Where should I bank in Ellicott City?

1 minute read

After posting lots of information it’s time for me to turn around and ask my few readers a question: I’m currently considering establishing a new bank account—not replacing my current account but supplementing it as a dedicated account out of which to pay recurring expenses. Those of you who’ve traveled Route 40 west of US 29 know that there a lot of banks on that stretch, and there must be one for me. (I’d like to bank with a bank that has a local physical presence.)

Here are my choices, as far as I can tell:

  • Baltimore County Savings Bank

  • Bank of America

  • CapitalOne Bank

  • The Columbia Bank

  • Eastern Savings Bank

  • First Mariner Bank

  • Howard Bank

  • M&T Bank

  • SunTrust Bank

  • Wachovia Bank

(There’s also SECU Credit Union, but I’m not eligible to join it.)

I pay almost all bills online, so I’m very interested in the strength of that offering. (For example, I need to be able to make online payments to people who only accept checks.) I don’t plan to get a mortgage with them, but getting a car loan is possible in future. As noted above, I want a bank with a local branch so I can walk in and deal with real live people if any issues arise. (I also might get a safety deposit box at some point as well.) I’m also willing to support local or regional banks in preference to national banks, as long as I’m not giving up anything in terms of service, etc.

Does anyone out there have decided opinions on which bank I should pick? Any of these banks you think are really great? Any I should avoid like the plague? Feel free to sound off in the comments section or (if you’d prefer) send me email at hecker@hecker.org. Thanks in advance for any responses you care to make!