How To Beat The Big Banks

For those of you still using big banks as your primary bank, I highly recommend using an online bank for all your banking needs. These online only banks can now replace the brick and mortar banks we’re all used to.

While the large majority of my funds are in my online bank account, I do still keep around my big bank. It has a few features that make keeping it around worth it, including very convenient ATMs and transferring money to and from friends and family takes just a seconds.

I really dislike big banks. So while I use their service, I don’t want them to profit off of me, or profit as little as possible. I greatly prefer to give my money to those who provide excellent customer service and don’t charge fees.

There are a few things we can do to reap the benefits from the big banks but avoid letting them profit from us.

1. Always keep the minimum required balance, plus a little extra to avoid missing a payment. Make sure to avoid the fees but don’t keep money sitting in your checking account that could otherwise be kept earning real interest rates. The interest rates big banks offer in their savings accounts are incredibly low so keep your funds somewhere else!

2. Reap rewards without paying fees. I earn hundreds of dollars in credit card rewards each year. So they pay me hundreds of dollars and I get the convenience of paying in credit. Big win for me!

3. Use in-network ATMs. By only using ATMs in the network, you use the banks to access your money get access to your money while the bank doesn’t make a penny, no matter how often you use them.

And if you want to cut out the bank completely, use a Visa Prepaid card with
direct deposit, and you never have to worry about the bank profiting from you again. The process is super easy and gives you full control of your money!

This is how I take advantage of the bank and use them to my advantage while not paying them anything for all the benefits I get.

Do you use the big banks for the benefits without letting them profit?

I am blogging on behalf of Visa Prepaid and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Discover more at http://www.VisaPrepaid.com or view more Visa Prepaid videos at http://www.youtube.com/visaprepaid.

8 Responses to How To Beat The Big Banks

  1. We do our primary banking with Ally, but my husband insists on keeping his BoA checking account open with only a tiny bit of money in it. However, they are taking away his student status so he is being downgraded to no teller service to keep his account fee-free. I guess it doesn’t matter because we haven’t used a teller there in years.

  2. They do profit even if you are doing all that stuff. When you have deposits with them, they lend that money and earn interest. When you use their credit card, they are earning interchange fees paid by the merchant.

    If you don’t want a bank to profit from you then you have two options. 1.) Use the bank on default on a loan, or 2.) Don’t use that bank.

    Personally I believe in free markets and I’m happy to have someone make a profit from me as long as I’m getting the services I want (free checking, rewards credit cards, etc.)

  3. I use an online bank and a regular bank. It is easier to do something at the brick and mortar bank, so that is why I keep it. I agree with Kevin. They are still profiting as long as you have deposits.

  4. I use the big banks and it does not cost me a nickel! In fact, I get a lot of free services free checking account, check printing, traveler’s checks and safe deposit box.

  5. Daniel,
    I use a local credit union that hasn’t cost me anything. BofA lost me two years ago after they tried to hit me with fees because my identity was stolen for the fourth time with them.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  6. I’ve used a credit union as my primary bank since 1993 and haven’t had any problems! When I used traditional banks from 1986-1993, they frequently changed names, merged, or closed down.

  7. Those are great pieces of advice, but they are good for all of us even if we don’t mind using the big banks. I don’t really mind using the big ones as long as they don’t try to take advantage of me or anyone else. However, the critique I would offer has more to with how the government should regulate the industry, not so much with the banks themselves. They’re going to gt away with whatever they can.

  8. I use a credit union. When I moved to another state I shopped around, and as always the banks wanted to charge me for everything. I am so glad I found a credit union that doesn’t charge, it has saved me so much money!!