Are you still continuing with the very first bank account that you had opened? If yes, it may be time to consider other options. Most people do not consider switching to another bank out of sheer comfort. They become used to its way of functioning or may not have the time to make the change. However, switching your bank account is no different than changing your car after a few years. The only difference is that problems in your car are more visible and may affect your life more directly.

Did you know that choosing another bank account could save you more money and give you better services in the long term? Here are some reasons why changing your bank account is a good idea.

Interest Rates

Do you know that online banks offer some of the highest interest rates in the US? Although the differences can be marginal, the interest rates can earn you a decent amount if you have substantial savings in your account. However, you may want to read the fine print and become aware of details like minimum balance requirements and annual fees before you make your move.

Customer Service

Banks are increasingly becoming more customer-centric and offering better services to attract more customers. Your bank could have seemed promising in the beginning but has the customer services dwindled over the years? If yes, you could talk to your bank manager and see if it changes the current affair of things. If it doesn’t, you may want to opt for a bank with better-personalized services. While you are at it, you may also want to check if it offers a wide range of banking services such as ordering checks, deposits and easy transfers.

Join Account

If you are newly married and considering a joint account, you should consider other options. You may think about moving to your partner’s bank if he is satisfied with his bank account in terms of services and response-time while you are not happy with your bank.

Fees

Banks thrive on the fees that they charge from their customers. It could be the annual credit card fee or the overdraft fee. For instance, some banks charge annual fees on your checking accounts regardless of the amount you keep it in. On the other hand, some banks waive this fee if you keep a certain minimum balance at all times. It could be a good idea to study your previous bank statements to understand the total fees they have charged you in the last few years. If it seems unreasonable, you may want to shop around and get a better deal.

ATMs and branches

You should be able to withdraw your money easily and without paying any extra fees. This becomes all the more important if you have to pay an extra $4 for using a different ATM. There are two ways of correcting this situation. You can either go through your bank’s website and find out a list of affiliated ATMs. If it is still a problem, you may want to open another account with a wider network of ATMs and branches.

How to switch to another bank?

Once you have made up your mind to move to another bank, make sure you take all the right steps so that it doesn’t cause you any financial setbacks. Here is how you can go about it.

  • Firstly, deactivate all your automatic payments. It may be a good idea to note down the details for future use.
  • Open your new bank account and transfer your money to it. You can transfer your money either through a certified check or through wire transfer. While working with a check may take about three working days, wire transfer is instant. However, wire transfer may not be free or may have limitations on the maximum amount that you can transfer.
  • Set up your automatic payments and also inform your employer about the change.
  • Visit the old bank branch and close the old account. You may have to go through a formal process and sign a few documents for this.