You’ll quiz friends, family, and social media followers about whether the new iPhone is worth it. And you’ll deal with a grumbling stomach while scrolling through Yelp reviews in order to find the best burrito, Chinese takeout, or BBQ.
But when it comes to choosing where to store your cold, hard cash, those investigative skills are lacking. More than half of you don’t do any online research when searching for a bank, according to a recent Ally survey.
In fact, when it comes to Google keyword search, you’re:
- 8.4 times more likely to search for “Telsa,”
- 2.1 times more likely to search for “best phone,” and
- 1.4 times more likely to search for “best cookie recipe.”
How do you search for the best place to grow your money?
When it comes to shopping for a bank, do you check online ratings and search for the features and services that matter to you? Or are you like many of your peers, too busy surfing Grubhub.
You may be thinking, it’s just a bank, after all. They’re all the same, right?
Not so fast, my friend. Just like how those secret ingredients and special sauces truly make your taste buds dance, a bank’s offerings could make all the difference in the world for your money. Watch your Cheddar now to learn the key factors to look for when searching for the best bank.
What do you really want when it comes to your bank?
Are you ambivalent or do you have strong opinions like some of your peers? According to research, when it comes to knowing what features and services you want from a bank:
- Just about half of you say high-quality customer service drives loyalty.
- 53 percent say confidence that your personal data will be secure makes you stay with your current bank.
- Two-thirds mainly use online or mobile banking, so savvy tech is imperative.
- Almost 80 percent are interested in receiving financial advice or guidance.
. . . and what can you really do without?
Our research shows you don’t want fees, fees, and more fees—especially these:
- Overdraft fee, which averages $32.74.
- Monthly maintenance fees, which can cost $5 to $20.
- Out-of-network ATM fee, which averages $4.35.
So how can you select the best bank for you?
It’s easy. Weigh the pros and cons of your bank with the same vigor you do with your takeout.
- Make sure the bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
- Compare fees to competition.
- Check for transparency and read the fine print.
- Ask yourself: Does this align with my lifestyle?
- Consider ATM access and whether the mobile app is intuitive or not.
Don’t forget to check these helpful resources.
- Phone a friend. Ask your financially savvy friend where they bank. Or your social network. Or mom and dad. (They might not know what Venmo is, but they still can be a handy resource.)
- Turn to the nerds (their words, not ours). NerdWallet is a go-to resource for all things finance, including its bank comparisons. Bankrate and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance are also great sources.
- Ask the internet. You do it for everything else . . . why not your bank? Look for positive customer reviews on Google and bank websites. And check out the awards a bank has won—unlike in elementary school, only a select few receive a trophy in the financial world.
Find out which bank gives its customers just what they want. We earned a spot under “Best Banks” for both checking and savings accounts on NerdWallet’s 2019 Best-Of Awards list.