What Bank Should I Switch To

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 10 minute read

My spouse and I have been discussing a remortgage for a while now. When Washington Mutual failed, our mortgage was transferred to another bank, and I have been less than pleased with the service ever since. 

The deciding factor was our discussion over the phone regarding various investment opportunities and interest rates. So that I would be prepared, I looked into mortgage rates online, requested my credit report, and ran a quick estimate of my home’s value. The price they gave me was definitely not their finest.

Commercial banks exist to serve their customers’ financial needs, including those related to mortgages, day-to-day transactions, and investment and retirement accounts. When your bank stops meeting your needs, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Why You Should Split From Your Bank

I’ve been looking into refinancing options and have found that many banks are ready to offer far better rates and bonuses than my present one, including waiving closing charges. It has made me reevaluate my banking habits and the factors I consider when deciding where to put my money. 

However, bad refinancing rates aren’t the only reason to ditch your current bank. If you identify with any of the following statements regarding your present bank, it may be time to look for a new one.

1. Poor customer service

Your bank used to be amazing, what with all the bonuses and the convenient atmosphere, but now they barely even bother with their customers. It’s possible that you won’t feel at home in the environment of your chosen bank, whether it’s a large, faceless megabank or a smaller, more intimate community bank. If you feel like your customer service is inadequate for whatever reason, you may be able to improve.

Among the elements of customer service to consider are:

  • Accessible in-person and telephone support at a flexible schedule.
  • Good personal experiences with bank personnel
  • Problems are quickly addressed and fixed; for instance, if you lose your credit card, it is canceled and a replacement is sent out to you.
  • A variety of in-person banking services, including check ordering, depositing funds, seeing account histories, transferring funds, and banking for small businesses, are available at most branches, and customers can also make use of additional conveniences like ATMs and extended hours.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

If you’re having trouble with your bank’s customer service, you should probably bring it up with the branch manager. Maybe if you tell him or her about the issue, they can fix it and make things better for you. You may be informed of online services that make it unnecessary to visit a physical bank during inconvenient hours.

When to Continue

Try other banks in town and check out your options online if the manager isn’t willing to do anything to improve the situation. Find out when they’re open, if they have a drive-up window or an ATM, and if they offer customer service by visiting their website. You may get useful information about any bank by reading online customer reviews.

2. There are High-Interest Rates

You may be tempted to just keep paying the high-interest rate on your present loan rather than go through the hassle of refinancing. Whether you find a better rate and savings at another bank, you should see if your current bank would match it. If not, then it’s probably worth your time to shop around for a better deal.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

Get preapproved for a loan from another bank and show it to your present lender. This can be a mortgage, refinance, vehicle loan, or anything else. Find out if the bank will match the new offer, if possible. If such is the case, you can get your payment reduced with little effort.

When to Continue

Is the bank you’re working with uncooperative? Switch and save some cash. Even while it will take longer to repay, you will save thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of your loan. The time and money saved are well worth the inconvenience of having to gather paperwork and sign a fresh letter.

3. You’re Establishing a Joint Account.

Getting married typically necessitates starting fresh financially. If you and your spouse are looking to switch banks, it’s important that you do your homework and find the best fit. It’s possible that you’d have better luck with another bank if you and your spouse switched over.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

Discuss with your significant other the benefits of opening a joint account at your existing bank. You might be allowed to stay with your present bank if you have multiple accounts there and are happy with the service you receive.

When to Continue

Since you’ll need to create a new account regardless, now is an excellent opportunity to switch banks if your partner’s bank or another bank offers superior services, products, and amenities.

4. The Prices Are Inexcusably High

Banking fees are unfortunately inevitable. Overdraft fees of $30 or more are exorbitant, for example, and should raise red flags. Take, for example, Bank of America: You can avoid the $12 monthly fee associated with a MyAccess checking account by maintaining a balance of $1,500 or more. 

The same services are available for free at credit unions and banks including Zions Bank and Ally Bank. 

In the same vein, banks shouldn’t impose charges for things like account maintenance, maintaining a certain minimum amount, closing an account, receiving paper statements, or speaking with a teller in person. You may find a bank that provides all of these services and more without charging you a dime.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

Ask your bank to waive the cost for a single instance of an overdraft or late payment. If it is a customer’s first transgression, a reputable bank probably won’t mind refunding the cost. It might work once, but only if you haven’t actually signed up for an account and accepted all the fees. In the future, exercise greater caution.

When to Continue

When a bank starts charging for features that other banks provide for free, it’s time to find a new one. Exorbitant fees are probably something you agreed to when you opened your account, making it difficult to get them reduced or waived. You should do your research, read the tiny print, and check out what other customers are saying about costs before signing up with a new bank.

5. You’re Moving

Keeping in touch with your bank after moving far away can be challenging, especially if there is no local branch. Don’t feel bad about having to register a new account; it’s common practice for people who are moving.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

Get in touch with your bank’s support team and find out if they have a branch near your new home. If you do all of your banking online, you may also want to think about; If you really like the bank and the service they provide, you might choose to keep a savings account there even if you switch your regular checking account to a different bank. If you can’t easily access your savings, you’ll be less tempted to squander them.

When to Continue

You should look elsewhere for banking services if your current institution lacks both a convenient location and adequate online account management resources.

