Loyalty is a good quality to have. However, you could be missing out on some big financial perks if you’re remaining loyal to your bank simply out of habit. How can you know it’s time to switch banks? There are actually three big signs that it’s time to take your business elsewhere. It’s nothing personal. The fact of the matter is that your needs change as you reach different points in life. Some banks offer more of what you need to make your money do more and pave a path for a brighter financial future. Check out the three big signs that it’s time to change banks.
Fees Are Killing You
It happens quickly. In fact, most of us don’t really notice it until we wake up one day and discover that big chunks of money are being pulled from our accounts. We’re talking about bank fees. Americans are paying around $34 billion in overdraft fees alone each year. Here’s a look at all of the common fees you could be on the hook for:
- Account maintenance fees
- Transaction fees
- Overdraft fees
- ATM fees
All banks handle fees differently. Some charge extra fees for just about every service that is offered. Others are more generous when it comes to letting fees slide. You may not have noticed that your bank has been slowly increasing fees in recent years as a way to cope with the aftermath of the financial crisis from a decade ago. New fees were introduced to offset lost revenue. However, the economy has rebounded, and banks don’t really need to do this anymore. That hasn’t stopped most banks from keeping those fees in place. Take a look at your recent bank statements to see how much you’ve lost in fees to determine if it’s time to jump ship.
Your Bank Isn’t Convenient
Are you banking with a dinosaur? It can feel like that if the bank you’re using doesn’t offer many mobile options for accessing your account and using your money. It could be time to research banks that offer mobile banking options that allow you to make quick transfers, check your balance or pay bills electronically. In addition, you should also ask yourself if your bank is delivering good customer service. Is someone willing to sit down with you and go over options for making your money to more? Does your bank ever reach out to you and offer ways to help you prepare for the next step in life? A bank shouldn’t just be a place where you store your money. A bank should be a tool you are able to use to whip your financial life into shape and work toward your goals.
The Returns Aren’t There
A fraction of a percent can be a huge deal when it comes to what your savings account is earning. When was the last time you checked what the annual percentage yield on your savings account was? It’s time to do that right now. Then you should shop around to see if competing banks can do better than what your current bank is doing. Getting a better return on your savings is one of the easiest ways to essentially make money without doing anything.
A Quick Crash Course in Finding the Right Bank
How can you know which type of bank is perfect for you? It all depends on your lifestyle. Those big banks that you see advertising on television all the time could be a great fit for you if traveling is something that you’re passionate about at the moment. Big-name banks and financial institutions often offer amazing rewards for travel purchases and they can be used in more places. They also tend to offer the best when it comes to mobile banking.
Conversely, using a local bank could be a good idea if you plan to purchase a home or open a business in the next few years and would like to get a local loan. Don’t overlook credit unions. You may be able to join a credit union based on where you work, live, or some cause or organization that you’re affiliated with. There are 5,480 federally insured credit unions that serve more than 100 million members in the United States. The structure of credit unions often allows them to offer lower fees and better rates. However, you will want to research a particular credit union to make sure it is insured and that it offers the services and conveniences you need for your personal financial needs.