Whether we love them or hate them; we definitely need them. Banks are an important part of our business and personal life. Instead of looking at banks as “the bad guys” we should look at ways we can use them to our advantage. We need to look at ways to avoid banking fees and charges and how to make sure we don’t pay high interest on credit cards. We need to make money from banks, not let them make money from us.
Choosing the best bank account that meets all your needs is a very important decision. Many people do not do enough research and believe that simply walking into a local bank and signing up for an account is all that is needed. This is OK for some people, but for people who want to make their money work for them, some research is needed.
It is important that your bank is backed by the FDIC programme. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation covers your money up to $250,000. This insurance program, run by the government, protects your money from loss. You should make sure your bank is a member of this programme.
One of the main considerations when opening a bank account should be fees. Over 40% of bank revenue comes from fees that are charged on consumer accounts. This is an easy way for banks to make money and an easy way for us to lose it.
The most basic bank service in the US is the checking account. When choosing a checking account, there are lots of choose from. You should do your research on these account and ask questions about monthly fees and potential penalties for things such as going overdrawn or writing too many checks.
When you open a new account, you will usually get a debit card, which will allow you make purchases at stores and withdraw cash at ATMs, but be careful of hidden fees and charges. For example if you use your card in a cash machine that is owned by a different bank, you can end up paying as much as $3 each time on top of another fee from your own bank. So if you were to withdraw $20 in one of these machines, you could end up paying $26 dollars which makes very bad business sense.
Also most banks offer online banking facilities. You should use online banking to keep track of all your transactions. This is a great way to plan your finances for the months ahead and transfer money in to savings accounts. You can also pay bills using online banking.
So if you’re opening a new account or wanting to switch accounts, don’t just walk over to the closest bank without checking the small print. Do your research online and compare your personal circumstances to what the bank has to offer and, for a change, make your bank, make YOU money!