Whether you moved to a new city and are looking for a new bank, you want to open an additional checking account or are opening your first account, here are the things that will help you choose right.
Which type of bank is right for you depends on how you plan to use it. This is why your needs and lifestyle are what will weigh most in the decisión. These are the things you should consider when choosing where to bank.
1. Consider the bigger picture
Sometimes, for example, low-cost accounts come with so many restrictions that they’re not as helpful as you expected. Some banks make their best rates dependent on having a minimum deposit each month, a minimum balance or even a minimum number of transactions. So, though a very low mortgage rate may be tempting, for instance, you must analyze all the other terms and conditions of your contract as well.
2- Pay attention to the fees
It’s no news that bank accounts often come with fees. But how much you’ll pay and when you’ll pay fees can often depend on how you use your account or on how much money you have.
Account fees include:
• monthly account maintenance fees
• ATM fees, (especially if you use another bank’s ATM)
• international transaction fees
• internet banking fees
• overdraft fees
So, if you draw money out of the ATM regularly, for example, you should choose a bank that has one close to you to avoid that expense.
3- Analyse different bank types
Retail banks, which offer basic banking services to consumers, are the most appropriate for everyday banking. Among these, you can choose traditional banks or an online bank. This decisión will be influenced by how tech-savvy you are or how important being attended to by a person is for you. If you are eligible to join a credit unión this is another option you should look into.
4- Look for appropriate products and services
In addition to basic bank accounts, most retail banks generally let you open checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and safe deposit boxes. Some banks go beyond and offer features like smartphone apps, which can be important if you're always on the go. What benefits are important to you will depend exclusively on your lifestyle.
Note: the same happens with the rewards a bank gives. You must be sure they fit your actual habits and not be tempted by things you won’t use or will make you spend more money than you do actually.
5- Consider the interest
The balance in certain accounts like savings accounts accumulates interest. Online banks and credit unions tend to pay more interest than traditional banks.
The bank you choose, therefore, should be in accordance to your needs, to the type of life you live today and the life you want to live in the future. That is why all these elements must be analyzed carefully to make the right choice.