Rates and Billing

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Old 04-21-2011
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Lightbulb Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Hello, VAF Forum

I am wondering does everyone use a separate checking account for your business? Has anyone considered using a prepaid debit card? I was just curious about that. Because most banks you have to have at $100 to open account. Whereas a prepaid debit card you can open with any amount. I that prepaid debit card can be used with Paypal and they offer direct deposit.

Does anyone have any feedback about this. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Last edited by msgofficesolutions; 04-21-2011 at 03:42 PM. Reason: wrong wordage
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Old 04-21-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Hi Raeeana,

When I first looked for a business checking account when I opened my business, my personal banks required a minimum balance which I wasn't able to maintain at the time.

So I opened up an Ingdirect.com for my business account. With that account comes a debit card with no minimum balance requirement. I even earn a little interest on the account. Transferring money out of the Ing account to pay an individual is done for no charge via email. In the years I have used Ingdirect.com I have never incurred any additional fees.

I always expected that I would eventually open up a regular merchant account at my local bank when my earnings increased but I never found a reason to do this. All exchange of monies have been electronic.

When a client pays me using PayPal, I transfer the money to my Ingdirect account so I don't use a prepaid card. When I want to use the money from the Ingdirect account I use my debit card which Ing sends when the account is open or I can also use the bill pay feature to pay a vendor. If I want cash from the Ing account, I use a local ATM machine at no charge.

Janine
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Old 04-22-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Regeanna,

I have a small business checking account that has no minimum balance. I am allowed up to 150 transactions per month. I try to use PayPal as much as possible when sending payments for expense items. This helps me stay under the transactions limit.

I would try to find a local bank who offers the same type of deal. Janine's option is a good one too and I have used ING in the past, they are a good alternative to brick and mortar banking.
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Old 04-22-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
As a bookeeper, I would advise you to use a checking account, but using a debit card will work also. The most important thing is to NOT use you personal checking account for business expenses. You should always keep business seperate from personal stuff. Whatever you choose, debit card or checking account, use only that for business expenses! Don't mix use between personal and business accounts.
Lee made a good point, in my area we also have banks that offer no minimum balance and a free dibit card. Check around, there may be one in your area too. It's worth the time because you will need a checking account when your business grows and grows and grows.... LOL. Good luck
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Old 04-22-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Have you checked out your local credit unions? My local one offers a basic but free, non-divided bearing business checking account with no monthly fee and unlimited transactions.
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Old 04-22-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
I set up an e-checking account for my business that I have linked to my regular checking and savings account. It came with a debit card and I can transfer to my other accounts and it does not require a monthly minimum or fees. I do have limited transactions per month. However, I just transfer the funds to my other accounts to minimize my monthly transactions.
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Old 04-22-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
I have a small business checking account at a local bank. I've never paid a fee and there's no minimum balance. I also have a debit card with that account. If there is a monthly transaction limit, I've never exceeded it because I've never been charged a fee. Although I do have a personal account at a credit union due to past state employment, they do not allow business checking accounts.

Since 99% of my client payments are by check I feel I have to have a business checking account. I also have a personal account at the same bank and just transfer money from the business to the personal account, leaving only enough in the business account to pay business expenses, quarterly taxes, etc.
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Old 08-01-2011
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
This is all great information thank you very much!
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Old 03-18-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Janine,
I have heard of ING but never tried them....one quick question, do any of your clients pay by check? And if so, how would you cash it?
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Old 03-18-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Hello AKH,

I don't advertise that I accept checks so no one has ever asked me if they can send a check for payment. I just haven't wanted to wait for a check to clear or
the possibility of a check bouncing.

Since PayPal doesn't require the sender to have a PayPal account, I have always used PayPal.

No one has ever questioned it or asked for payment any other way so I only use what is most convenient, which is PayPal.

However, if I had a check that needs to be deposited in my Ing account I would just use the ATM to make the deposit.

Better yet, I have clients who have an Ing account, so they just transfer money right into my account at no charge.

Janine
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Old 04-10-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Originally Posted by Your Virtual Wizard View Post
Hi Raeeana,

When I first looked for a business checking account when I opened my business, my personal banks required a minimum balance which I wasn't able to maintain at the time.

