There are many banks in the market today. You can be as choosy as you want. You may need to do some legwork before choosing the best bank. When it is about banking your money, you know very well that every dime counts! Thus, you can only feel secure when you know your savings are secured in a highly reputed bank. Mostly, getting a good bank just takes some common sense and then you can have your financial life on track.
What should you consider most when choosing a bank?
For many people, reputation of the bank is very important. You should read reviews posted online by other people who use the bank. That way, you can get firsthand information about how the bank operates, its customer services and many other things. You should never go choosing the best bank account blindly. Get to know what other people who have used the bank before experienced. Again, do not rely on the information provided on the adverts running on CNN or any other network as those are for marketing. You need to know what a user has experienced and you need to know that from a user review, not a TV advert.
Does it offer convenient online banking?
Who doesn’t need online banking in this age of the internet for everything? Who wants to have to wait until the bank can open its doors in the morning to access their money? Online banking is a reality. In fact, in Kenya, a country in East Africa, mobile banking has become so efficient such that you can withdraw money from your bank account through your mobile phone and then withdraw the money from your mobile provider’s agent who is stationed locally. Isn’t that a beauty? So convenient!
If you would be comfortable with online banking alone and using ATMs, perhaps you should go for the online banking only provider. That means that you will be able to keep on top of all your transactions online and save the fees imposed on manual transactions.
Banking fees – free service? Maybe!
Now here is the catch to banking… there are usually fees and if there aren’t any fees for you to pay, then there are requirements that you must meet and one of them is that you must maintain a certain balance in the book. Can you meet that? Read the fine print, understand what your bank needs you to have, should this be a minimum balance or a fee for every transaction that you make? Beware! Some banks even charge for checking your balance online. Thus, the best thing would be to look for the bank with the most affordable fees rather than a free bank. Compare the services offered by a few, say like 4 or 5 banks before choosing the best bank.
Read the bank fine print. Look for any hidden charges. Some banks do have such, things that you overlook, only to hit you in the face later on.
This is a very important consideration when choosing the best bank, especially for a person who travels a lot. Some of the small banks are just so local and their services can only be accessed within one’s country. However, some of the well-known names like Barclays, Citibank and others do offer international service. Thus, if you are a business executive who travels from time to time, it would be much better for you to get an account with such. If you never travel, it would be ok to do your banking with a small local bank in your town.
After all is said and done, when choosing the best bank, you must look for the most convenient for your banking needs. For example, some banks offer better fixed deposit accounts than others. Some offer better savings accounts than others while yet others offer better business accounts than others. Then there are local banks, national as well as international banks. As for security, don’t let that worry you as many banks are well protected and the law requires them to insure their customers.
Choose a bank using this checklist
Here is a very useful checklist we found for you to compare banks in detail so you will have the best possible basis for a good decision. Remember – changing banks is a big hustle. So you want to choose your bank carefully. It can be a lifetime decision!
Just click on the image to the left for instant download of the printable PDF file.