How to Find the Best Bank For a Checking Account
The decision to look for a new checking account presents you with the immediate realization that there are literally thousands of banks to choose from. Besides the many small and midsize banks, there are a handful of large, multi-billion dollar banks that monopolize the advertising space on TV and in newspapers.
It is easy to be tempted to choose the 13-best-banks-who-dont-use-chexsystems bank with the biggest name or glitziest ads. But, of course, they’re expecting you to be dazzled by their clever marketing and just sign up when you see their cool ads. However, when making your decision to select the right bank, it is important to focus on what should be most important: the value that the bank offers you, as a customer.
The most important considerations for most consumers when looking for a new bank are fee structure, convenience and security.
To help you make a good decision, here are 5 tips on how to find the best bank for a checking account:
1. Choose a bank whose accounts are FDIC-insured. This means that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will reimburse you for any losses to your deposit due to a bank closure or similar situation. The amount covered is currently $250,000 per depositor.
2. Find a bank that gives you ATM access almost anywhere in the country – without charging you a fee if you use another bank’s ATM to make a withdrawal. Quick and ready access to your cash should be an important part of your decision in selecting the right checking account.
3. Make sure your new account has an online banking option. This means you should have the ability to transfer money among your different accounts, make balance inquiries and pay bills online from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere with an Internet connection.
4. Choose a bank that has a forgiving fee structure. The banking industry’s dirty little secret is that they made over $25 billion last year off of consumers through the charging of overdraft fees alone! In response to general consumer anger over this practice that some consumer advocates believe is abusive, some banks offer checking accounts that do not charge overdraft fees at all. Instead, for a low monthly fee, these banks will cover any overdrawn check or debit transaction (up to a pre-determined amount) without charging you an overdraft fee. This is worth looking into as it could save you hundreds of dollars per year.
5. If you have been having trouble getting approved for a checking account recently, it is likely that you have been reported to something called Chex Systems – a database that tells banks which new account applicants are potential risks. Fortunately, some banks today offer something called second chance checking, meaning that they will grant you a new checking account even if your name appears in Chex Systems. Why? Because these banks do not look at Chex Systems when considering new account applications. Have a look at a second chance checking account if getting rejected is a concern for you.
Choosing a new checking account can be a bewildering process, given all of the bank choices available to you. Consider these 5 tips when choosing the best bank for a checking account.