The TOP Ten Things You Need to Consider
1) Compare interest rates.
Early in 2021, the Federal Reserve elected to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future. Because of this, you aren’t likely to make much money on checking or savings interest right now, but it’s worth reviewing.
2) Fees make a difference!
Special fees can really add up. You can be charged if you don’t have a minimum balance. Some places charge monthly or annual fees just to have an account.
3) Minimum balances are different.
Let’s say you pay your bills on a specific day and your paycheck doesn’t arrive for a couple more, then your account balance can quickly dip below the minimum for a few days or longer. The lower the minimum balance requirement on your account, the better for you!
4) Check their security!
Look for online banking features that include enhanced security features – such as text or email notifications regarding fraud, or even the ability to get an email regarding every transaction you make. Mobile and digital wallets are especially secure due to tokenization.
5) What are the mobile options?
An easy-to-use, flexible, secure, and reliable app is critical when choosing a bank. Some mobile apps are easier to use than others, so it’s wise to check reviews.
6) Do they have a good reputation?
Ask your friends and family members where they keep their money and if they have good customer service. It’s important to know that you will have access to a personal banker at the local branch whether walking into a building, over the phone or online.
7) Are there any perks for banking with them?
Some banks and credit unions offer perks and incentives for loyalty. High yield savings accounts, retirement accounts, and other long-term accounts might provide checking account offers where you earn privileges like free checks or no fees on accounts or travel rewards if you meet balance requirements.
8) Where do they have ATMs?
Convenience is key so the ATM locations whether locally or when you travel are important. Even local banks and credit unions are often a part of national networks for ATM machines that waive fees to use them.
9) Make sure they are insured.
You are too young to remember, but during the Great Depression of the 1930s, many people with money in banks and credit unions lost it because it wasn’t insured. Check to make sure your bank is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured or credit union or your credit union is National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund insured.
10) What kinds of services do they offer?
Your needs may be pretty basic today, but in the future that may change. Look for a bank or credit union that provides expert services to help you achieve your financial goals. Look for a mortgage specialist, a business banker, and an investment advisor. These services can potentially save you thousands of dollars.