Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Bank to Work With
There are so many options when it comes to the services that you can get from the different banks out there that are available. But choosing the right bank to open up an account with can be difficult if you don’t weigh your options properly.
The services and features that you need are one of the most important factors in choosing a bank.
Here are a few things that you should know:
Choosing Your Account Type
If you are planning to open a bank account, you must first figure out what type of bank account you want to get.
Here are a few options:
A savings account can help you park your money and easily access it when you need to. The only thing is that you may have a limit on how many times you will be able to withdraw money from this account.
They also have lower interest rates compared to other account types. On an average, the interest rate is about 0.06% but there are some banks like the ones online that offer savings accounts with interest rates that can reach up to 1%.
Checking accounts are one of the most practical bank accounts that you can get. This is used for your day-to-day money matters like paying bills.
With this account type, you can usually access your money through ATMs, personal checks, and even debit cards.
The only thing about checking accounts is that you have to look closely at the fees that the bank charges.
Such things like overdraft fees, monthly maintenance, and minimum balance requirements are some of the details you should know before opening an account up.
Money Market Account
Money market accounts work pretty much the same as savings accounts. They do have limits on the number of times you can withdraw, so this is the best type of account to put money that you won’t access too often.
Oftentimes, they offer a higher interest rate than savings accounts so this is something to think about.
However, money market accounts can also have higher interest rates and also have higher balance requirements.
Type of Bank
Once you’ve figured out what type of account you want to open, you can then look into what type of bank you wish to use. Here are the different kinds to choose from:
These are the kinds of banks that almost everyone has heard about and are all over the country, making it one of the most accessible ones in terms of branches and ATM machines.
They also offer a wider array of services and features that you can customize depending on your preferences.
Big banks usually have higher charges for their fees but you can get them waived by using the numerous deals that they offer.
In terms of savings rates, they don’t usually offer a higher percentage than you would expect. However, these types of banks are the best choice if you are looking for easy access, especially if you move around a lot.
Banks that are local to your area. This means that although it is more convenient for you when you are in town, it may be a bit of a hassle when you need to access your account out of the state.
However, it is a smaller bank which means that they will be able to pay more attention to your needs as well as provide you with excellent customer service.
When it comes to products and services, they can be pretty limited as well. They don’t function like big banks who cater to a bigger clientele so they may not have a mobile app or other features like it.
They often also have lower rates and you can usually get them waived through their special deals if you look out for them.
These are non-profit organizations that are member-owned. Like banks, credit unions allow you a place where you can put your money, pay the bills, and much more.
However, they are usually based locally so it can be difficult for you to access the cash you need when you leave town.
But this is not impossible since some credit unions offer shared branching enabling you to access ATMs from other credit unions for free.
The main thing to take note of when you choose a credit union is their rates and fees. They sometimes charge about the same amount as big banks do, but this all depends on the credit union in your area.
On the upside, they have a larger rate for savings than banks usually do due to their being not for profit organizations.
Online banks are a newer option for you to consider. It is a great way to minimize the cost of having a bank account since they have barely little to no fees charged and have the highest interest rates for savings you can find anywhere.
However, having your money just online can be a tricky thing. You will have to check and double check on the bank’s reliability and reputation before even thinking about opening up an account with them.
Looking into Fees and Charges
Most banks have charges for monthly maintenance, overdraft, and even ATM use. The best thing to do is look into the numbers. You won’t want to get caught up in opening up an account and have unnecessary charges deducted.
Also, you’ll have to see if the interest rates are what you are looking for. Check out the interest rates that you’ll have to pay for credit cards and loans as well.
Compare them to the amount of interest you will be earning per year with your account and see if it’s worth it.
If you happen to come across an interest rate of about 1.5% for a savings account, take it! It may not seem like much but it will rack up in the long run.
There are some banks that also charge you fees for withdrawing cash from another bank’s ATM machine and for monthly maintenance and such. So it’s best to double check.
Check The Bank’s Overdraft Policy
Overdraft fees are what a bank charges when you withdraw money that amounts to more than what’s in your actual account. The average overdraft fee that a bank charge is a little over $33, which is a lot if you really think about it.
The best way to avoid this unwanted charge is to look into a bank’s overdraft policy and see what you can do about it.
Some banks offer low balance alerts that help you keep updated on exactly how much you still have. There are also overdraft protection programs that can help you avoid those charges but can be quite costly.
A Bank’s Accessibility
Your ability to gain access to your money is also an important feature you should consider when looking for the best bank to bank with.
There are a lot of services that banks can offer like online banking and ATMs. But it is also a good idea to check out the number of branches that a bank has that are near the general vicinity of where you are.
This makes it easier to go to your bank anywhere that is most convenient for you. Although most people nowadays prefer to do their banking online, basic banking through a branch is also important.
Another thing to look for is if the particular bank has the technology to help you access your account that much easier.
Things like an online portal or a mobile app can make your banking experience all the more accessible. You will also be able to do what you have to do without having to go through more hoops.
When choosing the best bank to bank with, you should make sure that you have all your bases covered.
Keep in mind that you will be dealing with your own hard-earned money here and that you shouldn’t take things like fees and other charges too lightly.
Always read the terms and conditions the bank gives to you before filling out any form. This way, you will be able to know exactly what you will be getting into.
Make sure that the bank that you choose is the right fit for you. With all the tips and information that we’ve given you above, you should have no trouble doing that.