Choosing to switch banks can seem overwhelming, but it’s easier than you might think. Knowing what to look for can help you narrow down your choices to the one. Here are eight things to consider when choosing the best bank for your needs.
1- Types of Accounts You Want to Open
Banks offer different types of accounts for consumers. Do you want to open a simple savings account or a savings and checking account? Many banks also offer certificates of deposit (CD) accounts, which let you hold money for a set period of time and provide you with a set interest rate over its term. Money market accounts are similar to savings but provide you with checks or a debit card for your spending.
2- Low or No Fees
If you’re considering using an online bank, you should choose one with a low fee or even no fee. For example, if you use ATMs from different vendors, you want to ensure that you’re not responsible for a fee for using them. Overdraft and money maintenance fees should also be avoided. On average, you could spend more than $33 for an overdraft fee.
3- The Experience You Want
Different banks offer different experiences. In addition to online banks, some of the most common options include national banks, regional or community banks, and credit unions. National banks are among the most popular and are widespread across the country with physical institutions that offer in-person services as well as online banking through the Internet and apps.
Regional and community banks are smaller and focus on specific areas but often lack online and mobile banking options.
Credit unions offer membership perks and consider consumers to be members. However, they also often don’t offer the latest technology for your banking needs.
4- Other Services Offered
Some types of banks offer a variety of services rather than just basic ones. You might want an institution that offers credit cards, loans, mortgages, investment accounts or financial planning options. If you want something more out of your bank or might want more features in the future, look into a larger institution.
5- Interest Rates
Interest rates are a big deal for some consumers. You have choices when it comes to picking a bank that provides you with interest on your CD, savings or money market account. However, if high interest isn’t that important to you, you can find a different bank based on other criteria.
Many people want their banks to be as accessible as possible. For some, this means online banking only isn’t enough. If you want something offering a brick-and-mortar institution, plenty of ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking, this should factor in when deciding on a bank. Some online banks do offer ATMs, but if you choose one, make sure you’re able to use one close by for free.
7- Terms and Conditions
It’s important to know the terms and conditions of any bank you might be considering. Always read the fine print to ensure that you know what to expect. This can prevent unpleasant surprises later such as certain fees the bank charges.
8- Read Reviews
Reading reviews for banks you’re thinking of switching to can help you get a better idea about whether they would be a good fit for you. When a bank receives highly favorable reviews, consumers typically stick with them for many years. This is a strong factor to consider.
These factors should always be considered if you’re picking a bank. Whether you’re switching or choosing your first-ever bank, these tips can help you find the best fit for your needs.