Step by step guide to selecting a new bank or credit union…and then actually moving to it!
Step One: Selecting a new bank or credit union
Time: 3 days
There’s a lot to consider here. For the most part, you should do your own research to ensure the bank meets your financial needs as well as has high ethical standards. Spend a few days on this step. You don’t want to make a hasty decision.
Narrow down your choices:
- Find two to three eligible banks/CUs to do in-depth research on. If you encounter a deal breaker, find another one to add into the mix.
- Resources to check (aside from Google):
- Mobile app available (online banking is a given)
- Many also come with mobile check deposit, which is very helpful
- ATM network
- ATM fees
- Find the “fee schedule” on their website
- Many banks and CUs these days reimburse a set number of ATM fees or dollar amount per month from out-of-network ATM withdrawals
- If you travel internationally, also check their coverage for foreign transaction fees
- High APY for Savings accounts
- Ideally, you’ll find a bank that offers a high APY savings account to maximize your interest earnings. You’ll find some as low as 0.01% and some as high as 0.85%. This can make a BIG difference if you’re going to keep a high savings balance.
- Other fees
- Check carefully for other fees. Most small banks and CUs will have low fees, but you will still want to avoid monthly maintenance fees, sign up fees and the like. Usually this is accomplished by keeping the balance above a minimum and
- If the selected bank is across the country, make sure they are accepting customers outside their home state. This is not always the case.