Consumer Reports: It might be time to switch banks
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - High fees. Practically no interest on your savings. Poor customer service. Do any of these sounds like your bank? If so, Consumer Reports says it might be time to break up with your bank.
You might not think about shopping around to get the most bang for your buck from your bank, but it could be worth your time. And there are more options than ever, from traditional walk-in branches to credit unions to online-only banks, which have no branches.
Each type of bank has positives and negatives. So, figuring out what’s most important to you when you’re looking for a bank is important. You might even find that it makes sense to bank at more than one place at a time.
A walk-in bank is your best bet if in-person customer service is important to you. But even then, it pays to shop around. You should pay a visit to any bank you’re considering becoming a part of to ensure it has everything you need, that the hours make sense for your life, and that the staffing is really up to snuff.
Looking for the best savings rates? Get online and shop around. Sites like Bankrate and NerdWallet can help. With a quick search, Consumer Reports found nearly a dozen banks paying interest of 3% or better. And before you jump at that promotion for a free checking account or high-interest savings account, be sure to read the fine print. A supposedly “free checking account” isn’t a bargain if it hits you with huge fees when you overdraft by a few dollars or for other reasons.
Changing banks requires planning:
- Open a new account before closing your existing one.
- If you use direct deposit, switch it to the latest version, as well as any automatic bill payments.
- Transfer any remaining money.
When changing banks, Consumer Reports also recommends keeping your old account open until all checks and payments have cleared to avoid getting hit with fees.
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