Don't Let Your Bank Ruin Your Fun - How to Pick the Right One For You
08/01/2012 - 17:00 ||
Bikinis, BBQs, and weekend road trips are just a few signs that we are in the height of the summer! Don’t let hassles with your finances stop you from having an amazing one. When you’re out and about, out-of-network ATM fees and penalties for dropping below the high checking account balance, required by most banks, can be a serious buzz kill for summer plans.
According to a Bankrate survey, the average minimum checking balance to avoid a monthly fee rose from $249 to $585 last year. But did you know some banks have minimum balance requirements as low as $100 to avoid charges? So you can have the value of a great checking account with the works! Avoid getting locked into huge balance requirements just to avoid a fee by finding a bank that suits your summer style.
Here’s a list of items to consider when choosing a bank that’s right for you:
Convenient Location: Some banks’ checking products include unlimited access to their branches and even extended hours. TD Bank, for example, offers seven-day banking with extended hours 361 days a year – a perk if you are traveling or need to make early morning or late evening stops at the bank.
Easy ATM Access: Do you tend to hit up the ATM at your local convenience store? You may want to think twice. Out-of-network ATM surcharges can easily add up. Find a bank with an extensive ATM locations to avoid those pesky fees all together.
Mobile and Online Banking: Look for a bank that values your time and lifestyle by offering access to your accounts when and where you need it. Some banks offer 24/7 live phone support and will even chat with you on Twitter.
Hidden Fees: Certain financial institutions lure in new customers by offering checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements or maintenance fees but slap customers with hidden fees for often-used banking services like account balance inquiries and transfers by phone. Look for a bank with simple disclosure forms, allowing you to easily understand any costs that are associated with your accounts.
It’s sometimes the small ripples that can make big waves when it comes to your finances. So this summer make sure your bank works for your personal style, and keeps you having fun in the sun the whole season.
Felipe Basulto is a Retail Market Manager at TD Bank.
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