As the song goes, “breaking up is hard to do.” That’s true whether it’s a relationship with someone you love, your hair stylist, or even your bank. And it’s even harder when the relationship isn’t bad, per se, but rather, could just be better in certain aspects.
You’re probably satisfied with some of the things that your current bank offers. After all, according to a survey conducted by Bankrate and Money magazine, Americans stick with their banks for an average of 16 years.
But, is there something better out there? Look for these warning signs, and then decide if it’s time for you to move on.
#1 High Fees
Monthly account fees, out-of-network ATM usage fees, charges for not maintaining a minimum average balance…sound familiar? While some bank fees are inevitable, some are just not right. Plenty of low-cost options exist for all types of bank accounts, including online savings and checking accounts.
Do It Right: Typically, online-only banks can offer lower fees, higher deposit rates, and convenient mobile banking options because they don’t have similar operating costs as banks with physical branches. Be on the lookout for an online bank that’s a member of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) like we are at Ally Bank. You may also find some reimburse out-of-network ATM fees up to a certain amount (another thing we do at Ally Bank).
#2 Next-to-Nothing Interest Rates
It’s true. Interest rates have been low for a long time. As a result, you’re probably making little interest on your savings account. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t earn more elsewhere. After all, not all banks pay the same interest rates.
Do It Right: Open an account at a bank with a higher APY (annual percentage yield) than you currently have right now. Even a small increase could help you more than you may think. See what APY can do for you. You might be surprised.
#3 Lousy Customer Service
Doesn’t it seem like most money emergencies happen in the middle of the night, on a major holiday, or during a snowstorm? (Slight exaggeration.) What’s worse, limited customer service hours and unknowledgeable reps can leave you in the lurch when it matters most.
Do It Right: Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. When you’re having troubles using your debit card or accessing your account, doing business with a bank that has a team of specialists available 24/7 can get you the assistance you need.
#4 Outdated Technology
Does your bank’s website look like it was updated back in the 1990s? Consider this a red flag. It may mean convenient mobile banking features such as remote deposit or digital payments are not an option. Not to mention that it could also indicate outdated technology is “protecting” your personal information behind the scenes.
Do It Right: With the perfect match, you should have access to all the online banking features you’ve come to expect (i.e. quality mobile app, remote check deposit, digital transfer options, to name a few). But you deserve more. For example, at Ally Bank, you can have access to the Ally SkillSM for Amazon Alexa. Yes, Alexa can transfer your funds for you. You’re welcome. See 10 reasons why you get more than a great rate at Ally Bank.
#5 Flimsy Cybersecurity
It’s bad enough when your social media account gets hacked, but suffering a cyberattack at your bank can have dire consequences that can require significant time and money to resolve.
Do It Right: Make sure your bank takes cybersecurity seriously and invests in safeguards to protect its customers. As an example, Ally Bank uses 2-step authentication and secure SSL-encryption, among other types of fraud protection to keep your account and personal information secure.
Ready for something better? Here’s what to do.
Opening a new bank account should be simple, especially with an online bank. The hardest part is just sitting down and doing it. The time is now. Don’t settle for satisfactory. You deserve more. Here are three simple steps to help you get started.
- Shop around. You could use an aggregator website like NerdWallet to help you compare.
- Open an account. This will depend on what bank you choose. Have your government-issued photo ID or driver’s license handy. Learn how to open an online bank account.
- Fund your new account. One of the easiest ways to move your money is with an online transfer. Make sure you’ve accounted for any outstanding transactions before you do so. See how to transfer money to your new Ally Bank account.
Maybe you don’t want to fully break up with your current bank, after all. That’s okay, too. You could just have a thing for multiple savings accounts. Your wandering eye might be best for your bottom line. (Not to be confused with actual dating or marital advice.)