So I opened up an Ingdirect.com for my business account. With that account comes a debit card with no minimum balance requirement. I even earn a little interest on the account. Transferring money out of the Ing account to pay an individual is done for no charge via email. In the years I have used Ingdirect.com I have never incurred any additional fees.

I always expected that I would eventually open up a regular merchant account at my local bank when my earnings increased but I never found a reason to do this. All exchange of monies have been electronic.

When a client pays me using PayPal, I transfer the money to my Ingdirect account so I don't use a prepaid card. When I want to use the money from the Ingdirect account I use my debit card which Ing sends when the account is open or I can also use the bill pay feature to pay a vendor. If I want cash from the Ing account, I use a local ATM machine at no charge.

Janine
I was looking into ING Checking and it says that you need to link an external checking account to it...so that means that you have to have a checking account somewhere, in order to open an ING account??
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Old 05-08-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
I'm having problems transferring funds from my paypal account to my paypal prepaid debit card! The account has been verified and a representative from Paypal has informed me that there would not be a problem with my prepaid paypal card is in my name and my paypal is in my business name. I may check into ING....any other information would be useful....thanks!
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Old 05-08-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Hi Chavon,

You've reminded me that I need to try again to get my PayPal debit card. I keep requesting one but have not received. I don't do a lot of payments through PayPal, so it hasn't been a huge deal...yet. (And I get the transferred money into my business checking account in two days every time!)

And I wanted to say, I just love the name of your business!
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Old 05-08-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
This is all good stuff! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-17-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
My bank does not charge or have a minimum balance for a business checking account, which I do have. I don't write a lot of checks from it however. There may be a limit for that though. I was advised when I started my business to have a separate checking account.
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Old 05-18-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
I use a prepaid debit card because of PNC screwing me over years ago with fraud on my account. HOWEVER, be cautious if you use a prepaid card. Paypal will ONLY let you transfer out $500 at a time...a MINIMUM of $1,000 a month. It's stupid, but that's their "law". (That's with Greendot...I don't know if other Prepaid cards are the same or not.)
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Old 05-18-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
I was very lucky. About 2 years ago I opened a business account here in the UK with Abbey (Now Santander). It is free to run no minimal balance and no minimum per month to be paid in. As long as I stick to under 100 withdrawals per month and under 100 deposits then there is no fee to pay. I think it may have changed now but I run it online and as I also have a personal bank account with them I can transfer money between accounts very easily. I can also have a business savings account too if I want it. The only problem is that it takes 1 day to get things transferred between accounts - although it shows up instantly. I also can go into a debit of up to £12 without being charged as long as I don't leave it outstanding for too long. My old bank would charge me £25 if I went as much as £0.01 into the red for more than 24 hours. (I am planning a blog about this iniquitous charging as it makes my blood boil - unfortunately I still have my old account running as I have an overdraft on it. £100 of charges last month and I was only £1.75 over my limit -their charges keep pushing me back over and hence another charge the next month). Oh dam now I'm angry again. Time for a glass of wine I think. Have a good weekend everyone.

Sandra

Last edited by shadowcat; 05-18-2012 at 01:16 PM. Reason: amendment
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Old 06-28-2012
kyle j
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Does anyone use an ally account? Theyre the online-only bank that refunds all atm fees. Are the savings worth not having a brink and mortar store to go to?
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Old 06-28-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
For tax and bookeeping purposes, it's best to keep personal/business seperate. That way, it'll be a lot easier for you when taxtime comes around. You'll have both accounts easily seperated.
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Old 06-28-2012
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Default Re: Bank Account vs. Prepaid Debit Card
Originally Posted by kyle j View Post
Does anyone use an ally account? Theyre the online-only bank that refunds all atm fees. Are the savings worth not having a brink and mortar store to go to?
I looked into Ally but I really would rather have an actual bank to walk into if I needed it. I don't know why I would just feel safer with a bank that has actual brick and mortar branches. lol That said and personal feelings aside, I have heard great things about Ally.
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