They’re charging too many fees. It’s starts slowly. Your bank sends you a letter telling you they’re going to start charging a fee for a service, perhaps a monthly account fee if your balance is below a certain amount. A few months later, there’s another fee. Banks make billions of dollars from overdraft fees and loan interest, if yours can’t give you a free checking account, it’s time to switch banks.
They set you up for overdrafts. Banks generate billions of dollars in revenue from overdraft fees, so it’s in their best interests to process your transactions in a way that will maximize the overdraft fees they charge you. If your bank has a predatory overdraft policy – charging several multiple overdraft fees per day, charging extended overdraft fees when your account remains negative – shop other bank’s policies and switch to a bank that won’t penalize you as heavily if you overdraft your account.
There are no in-network ATMs near you. ATM withdrawals can get expensive, especially if you’re hit with fees from the ATM operator and your bank. If you find yourself constantly using out-of-network ATMs, it may be time to switch to a bank with more convenient ATMs. Perhaps the bank whose ATMs you’re using is a better choice than the bank you currently use.
You’re receiving poor customer service. There are too many banks to put up with rude or unresponsive customer service representatives. Constant customer service issues is a sign that it’s time to switch to a friendlier bank.
Your current bank isn’t insured. One of the best reasons to put your money in a bank is so it’s protected in case of a bank failure, but if your bank isn’t insured, you risk losing everything. You might also consider opening an account at another bank if you’ve already exceeded your current bank’s coverage amount – currently $250,000 per depositor per account (certain types of accounts). Check the FDIC’s website to confirm that your bank is insured. Or, for credit unions, check the National Credit Union Association’s website.
You’re relocating and your bank doesn’t have branches in the new location. If you’re moving to a new state where your bank doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar branches, switching to a bank that’s located in that area might be a better option. Even if you can handle the majority of your transactions electronically, you won’t have the ability to physically visit a bank branch should you ever need to.
You can get better interest rates elsewhere. Savings account interest rates aren’t very high at any bank, but some banks have more competitive rates than others, particularly online banks. Consider switching to a new bank to earn more interest on your savings deposit.
Your bank doesn’t have the option for online bill pay or other online features. It’s 2016. If your bank doesn’t offer the ability to pay your bills online, it’s time to switch. And if you can’t even check your bank balance online, you should have switched banks years ago.
You may dread the process of switching banks, but your banking experience is worth the effort.