There are many options when it comes to banking, but when it comes to financial services, people tend to stay loyal to their current institutions. The time and effort it takes to switch financial institutions often prevents many of us from making a change. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider switching banks today.
Fees, Fees and More Fees
A bank that is nickeling and diming you all the time is eating into your savings and draining your bank account. It isn’t reasonable to charge you a constant stream of fees to hit the ATM, get cash back at transactions or even check account balances.
There are material and handling costs when new checks and debit cards are made, so fees there are reasonable. Account maintenance fees are common if you don’t maintain a minimum balance or arrange direct deposit of your paycheck or pension checks at the bank. If you’re maintaining a sizeable balance there and they still bill you to manage the account plus every little transaction, you should look for someone who won’t charge you continually to keep your money there.
Security? What Security?
A bank that has suffered a security breach is not unique. What can differ radically is the importance banks put on security and how they treat affected customers. Banks that don’t bother securing ATMs from skimmers and make customers jump through hoops when they think their account information has been stolen aren’t worth your time, though it may take a while to transfer your remaining assets to a new bank. If your bank has been lax on security and slow to provide assistance, switch.
This is aside from whether or not the FDIC covers the bank. If the FDIC doesn’t cover the bank, it isn’t a legitimate bank. Note that the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund offers the same protection for credit unions. If no such group insures your money, move it to a real institution now.
Not Rewarding Your Loyalty
If a bank doesn’t care about your loyalty, you should consider going somewhere else. For example, refusing to look at a ten year history of never bouncing a check and then having hefty fees applied because they processed your bills before your deposits is failing to reward your loyal service, much less provide customer service. Bad or non-existent bank loyalty programs can be a factor in deciding where to go as well.
Remember that you need to be careful about the rewards they give, since a “cash back” or “point rewards” credit card comes with a higher interest rate. That means the $5 cash back on that $500 purchase comes with several dollars more paid in interest on the borrowed money, and you’re spending ten thousand dollars to get that “free” plane ticket.
Just because you’ve been with a bank since forever, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider switching. If you feel like your bank is neglecting you, or that the fees don’t match the benefits, you should consider switching banks right away.