS and you can set up direct debits. I have found paying in cash a bit complicated though. Because they have no branches I put the money in my Natwest account then send off a cheque to Intelligent Finance or transfer the money via online banking. I'm sure you must be able to use giro or something to pay in but I haven't found out yet.
I've got no real complaints at all, highly recommended.
More reviews in the field of Bank
- Pigs do fly!
- Cahoot up the shoot!!
- ALL OTHERS ARE RUBBISH
- An insider's view...and it looks very promising!
- Comprehensive and secure online banking site
- reliable banking
- far from being in my good books
- A System of Two Halves
- Avoid at all costs as the customer service & technology behind Yorkshire Buildin ...