I Switched to an Online Bank and I'm Never Going Back. Here's Why
There are a few big benefits to online banking that I won't give up.
I used a local bank near my house for a long time. People were helpful at my local branch and it seemed like a lot of hassle to make a change.
However, a few years ago, I decided I was tired of some of the terms of my bank account. And after a little bit of research, I realized an online bank was a much better fit.
Now I'm wondering why I waited so long -- and I'm convinced I'll never go back to brick-and-mortar banking. Here are a few big reasons.
1. The online bank charges far fewer fees
My online bank is amazing about fees. I don't have a monthly maintenance fee. And I don't have to fulfill any minimum balance requirements or direct deposit requirements to avoid being charged. I get reimbursed for ATM fees too, and my bank even sends me free checks.
Some local banks or credit unions may be good about fees. But I haven't yet found one that's as generous as my online bank. And that makes sense since it costs money to run local branches and serve customers in person.
For me, it was well worth the switch to an online bank just to avoid these fees. I no longer have to try to time my ATM withdrawals to when I'm near an in-network machine. And I also don't have to worry about keeping a few thousand dollars in my checking account to dodge extra bank charges.
2. Customer service tasks can be handled virtually
Any issues or questions I've had since I switched to online banking have been resolved quickly and simply from the comfort of my computer. It's easy to reach out via online chat or phone and the customer support representatives have been very responsive.
There were a number of times with my old bank that I had to go to my local branch to address a specific issue or get questions answered. This was annoying then, and would be even more bothersome now during the ongoing pandemic.
Online banks don't have local branches. As such, they're set up to provide digital service -- and I've found I much prefer that to having to make a special trip to the bank.
3. I can deposit much larger checks
My local bank allowed me to use mobile check deposit. But there was a pretty small limit on the size of the checks I could deposit by phone. Once I went above $2,500, I had to bring the check to the bank.
My new online bank will never require me to come in since there's no place to go. I can deposit up to $50,000 via my phone and can mail checks above that amount.
Again, some local banks may have higher limits for mobile deposits. But they don't tend to be as high as online banks that don't have local branches.
Ultimately, there are a lot of benefits to online banking. You can take care of most of your banking tasks online without having to go visit a branch. And you stand the best chance of avoiding bank fees. If that appeals, you may decide that online banking is the best option for you as well. It's clearly the right choice for me, and I'll never go back to brick-and-mortar banks again.
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