Finding the right bank or credit union for your needs can be difficult. However, there are a plethora of resources available to help you find the right bank for your needs.
Finding the Right Bank: What’s Important to You?
When you are in the process of finding the right bank or credit union, you’ll have to decide what is most important to you. Here are a few things to consider.
- Interest Rates: If interest rates are what you are most concerned about, Bankrate is a great resource for finding institutions with the best rates. Or check out this article on our sibling blog, Everybody Loves Your Money.
- Bank Reviews: MyBankTracker offers reviews of online banks. You can also access free reviews of banks and credit unions on Credit Karma.
- Credit Unions: A Smarter Choice can help you sort through local credit unions to find one that suits your banking needs.
Banks Worth Considering
Here’s a comparison of offerings at different financial institutions in the U.S. This data is based on a review of internet forums such as reddit and the savingadvice.com forums.
|Name||ATM access||High-Rate Savings||High-Rate Checking||Limited Membership|
|Alliant Credit Union||Up to $20 in refunds every month; more than 80,000 free ATMs||Yes||Yes||Some limitations|
|Ally||$10 in refunds per month and 43,000+ free ATMs||Yes||No||No|
|Capital One 360||More than 38,000 free ATMs||Yes||No||No|
|Discover Bank||Over 60,000 free ATMs||Yes||No||No|
|Fidelity||Unlimited refunds on ATM fees||No Savings Accounts||No||No|
|Schwab Bank||Unlimited refunds||No||No||No|
Things to Keep in Mind When Finding the Right Bank
When you are comparing the services offered by the institutions above, you should also keep the following facts in mind:
- Although online banking makes financial institutions’ services available everywhere, brick-and-mortar bank branches aren’t as ubiquitous. If being able to bank in person is important to you, look at local listings to find out which financial institutions are closest to where you live or work.
- Of the aforementioned banks, only one explicitly requires a minimum initial deposit: USAA has a $25 minimum initial deposit. However, the fine print for a lot of interest-bearing accounts state that in order to earn any interest payments, you need to have at least $1 in the account — otherwise, the yield goes below a penny.
- To be considered a high-rate savings account, the rate must be 1% or higher FDIC-insured savings. By contrast, a high-rate checking account is 0.5% or higher.
Determining what is important to you and comparing services is the best way to find the right bank for you — whether you choose one of the institutions mentioned in this article.
Readers, how have you found the bank you currently use? What are your opinions of the financial institutions mentioned in the chart in this article?