Banks just aren’t what they used to be. A generation ago, competition between banks was fierce and customer service was excellent. Today, things have changed. The Great Recession has consolidated the market and consumers have fewer choices than ever before. However, just because there are fewer options, doesn’t mean you should settle for Mr. Wrong Bank.
Bad customer service
Not all banks are equal. Large banks have so much of the market that customer service doesn’t need to be a priority – the bank simply exists and, if you need access to your money from a lot of different places, you’re probably a customer of a bank with a lot of branches and ATMs.
Luckily, with an increasing number of virtual banks in America, you don’t need to put up with poor service just to have access to your money. Virtual banks often have partnerships with brick-and-mortar banks, allowing their customers to access their money through a large network of ATMs or via cash back opportunities at local stores. If you’re fed up with long lines and rude tellers, tell your bank you’ve had enough and move on.
Not too long ago, the mere idea of a bank charging a monthly maintenance fee was unheard of in America. Today, it seems like you can’t do anything at the bank without running the risk of incurring a hidden fee.
Let’s play a game – take a look at your latest bank statement and count the number of fees you were charged. If that number is higher than zero, open a new tab and start looking for a better bank and checking account.
Just because a bank is large, doesn’t mean it’s convenient. Having a lot of branches is only a positive if they’re open at convenient times, just like having a lot of ATMs is only advantageous if you live or work near one of those ATMs. If you are finding that you have to go out of your way to access your money, or that you are using third-party ATMs that are charging you a fee too frequently, it’s time to say enough is enough and find a new bank. Check out Radius Bank. Their free online checking accounts offer unlimited ATM rebates to cover all of those pesky out of network fees that you get charged.
Data breaches make the news because they are big deals. In an instant your entire financial well-being can be put at risk because your personal information fell into the wrong hands. If your bank has been implicated in one of the many security breaches over the past decade, you might want to think twice about keeping your money and personal information in their care.
Many people are unhappy with their banks. However, most don’t have the motivation to make the switch. If you’ve been thinking about breaking up with your bank for a little while now, you’ve already made your decision. All you need is a sign that enough is enough. Rather than settle for Mr. Wrong Bank, keep your eyes open for a new bank. Frequently, banks will offer promotions to win new customers, including higher-than-average interest rates, prizes and other freebies – these could be just the signs you’re looking for.
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!