6. A Dearth of Features and Services

I make full use of online banking. Many internet capabilities are available at my credit union, including online bill payment, budgeting, and account management. But unlike me, my spouse banks with a large national institution that doesn’t offer many convenient internet features. 

You may need to look into other options if your bank does not offer the services you require or want to successfully manage your funds. A major selling feature is online services. 

Consider looking for features like:

  • Online account access
  • Account transfers
  • Bill pay
  • Online check deposit
  • Check image viewing
  • Budgeting tools
  • Spending reports
  • Credit card payments
  • Mobile apps with similar functionality

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

If you haven’t visited your bank’s website and looked into its features, you may not be aware of the services and features it offers online. Open an online account with your bank or contact customer care to learning more about what it has to offer.

When to Continue

It’s irritating that my credit union enables mobile deposits of up to $5,000 while my husband’s bank only permits mobile deposits of up to $1,000. I’ve been trying to persuade him to move banks because my current institution provides superior services, especially for those with active families. 

If the services you require are not provided by your current bank, look elsewhere. These days, there’s really no excuse to go without the convenience of banking apps and online banking services.

7. Absence of branches and ATMs

When using an ATM that is not associated with your bank, the costs can total $4. I prefer a bank with a large number of ATMs, and I always make sure I know where they are.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

Keep track of the ATMs closest to you by checking the website of your bank. Or, if you bank online with a company like Simple that doesn’t have any physical branches, you can use the bank’s website to locate fee-free ATMs that are linked with the company.

When to Continue

Consider which ATMs you use the most if you prefer to pay with cash yet must pay ATM fees frequently. It would be wise to switch to one of those banks to avoid unnecessary charges. Getting your own money will cost you more than $300 a year if you pay $3 each time you withdraw cash, which is twice a week.

8. There is no affection for devoted customers

When I watch a promo for one of my banks that touts special benefits for new customers, I feel frustrated. I am curious as to the benefits enjoyed by long-term clients as a result of their dedication to your company. That’s why I am wary of financial institutions that seem to always be introducing new bonuses for bank customers; I wonder how they treat their long-term customers.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

Please give your bank the opportunity to treat you as they would a brand new customer. I was able to have my annual account charge erased by simply asking for the same promotion that was being offered to new customers.

When to Continue

Your bank clearly doesn’t value your loyalty if they aren’t ready to do anything to reward you for being a customer for so many years. So, please refrain from providing it. To take advantage of the perks offered to new customers, shop around for a bank that provides superior customer care.

9. You Currently Bank With Three Different Institutions.

While there is nothing wrong with having multiples of the same sort of account, such as a checking account at various banks, it can get confusing. This is true even if you divide your accounts out evenly. Locate your preferred bank and combine accounts to simplify things.

How to Fix the Issue at Your Present Bank

If you’ve found a bank that you really like, you might want to transfer some of your accounts there. Having a variety of accounts spread out throughout a number of banks may be, to put it mildly, complicated. Don’t sign up for more than one account unless you absolutely have to.

When to Continue

There’s always a chance that you still have some money stashed away in old bank accounts you’ve long since forgotten about. Eliminate extraneous processes and simplify your approach. The moment is right to look into other banking institutions if you are not very loyal to your current financial institution.

The Making the Change

You need to start the process of moving money to your new financial institution if you’ve determined that another bank would serve you better in the long run. Even though it could seem a little intimidating, breaking the process down into a few simple steps can make it much easier.

  1. Stop Making Recurring Payments. You can stop any recurring bill payments made from your old bank account by logging in to your account online. Make a note of your old bank’s account numbers, payees, and payment amounts so you may transfer them to your new bank. This is also true for services that routinely charge your bank account or a debit card linked to your bank account. A review of your most recent billing statements will reveal whatever services you’ve configured for this purpose. Then, if your new bank account has been set up and funded, you can switch your billing to that instead by visiting the respective web portals. When it comes to auto-renewing services and semi-annual or annual insurance premiums, it’s important not to forget about them.
  2. Launch a Brand New Account. Make sure your new account is prepared by depositing the minimum amount required to keep your space until the remainder of your funds can be transferred over.
  3. The use of a Certified Check is requested. Request a certified check from your previous financial institution for the amount you have in your account. Money from a certified check can take up to three banking days to be transferred out of one account and into another. Consider requesting a wire transfer if prompt access to the funds is essential. Keep in mind that there will be charges, unlike certified checks which are typically free of charge.
  4. Fund Your New Account With the Money You Need. You can either wait for the wire transfer to finish or deliver the certified check to the new bank.
  5. Create a Recurring Payment Plan. You can use your bank’s online tools to re-establish your automatic payments using the information you received while canceling payments with your old account. There may be late fees assessed by your numerous payees if you don’t.
  6. Put in place a direct deposit. Close your old account and open a new one if you want to continue receiving direct deposits from your work or other sources. Now that your money is in your new account, you can close your old bank account by letting them know. To legally shut the account, you will need to visit the branch in person to sign a few documents and provide various types of ID. Make sure you have the right supplies by calling ahead.

Bottom Line

It’s never easy to end a relationship, but when it comes to your money, your comfort and happiness should come first. There’s no reason to put up with an unsatisfactory bank when there are so many to choose from, both offline and online. Do what’s best for you, whether that’s making amends or cutting ties altogether.

Curated posts

Someone from Jacksonville, FL just viewed Best Online Colleges for Occupational Safety and Health