Choosing a bank is a task that takes careful consideration. Depending on what your banking needs are and what extra services you might be looking for can greatly impact what bank is best for you. The good news is that comparison shopping between different banks has really never been easier. You should be able to find most of what you need to know right on the internet. If you are looking at local banks or credit unions your research may also include a trip to your local branch. Here is a look at all the questions you may want to consider when choosing the best bank for you:
There are some basic details that should be at the top of your list when checking out banking establishments. No matter what your banking needs are, these items are generally considered to be most important.
- Is your money safe? This is the most important question you should be asking when choosing a bank. If your money is not secure, you could wake up one day to find it gone. If choosing a bank, make sure that the bank is insured by the FDIC. Or, if choosing a credit union, make sure your money is insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA).
- How Accessible is Your Money?: When choosing a bank you need to ask yourself what kind of accessibility do I need? Do you need a local bank or is internet banking a better choice for you? Today there are more choices available than ever before to choose from, and you will want to carefully weigh your options. Determine if you need a local bank, what hours you need the bank open, where the best location would ideally be and so on. Additionally, you may want to test out the customer service and find out what hours they are available. Some banks provide 24/7 customer service and some have more limited hours. Finally, how accessible are in-network ATM’s? Does the bank refund fees for third party ATMs?
- What’s the total cost? What will the cost be for your banking needs? It is not uncommon today for even basic checking accounts to be quite costly. You will want to find out before you sign up for an account if there are monthly fees as well as what the fee is for stopped payments, overdrafts, return checks, ATM charges, debit card fees, etc.
What Else Matters?
Now that you have the basics down, you are not done quite yet. There are numerous other items to consider that relate more to your specific needs.
- Additional products and services: Are you looking for more than just a basic checking account now or in the future? If so, you will want to consider what other services the bank offers that will be able to fit these additional needs. Banks and credit unions can offer items like car loans, mortgages, credit cards, certificates of deposit, reward checking, safety deposit boxes, financial planning services and more.
- On-line banking: Many banks and credit unions today offer numerous on-line banking options. In fact, more and more people today are doing all of their banking right from the comfort of their home. If this is you, then looking at what on line banking options are offered will certainly factor into your decision. Does the bank offer on-line bill pay, transferring between accounts, etc. Also, is there any cost associated with these services? Most banks offer free on-line banking so be sure to look for one that does.
Choosing a bank is definitely not a task that should be taken lightly. Make sure you take the time to comparison shop and it can never hurt to read bank reviews or get recommendations from others. After all, when you choose a bank you will want to know that your hard earned money and all of your financial needs are being well taken care of.
This post was provided by DepositAccounts.com, a site that helps consumers compare checking and savings account rates from thousands of banks.