When the time comes to open a new bank account, there is a seemingly endless parade of banks waiting for your custom. Picking the right one out of all the available options might seem like a challenge, but it is remarkably easy if you know what you are looking for. Choosing the right bank is a heck of a lot easier when you take the time beforehand to research your options and work out exactly what it is that you are looking for.
If you enter this process with a good idea of the kind of services and features that are most important to you, especially those which are deal breakers, will make it much easier to sift through all the information to find the bits you need to evaluate any potential banks.
If you are finding yourself struggling to work out which bank is the best fit for your particular needs, then this guide is for you. The following are the key considerations that you need to keep in mind as you look through the various possibilities.
Types of Account
Different people will have very different requirements for their bank accounts. Some people will be looking for a long-term savings account, others just want a checking account, or perhaps even an account for holding investment funds. Decide what your needs are and then research which type of account can provide you with the best match.
Remember, most banks will let you open as many accounts as you like with them. It is perfectly possible to have several different accounts, each with very different terms and purposes, rather than a single savings account. It often makes more financial sense to take advantage of the different offers attached to different account types.
Fees and Rates
Some banks will charge you for services such as ATM use, overdrafts, even transferring money between accounts. A lot of the time, you will find yourself trying to navigate your way through esoteric-free structures trying to work out which set of fees works out best for you. Unfortunately, there is no easy way around this. You can refer to lists that discuss the best bank to bank with; those with exorbitant fees are unlikely to make the cut.
If you are in the market for a credit card, make sure that you understand all about interest rates, annual yields, and all the other terminology that will be thrown at you. Credit cards are not a necessity in life. Those who know that they aren’t great with money may well wish to avoid credit cards altogether.
ATM and Branch Locations
Whoever you ultimately decide to bank with, you want to be able to access a physical branch should you need to. The arrival of online and telephone banking means that most banking transactions can be handled without having to visit a physical location. However, there are occasions where your bank might want to see you in person. Make sure that there are physical branches and ATM locations within reach of your current residence.
Choosing the right bank account isn’t the most exciting of tasks. There’s lots of terms, conditions, and jargon that you need to break through. However, it is worth taking the time to carefully study your options before you commit.