When it comes to the variety of products and services offered by financial institutions, the options are endless. Choosing a bank in Syracuse that suits your needs is important when you open a bank account. Switching to a different bank is a long and complicated process, and you wouldn’t want to deal with that in the future.
Here are some of the tips that you should consider so you can pick the best bank for you:
1. Type of bank
The right type of bank is very important when you open an account. Make a list of the reasons why you need a bank account and take a look if the bank you’re eyeing to choose offers your needs.
Here are the four types of banks.
● Credit unions
Credit Unions, such as empowerfcu.com, don’t have branches in every location. It is similar to a community bank, but has a different structure. They’re operated and owned by members, that’s why before opening an account from them, you have to meet their membership requirements. You have to be shopping, residing, or working in the area that they serve.
● International banks
Citigroup and Bank of America are some of the examples of an international or multinational bank. This is convenient because they have ATM machines and physical branches almost anywhere.
● Online banks
If an ATM isn’t needed for your transactions or if you don’t have constant access to them, then you should consider online banking. Online payments, check, and debit cards are also available in this type of bank. They offer higher interest rates for your savings and checking accounts.
● Community banks
These are smaller than other types of banks. They offer savings and checking accounts, and localized customer service. However, they don’t offer mortgage or account types, and if you’re traveling, you might not find any branches.
2. Fees and rates
The bank you’ll be choosing should fit your current financial situation. It is important to examine the account charges and interest rates as you shop.
Low fees are important, when it comes to checking and savings accounts. High annual percentage yields will not break or make you financially, so don’t be lured by those. Savings with high API will create a big hole in your account since monthly penalties and maintenance fees will be higher.
Here’s the 3 major types of a maintaining balance:
● Minimum balance
To guarantee specific benefits and to avoid penalties, the account should remain at a certain level.
● Savings’ minimum amount
To avoid account terminations, several banks, especially credit unions, may require you to keep a specific amount in your savings.
● Average monthly balance
Throughout the month, your balance should be above a definite required amount.
When getting a loan, you don’t have to necessarily borrow from your bank. You can borrow money from online lenders, since they can charge lesser than credit unions or your local banks.
3. Available financial products
Income-generating assets and loans are the 2 major types of available financial products from most of the banks. Large banks can offer more product types, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll already have a better deal.
Here are some examples of available products that you should consider:
○ Home equity loan
○ Home mortgage loan
○ Car loan
○ Credit cards
● Income-generating assets
○ Certificate of deposits
○ Brokerage accounts
○ Individual retirement agreement or IRA
Be vigilant of all the bank’s maintenance and annual fees that might be charged to your account, and the restriction or limits that you should follow.
4. Services offered
Aside from financial products, you also have to know what additional services they’re offering. Here are some of the important ones:
● Wire transfers
● Automatic payments
● Online banking
● Electronic bank statements
● ATM refunds
● Direct deposits
● Cashier checks
Look for reviews online or ask your family and friends if they’ve done transactions, like opening an account or getting a loan, with your prospective bank. You have to make sure that the bank you will choose has a good customer service because even if it is offering a great deal, if it isn’t accessible or if their service is horrible, then you should walk away and find another bank that can assist you with all your banking needs.
This is a big factor, especially with today’s technological advancements. Information from companies or online are exposed to great risks. Hackers are everywhere, and you have to make sure that your bank has an extra layer of security just in case a breach will take place. Take a look at ask the bank about the preventive measures and actions that they’ll do when their customers’ accounts are compromised.
Determine your needs and take a look at your options carefully. Choosing the right bank is crucial and you have to research and get a lot of information before opening an account. Consider these tips when choosing the right bank for you.