For services like home Internet or TV, you might not always have the opportunity to shop around. If you’re unhappy with a given service, unfortunately, you may be stuck due to a lack of other options where you live.
Fortunately, banking is quite the opposite. There are thousands of banks across America, with most towns offering four or five different businesses to open accounts with. Better still, you can pursue online banking for even more options.
Banking should be easy, convenient, and tailored to your personal and financial needs. In the spirit of that message, here are five things you should look for in a new checking account.
No Monthly Fees
Straight up: you shouldn’t have to pay a monthly rate simply to store your money somewhere. We recommend you open a checking account with a bank that has no monthly fee, or at least one that is avoidable, such as through direct deposit.
No Minimum Balance Requirement
Find a financial institution whose minimum requirements are fairly low. Some bank accounts will charge a fee if you drop below a certain minimum. A checking account should have no minimum deposit requirement.
Find out what fees are charged by the bank. Some banks refund ATM fees, and others simply charge you every time you do anything. Find out about monthly maintenance fees and other fees that your bank may charge.
You want access to your money from most places. Think about where you are likely to need an ATM, and try to find a financial institution that provides that access. Some online banks even reimburse your ATM fees, even when you’re out of the country.
Online Banking Access
Convenience is key to efficient banking. Having access to your account information whenever you want it, along with the ability to manage your transactions and schedule transfers, is a huge advantage. Find out if your bank offers online banking, and whether a fee is charged.