Is Switching Banks Worth the Effort?

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KEY POINTS

  • Switching banks can take time, as you'll need to move your money and change all your recurring payments.
  • If you're being charged maintenance fees or your bank is inconvenient to use, switching is likely worth it.

Consider these conditions before making the move.

If you are thinking about changing to a different bank, you probably already know that the process of moving your money can be pretty involved.

Obviously, you'll have to find a new bank to do business with and move your money from your old account to your new one. But there may be many other steps to take as well, such as changing all of your direct deposits, getting new checks, and changing any and all recurring payments or transfers from your old bank account to your new one.

Taking care of all these tasks can seem like more effort than it's really worth. But, there are situations where changing to a different bank still makes good sense. Here are a few of them.

You're being charged a monthly fee to keep your account with your current bank

One of the biggest reasons to switch banks is monthly account maintenance fees. Some financial institutions actually charge you a fee just for the privilege of having an account open with them.

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These fees are almost never worth paying -- especially since, unlike credit cards with annual fees, bank accounts that charge you for being a customer don't usually offer you any special privileges.

If you are paying a monthly maintenance fee on, say, your checking account, you are wasting your hard-earned money. There are plenty of banks out there that will not charge you for this, and you should find one. Once you've gone through the process of changing banks, you'll get to enjoy keeping that extra money in your account going forward.

Your bank is hitting you with tons of other fees

It's not just a monthly maintenance fee that can cost you. If your bank charges you for lots of other things, then you should think about switching.

For example, if you end up paying money to take cash out of an ATM all the time, then consider switching to a different bank that reimburses ATM fees. If you are regularly charged overdraft fees, switch to a bank that won't charge them. Ideally, you'll also want to stop overdrafting your account in this situation, but since that can be hard, it's still best to avoid being charged extra money while learning to better manage your bank balance.

Your bank makes mobile or in-person banking inconvenient

While changing to a new bank can be a hassle, it can also be a pain to stick around with a bank that doesn't offer very good customer service and support.

If your bank makes depositing mobile checks a big ordeal, for example, or if it has low mobile deposit limits so you constantly find yourself having to go deposit checks in person instead of using your phone, then you may want to switch to a different financial institution.

In situations where you're getting poor service or have limited features, biting the bullet and going through the process of switching banks can actually end up saving you a lot of time and aggravation in the long run.

In each of the above situations, you should seriously think about making a change to your bank account. You likely won't regret it.

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