If you are not feeling too happy about your bank lately, it may be time for you to start looking at other banking options. While the thought of transferring all of your money into a new bank account may seem a bit daunting, you will be happy you put forth the effort once you start saving on fees and other charges. To ensure you are happy with your new bank, however, there are a few things you need to keep in mind as you select the new bank that will be meeting your banking needs.
Know What You Want
If you are unhappy with your current bank, there must be some specific reasons that you are ready to go to another banking institution. Make a list of the things that you don’t like about your bank as well as the things that you do like about your bank. This will help guide you as you compare what other banking institutions have to offer you.
The benefits offered from one bank to the next can vary significantly. Even different accounts at the same bank can be quite varied, so be sure to compare the benefits that each type of account has to offer. When comparing benefits, consider your lifestyle and which benefits are most likely to pay off for you. A bank with high ATM fees, for example, may be acceptable to you if you rarely use the ATM and the interest rate on the account is quite high. On the other hand, if you have a tendency to overdraft your account, you will want one with relatively low overdraft fees.
Know Your Lifestyle
In addition to considering your banking habits as you look for the account with the best benefits, you should also consider your lifestyle. If you frequently travel, for example, a growing number of banks are offering perks that will provide you with more benefits while you are on the road. If you regularly engage in domestic travel, you may want a bank that is available in many states throughout the country. If you are an international traveler, you may want to select a bank with low international ATM fees.
Take Advantage of Perks
Some banks offer special benefits to people who belong to certain organizations. Some banks, such as USAA, offer special benefits for veterans. Be sure to inquire about potential benefits if you are a veteran or are affiliated with other groups that may receive special benefits.
Consider Joining a Credit Union
Sometimes, joining a credit union is a better option than putting your money in a bank. Some people prefer credit unions simply because they are non-profit institutions and banks are for-profit corporations. One benefit to joining a credit union is that they often offer discounts to their members. On the other hand, many credit unions only cater to specific groups and localities, which means you may have difficulty finding other branches if you travel any significant distance away from home. By considering your lifestyle, needs and personal preferences, you will be better able to determine if this is the right choice for you.