Banks are in the business of making money out of your money. Whenever a depositor puts cash in his account, banks invest this in other vehicles and give the depositor back a small portion of the earnings. With the tiny amount of interest banks are giving out for savings accounts, it’s only natural that we demand the best service.
Banks are sprouting out all over America, and with the accessibility of online banking, it’s getting harder to do due diligence with all of these banks. So how do we choose the right bank? Here are the top 7 things to look for when choosing a bank:
1. FDIC Insurance – Banks can close. This has become evident during the financial crisis when in 2008, twenty-five banks were shut down and taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Banks that are FDIC insured can guarantee every account up to $250,000. If your bank closes, at least you know you’ll be getting your money back and it won’t be lost in the wind.
2. Low To None Minimum Requirements – Having low to none minimum requirements can be especially useful for ATMS. This means that even if you’re hard on cash, you can withdraw as much as you need without fear of being charged extra for going below the minimum requirement.
3. High Return on Investment – Look for a bank that gives high CD rates, checking account and savings account rates. Usually, local and smaller banks give bigger rates since they are still trying to get depositors to invest with them. If you’re looking for growth of your money, check your local banks.
4. Low Loan Rates – Availing of loans can be advantageous whether you’re using it to buy a new home or car, or if you’re using it as leverage for your business. Whatever the case may be, having loan rates at rock bottom would always be the best scenario. Check with your bank on interest rates on loans, their terms, and their flexibility.
5. Online banking – The world is fast changing and banking is keeping up with the change. Gone are the days when everyone had to go to the bank branches to deposit. Banking can now be done online or through mobile. Make sure your bank has these features, and also be sure to check on the reliability of their online security.
6. Numerous ATMS – Most banks charge a fee if you withdraw from another bank’s ATM. Having accessible ATMS of your bank can save you a lot of money in ATM charges.
7. Customer Service – The best way to know a bank is to ask its personnel. Bank staff and managers are key in finding out special promotions, inside information on foreclosures, and techniques to get the most out of your money. Also, time is money. If you’re in a rush and you need to close a deal or get quick cash, having excellent customer service will save you the headache.
Don’t slack off in choosing the right bank. Once you’ve opened an account with one, it’s a chore to transfer to another when you’ve realized that bank is not for you. Money is essential to all of us, and it’s only right that we spend some time to double check.