Everyone has different banking needs. Where you live, the amount of money you have in deposits, and your spending habits all determine which bank is best for you. When choosing the best bank account you should consider how you will access your funds, and what features are important to you.
Most people don't want to work very hard to access their money. For this reason, the most convenient bank is often the best one. Banks typically charge money for using someone else's ATMs, so choosing a bank that has many ATMs can reduce fees and save time. National banks like Chase have ATMs and branches across the country. Credit unions cooperate with one another and allow customers to use any credit union in their network free of charge, creating a similar effect.
For many, the best checking account is the one that pays the best rewards. Rewards can come in the form of interest rates, such as the Kasasa Cash checking account offered by Farmers Citizens Bank, which pays 3.01 percent at time of publication or spending rewards like the ones that come with USAA checking, which pays customers 1 point for every $2 spent on signature-based debit card transactions, at time of publication. Other banks may offer better interest rates on savings accounts or credit card rewards with a checking account.
Banks have different fee structures, and they can affect which bank is best for you. Online banks like ING Direct, at the time of publication, offer fee-free checking and refund all ATM fees, but do not have physical branches. Banks also differ in their overdraft policies. Some, like Bank of America, do not charge them at all, while others will assess them in different ways, as well as offer you overdraft protection. Try to pick a checking account that charges fees in a way that won't interfere with your day-to-day banking.
When choosing checking accounts, it's always best to make sure you are clear on account requirements, fees and interest rates. Banks are required to pass these out when asked, and disclosures need to be given out by a bank official who can explain what they mean. Deposit rates and fee schedules must be kept up to date, and financial officers are not allowed to give biased information with regards to fees and interest. So if you have questions, feel free to ask and make sure you make the best decision.
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