There are currently over 4000 banks in the US. And yet many of us rarely ever switch bank. One survey found that the average US adult had been using the same primary checking account for more than 17 years and the same savings account for just under 17 years. Many of us choose not to switch accounts simply out of convenience. But with so many banks out there all offering different deals, should we be switching more often?
While it’s possible some of us are getting the best deal by staying put, it’s highly likely that many of us would be much better off moving to another bank if we were to look around. Below are just some of the signs that you should consider switching bank.
You can get better interest on your savings
Savings accounts can help us to grow our money more quickly by paying us interest. However, interest rates vary widely from bank to bank. If you want to get the best growth out of your savings, it could be worth comparing interest rates of other banks. If you find a bank with higher interest rates, this could be a sign that it’s time to move your savings. Just make sure to also compare conditions and penalties (some accounts may only allow you to generate a certain amount of interest if you contribute a certain amount each month and don’t withdraw any money).
You can pay lower fees and penalties
On the topic of penalties, it could be worth checking whether any bank accounts are more forgiving if you go over your overdraft limit or don’t touch an account for a while. Take the time to look at different checking and savings accounts and compare the penalties and fees of each. Some banks may also charge lower fees on overdrafts, loans and credit cards. This is all worth comparing if you often need to borrow money and could save you in the money.
You’ve had to deal with poor customer service or security issues
If you’ve had issues with customer service, this could be another reason to switch bank. This could include not being able to get through to helplines or not being able to get help with financial problems. Issues involving security could be particularly worth considering when deciding whether to move bank – if a bank has had a data breach or you’ve found yourself frequently dealing with fraud, it might be time to look for a bank with a better security reputation.
You want to improve your online banking service
Many of us rely heavily on online banking. Pretty much all banks nowadays provide online banking – both through a website and an app. However, the quality of online banking services can vary. Some online banks allow you to do everything from deposit cheques to applying to loans to even creating weekly budgets. Others offer only the bare minimum features such as being able to read statements and move money to other accounts. Consider whether you could benefit from a better online banking service.
There are added perks to switching
There could be many other perks to switching account. There may be introductory offers on loans and savings accounts that you can take advantage of. Some banks will even pay you a sign-up bonus of $100 or more simply to set up an account with them. These are perks you won’t get from sticking with the same bank.