by Christy Bieber | March 1, 2019
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Consumers have more options than ever for where to do their banking. In addition to local banks, national banks, and credit unions, there are plenty of online-only banks that take a different approach to the traditional banking relationship.
Despite so many options for checking accounts and savings accounts, far too many people stick with the bank they've had for years without even contemplating a switch. If you've gotten complacent about where you do your banking and haven't checked out your alternatives, there's a chance your financial institution isn't the right one for you.
To help you decide if it's time to make a change, consider these five reasons you should switch banks right now.
Banks seem to charge a fee for everything these days. You may be hit with monthly account maintenance fees if your balance isn't high enough, ATM fees, overdraft fees, and more.
If you're tired of paying so much to your bank, look for an alternative that will charge you less. You should be able to find a bank that doesn't charge monthly maintenance fees even with a low balance, or a bank that reimburses you for ATM fees or provides cheaper options for overdraft protection. You just need to look around and see what fees you're being charged that you need to eliminate.
In many cases, online only banks charge far less in fees. Ally bank, for example, has no monthly maintenance fee no matter what your balance is and not only charges you no ATM fees but also reimburses you up to $10 monthly in fees that other banks charge for using their ATM.
Your bank account isn't an investment account and isn't meant to earn you a fortune. Still, that doesn't mean you want your money to sit in an account that pays you no interest or a very low rate that doesn't come close to keeping pace with inflation.
Compare interest rates for checking and savings with different financial institutions, including online banks. Plenty of banks reward you with interest payments for both checking and savings accounts, although savings account rates will typically be higher.
When you deposit your checks, you don't want to wait forever to access your funds. While federal regulations require banks make the first $200 of most checks available the day after they're deposited, banks have a choice on when to make the remainder of the funds available.
If your bank regularly holds deposits for many days, you may want to find a financial institution that gives you access to your money a little faster.
In today's day and age, your bank needs to offer robust online and mobile features in order to be competitive. At a minimum, this means your bank should have a good mobile app that makes it easy to deposit your checks electronically.
Ideally your bank will do more than the minimum. You likely want your bank to offer a lot of online features, including allowing access to Zelle so you can send and receive money quickly with no fees being charged.
If you find yourself regularly frustrated with the limits of your bank's online or mobile tools, it's time to switch banks to a financial institution that offers you the ability to do more from your phone, tablet, or computer.
Does someone answer the phone when you call your bank's customer service line? Can you do online chat if you have a question? Does your bank help you to resolve problems quickly if they arise?
If your bank doesn't treat you right, consider making a switch to a financial institution that serves you better. There's no excuse for poor customer service and you don't deserve to be treated badly by the financial institution that's holding your money.
If you're dissatisfied with your bank, there's no reason to keep paying high fees, accepting poor service, or getting a low rate of return on your money. Explore your options today to find a better bank that's going to treat you right.
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