In life, things are always changing. Jobs, homes….the list goes on and on. Sometimes, we are forced into making changes when situations no longer work for us. One of those may be with your bank. It could change ownership and force you into paying fees. They may change the manner in which they operate. No matter your reason for leaving, you have to find a new bank. But what should you consider?
We posed this question on our weekly Penny For Your Thoughts post on our Facebook page. Here are the tips which were shared by our readers.
“Debit card/atm fees & branch locations. Best idea is to stay away from banks all together and look to a local credit union. A bank is out to make themselves money, whereas a credit union is looking to save their members money. Most all fees in a credit union are lower than banks too, which is helpful.” — Chris-Tracy M.
“Free checking, user friendly website, and friendly tellers and personal bankers.” — Jennifer H.
“As a teller manager at a bank I can agree that banks should have no fee checking accounts. And all banks are required to offer an account (with no minimum balance) for low income households. That does not mean there will not be a service charge.
As for overdraft fees, overdraft protection is available….that being said, if you spend money you do not have, you will be charged. And that charge is costly. When we open an account we explain that, and HIGHLY recommend using a checkbook ledger.
I can’t speak for all financial institutions but the one I use and work for does offer no fee checking accounts… That is a must. Why should you have to pay to have an account?? As a teller we look for service charges to help you avoid paying unnecessary fees. All it takes is a simple conversation to save people money every month.
Sometimes customers don’t know what’s available, it’s a shame if your bank doesn’t keep you informed.” — Lisa D.
“First, reputation is the most important, next, do they offer free checking for direct deposit, ATM availability are the locations convenient to my home and job, is there a minimum for checking and savings, these are the items I find most important.” — Carol N.
“Interest rates, atm fee’s, teen or child accounts and what age till they can get an adult, savings certificate and rates plus min to open one, min fee to open account. And transfer fee if you have more then one bank. Credit unions usually have the best rates of all of them. But most won’t let your child get the better interest rates on a checking account till they are 18. The rates for saving certificate varies so much the local credit union I have is better then my military one. Ask a lot of questions and check out the different wed sites for the rates.” — Elizabeth F.
“Credit unions are normally best… depending on your situation, card options are always good to know about. For instance I travel a lot to other countries. there are cards available for an annual fee you do not have any additional fee’s in other countries. This is the only thing I have not seen mentioned already.” — Jin J.
“Look for offers from the banks you are looking at. Sometimes, they will offer incentives such as $100 cash back if you use your debit card “x” number of times or if you set up direct deposit.” – Danielle P.
Make sure you watch Facebook each Monday for our newest question and share your ideas. You may find your name and tip featured each week on Penny Pinchin’ Mom!