The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.
5 Signs It’s Time to Switch Banks
If your banking relationship is on the rocks, see what other financial fish are in the sea. If you’re paying fees, not making money on interest and feeling like just another number, it might be time to switch banks. Here are five signs you need a change.
Like any other relationship, your banking relationship should provide all the benefits you need and make you feel valued. If you’ve been with the same bank for years and aren’t getting the most out of your money, or you feel treated like a number, it might be time to break up with your bank. There are numerous options for a new banking partner that will be more compatible with your goals.
If you’ve never considered switching, here are five signs it’s time to change banks.
1. You Want More for Your Money
If your bank’s paying you pennies in interest on your accounts, it’s time to look around for a better place to nest your money. While traditional banks only pay an average of .04 to .06% interest on savings and money market accounts,1 some online-only banks and credit unions offer significantly higher interest rates. Credit unions also generally offer lower interest rates on loans. If your bank’s interest rates are too high for borrowing and too low for savings, you should see if there’s something better for you with another financial institution. Also, beware of temporary promotional rates from banks that will change over time.
2. You’re Paying Fees
Some banks charge so many fees! Monthly fees for checking accounts, fees for using ATMs outside their network, fees for replacing a debit card, overdraft fees, charges for checks — if it’s costing you money to be a customer at your bank, look into a free checking account elsewhere, preferably at a bank or credit union that doesn’t charge many of the aforementioned fees. Some banking partners will reimburse you for fees charged by other banks’ ATMs, and many credit unions offer a large network of fee-free ATMs.
3. You Want Personal Service
Does your financial institution prioritize profits over people? Banks have to make money for their investors, but credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit institutions that give back to their members and communities. If you feel cold-shouldered by corporate financial entities, it might be time to switch banks to one you feel treats people better and takes pride in being part of your local community and economy.
4. You Feel Like a Number
You probably know what it’s like to call your bank for customer service and be endlessly shuffled from one representative to another just to find answers to simple banking questions. If you feel like just another number in a huge sea of customers, consider switching to a community bank or credit union that will connect you with experts who can actually help you conquer your specific challenges and meet your individual goals.
5. You Need Easier Banking
Remember when you knew someone who still didn’t have an email address? If your bank or credit union is like that person (i.e., stuck in the Dark Ages), it’s time to switch banking partners to one that has the technology and modern features to make your life easier. Your banking partner should offer online and mobile banking that allows you to do things like remotely deposit checks, transfer funds and check your balances.
You wouldn’t stick with a romantic partner who takes your money, gives nothing back and ignores you. Why stick with a bank that’s charging you fees, not paying you interest and giving you poor customer service? Find what works best for you and make that change!