2/28/2013 2:30 AM ET|
4 signs you should ditch your bank
If you think your bank is no longer suited to your needs, here’s how to tell whether you should take your business elsewhere.
Have you had the suspicion lately that your longtime bank no longer suits your needs? Or have you recently opened an account at a new bank, only to feel like it's not a good fit?
There are countless reasons you may experience friction with your bank, such as a merger with another institution. The union between Capital One Bank and ING Direct, which took effect Feb. 1, is one example of a merger that has made some account holders a little nervous about what's to come -- particularly those who had been with ING Direct, who had long enjoyed a nontraditional banking experience.
No. 1: Your savings account interest rate is only average
Though it may be painful because of today's interest rate levels, take a moment to review your savings account's current rate against the averages. If you are earning an average rate or below, it's likely you could be earning several times your current level of interest. Recent surveys by MoneyRates.com indicate that the top banks for savings and money market accounts routinely offer rates several times those of the national averages. Accepting an average yield amounts to losing interest income every month, so don't settle for a bank that doesn't offer competitive rates.
No. 2: Your checking account has a monthly maintenance fee
Paying a maintenance fee on your checking account is another way to lose money each month. Despite recent declines in the number of free checking accounts, many banks still offer accounts with no monthly fees. Some banks may require that you maintain minimum balance or meet other standards to waive the fee. But if you often fail to meet the requirements, seeking a new bank that waives those requirements is probably wise.
No. 3: You rarely visit your local branch
If you can't remember the last time you saw the inside of your local branch, you may want to look at online banks, which often have lower fees and higher interest rates because of their minimal overhead. You may not be able to visit a branch to handle these accounts, but if you are already banking primarily online, switching to an online-only bank may offer a simple transition and some attractive perks.
No. 4: The customer service has declined at your bank
If you think you are no longer getting top-notch service at your current bank, you are not alone. Because lending demand is low, many banks are no longer seeking deposits as aggressively as they have in the past, which has sometimes translated into weaker efforts to retain customers. If you no longer feel valued when interacting with your bank, it is almost certainly time to look elsewhere.
If you would like to switch banks but worry that the process will be a hassle, there are resources that may help ease your transition, such as SavingsAccount.com's Bank Switch Kit. But whatever avenue you choose for switching, there's little sense in waiting once you know it's time.
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Customer service has declined at all corporate banks. I have a close acquaintance that works for one of the 5 largest. At their last corporate meeting they were informed that making money for their stockholders is #1. Customer service? Well, you guess.
I know some are touting the benefits of going to a credit union but there are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Credit unions can fail just like banks. They can also make bad decisions just like a bank can do. Before deciding to change over to a credit union, make sure you check them out to make sure they aren't as bad as the bank you just left. Look for a reputable credit union.
2) Credit unions are also in the business to make money. Those who believe otherwise are sadly mistaken.
Do your homework with credit unions and you'll be better off when you change over to one.
Yea B of A is a power house, not bad, and fits my needs. It is all in what you need. My problem with B of A is that they are pushing a credit card. This is to take advantage of the ones that cannot manage money. Well, this includes many of us.
A good bank is one that will allow you to put in controls and assist you with managing your money. A good bank will assist you in the life style you can afford and have programs that show us how to save and how to invest that savings for maximum return.
This will be better for everyone all around. Win win.
Instead todays banks spend the time sceeming how they suck suck evey penny out of grandma's pention.
The morals and ethics of some of these people are really bad.
Educate yourselfs America, ask all the questions, and let competition prevail. Don't wait till tomorrow. If you don't like your bank; dump them. Credit Unions are great, personel, and nice to do business with.
Yeah Guys If you want a good interest rate you are not going to find it at any bank or credit union especially now. The other stuff was pretty good advice.
Credit Unions certainly have their advantages and use one for car loans etc. As far a day to day banking, I looked for these key features:
- No fees
- ATMs everywhere
- Online banking
Most people will think I'm nuts when I say this, but Bank of America (BofA) hits all three of these.
I have not paid these guys a dime in the 10 years I have had them in fees. I don't have overdraft protection or any other silly banking services setup. You have to look at the type of checking you want. I don't collect any interest from a savings account with them, it would be almost negligible anyway.
Also, they are kings when it comes to ATM availability. They are in most metro areas in the US but they also are part of the Global ATM Alliance where you can use other bank ATMS abroad with no fees. It is not bulletproof, but it has worked well in Mexico and Europe.
FInally, their online banking portal is really good. I can manage all aspects of my finances by populating every creditor and investment (including my home value) to get a snapshot of my net worth everyday.
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