- Posted January 11, 2019
How to Choose a Bank Account
It can be difficult to find the right bank account. If you want to switch banks or you are a parent helping your child open a checking account, the process can be overwhelming. Some banks have advantages like cash back deals, no fees when you use another bank’s ATM or excellent customer service. On the other hand, other banks may have a bad reputation for high fees, a limited amount of ATMs geographically, or minimum balance requirements. There are a few steps you may want to take to decide what type of bank account is right for you.
1. Decide if you are comfortable with paying monthly maintenance fees
Some banks require a fee to hold an account, but it can be waived if a minimum amount of money is deposited in the account or if customers are a student. If you do not want to pay a fee and do not meet the waiving requirements, you may want to research banks that have no minimum requirements.
2. Determine what type of banker you are
Are you tech-savvy and prefer online banking or do you like face-to-face interaction inside a branch location? There are some banks that are online only while others are small and may not have an application for your phone. Online only banks do not allow cash to be deposited so if your job is cash-based, like a bartender earning tips, then online-only banks would be something to avoid. Decide what you are looking for and make sure the bank you choose is acceptable for you.
3. Think about your future
If you plan to move in the next few years or are a student going to college soon, you may want to pick a bank with a national presence, so you have access to ATMs and physical branches where ever life takes you. If you plan to stay in the same location, a local bank might be attractive to you.
4. Determine what type of spender you are
Are you going to use this account to pay your household bills, for entertainment and dining, or both? Check out the cash back deals to see if you can earn money for what you are already doing. Cashback deals may be a nice bonus and there are some banks that even offer a cash bonus when the account is opened.
5. Ask around
Ask your family and friends what bank they have and what they think of it. While you may not want to ask personal information like how much money they are depositing to meet any requirements, you could ask if they are pleased with the customer service, location accessibility, and online/app functionality.
These steps can help you be prepared to change your bank or open a new account. Make sure you read the fine print and take your current financial situation into consideration