Finding the right bank will save you not only money, but also time and headaches. Here are some things you should keep in mind.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the most common complaints users have about banks are the high overdraft fees and difficulty resolving disputes. However, there are a lot of alternatives to traditional banks, so your options are broader.
If you are shopping around for a better option, these are some things you should keep in mind:
1- Interest rates
If you have money sitting in your account or if you have a Certificate of Deposit, you should shop for the best interest rate. Keep in mind that the average return on savings accounts is 0.06% APY, but there is still a considerable spread between different financial institutions.
2- Online banking
When you shop around for banks, you will notice that there are a lot of institutions that you probably haven’t heard of. Those are online banks that, usually, offer the highest interest rate because they don’t have to deal with the costs of having a brick-and-mortar branch, so they can afford to pay their customers more.
However, most online banks don’t have their own ATM network. Instead, they rely on agreements with banking networks. So, if you usually use this service, check the online bank policies and carefully check the fees!
3- Don’t rule out credit unions
They might offer the personal service you are looking for, but still managing to keep low fees and high-interest rates. Compare what they offer (and their policies) with other institutions before making up your mind!
4- Community banks
These banks are owned and operated locally, as opposed to mega-bank holding companies. They pride themselves on keeping fees low. They also make loans within the local community, but not all of them do this, so check before signing the dotted line!