Choosing a bank account can be one of the most difficult financial decisions you’ll ever have to make. With so many banks out there, from traditional banks to credit unions to online banks, there are literally thousands to choose from, so how do you know which account to choose and how to go about choosing the right bank? Here are five things to look for to help you narrow down your list of the best banks to open a bank account. Chances are, the choices will be slim by the time you get all these requirements met!
1. Fees Associated with Accounts
Some bank accounts charge monthly fees while others have special accounts with no fees, but a ton of requirements that must be met. A few banks offer checking accounts with no monthly fees and few restrictions, but if that’s the only thing that the bank has going for it, move on to the next bank.
2. Interest Rates
When you open a savings account of any kind, you want the highest interest rates possible. Whether you choose a CD investment account, a traditional savings account or even a money market account, you want to get the most for your money, so choose wisely based on the amount of interest you can accrue.
3. Minimum Balance Requirements
Some of us have little to set aside for a bank account, be it a checking or a savings account. Therefore, make sure to investigate whether or not the bank you are considering has minimum balance requirements. If they do, you will often find that fees will be assessed based on falling below that minimum requirement. In other words, they want you to keep a certain amount of money in your account because that frees those funds for them to invest. Or, to put it another way, their net assets at any given moment are based on the availability of total funds in their bank.
4. Availability of Related Financial Products
Sometimes, you only want to open a checking account, for example, but recognize that down the line you may want to open a savings account or buy into an investment product. It always pays to find a bank with the greatest number of financial products available to their customers. When choosing a bank account, don’t limit yourself to the type of account you are currently interested in.
5. Online Banking & Mobile Apps
Finally, more people use online banking or online banking through mobile apps than those who actually visit branches. If you are looking for the right bank account, find a bank that offers online and mobile banking. The convenience these features provide is well worth the extra time searching for the right bank account.
There you have five things to look for when choosing a bank account. In fact, you may even find that the type of account you were originally interested in wasn’t what you want or need after all. That’s the beauty of being able to compare banks by the type of accounts they offer. You may end up with so much more than you were looking for and that, in itself, is worth the effort.