Monday, February 25, 2019

Switching Banks? 4 Tips to Save Money with New Accounts



People have many different money management strategies. Some people like to keep all of their accounts at a single institution and others prefer to shop around for the best offers for each of their accounts. 

There are many things to consider when opening new accounts, including how best to make your money work for you. Making the wrong choice can be inconvenient and costly. Here are just four tips to make the most out of changing banks and opening new accounts.

Fees and Rates


Many of us simply put our money in one of the banks closest to our physical location. Few read the fine print. But if you take the time to go over the details you might be shocked by the number of fees attached to some accounts. Take the time to sit with a customer service rep and get a clear idea about all of the fees associated with your account. 

Not just overdraft fees, but ATM fees, maintenance fees, even wire transfer fees can add up and may be more than you are willing to pay. Similarly, interest rates on loans, credit cards, and certain bank products should also factor into your decision. Ideally, you want to find a bank that pays you for saving money. 

Many credit unions and online banks offer higher interest rates on accounts and lower interest rates on products like loans and credit cards. If you’re looking to switch your accounts to a new bank, then you can also potentially negotiate with the new bank to get rates lower than what you had before. Banks are often eager to make deals with potential new customers, so be sure to use that to your advantage.

ATMs & Branches


DO you make a lot of cash transactions? If so then you will want to look into how many branches and ATMs you have available to you. ATM fees can add up, and making deposits and withdrawals in person can become burdensome if you only have one or two branches available to you. 




Some credit unions and online banks are part of a larger network that allows you to use ATMs all across the country without ATM fees. If you don't use cash very often, this may not be a serious concern. However, as many banks charge service fees for you to use ATMs that aren’t part of their network, you’ll probably want to know their policies and ATM availability ahead of time.

Mobility


Mobile banking is not only a great tool but a great way to keep an eye on your money. The ease of being able to check on the status of your account every day and spot any discrepancies is one way that new banking technology can save you time and money. Many mobile banking apps help you to see exactly where and when you are spending money so you can budget better. 

They also allow you to make payments to avoid late fees and processing fees, as well as move money from one account to the other to make saving even easier. When looking at new banks, be sure to investigate what services they offer in terms of technology that will make your transactions easier.

Special Offers


Are you a senior? A student? A federal employee? In the military? Did you know that many banks have special financial products and accounts designed for these categories of people? Ask about these specialty accounts. 

They usually have low or no minimum balances, lower fees, free checking accounts, and other major perks to draw in new customers. Whether you’re a new customer or not, many banks today are offering new deals on rates, accounts, and new credit cards that can save you a lot of money.

The objective is always to find a financial institution that suits your needs. Don't be afraid to shop around and to open multiple accounts with multiple institutions. By negotiating with banks to get competitive rates, as well as taking advantage of already-present deals and offers, you can save yourself a lot of money now and in the long run.


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