Among these common bank grievances, the one that can hit you most directly in the wallet is the fees. Among these fees, overdraft fees are the most hazardous to your financial health. After all, banks collectively bring in over $25 billion per year in overdraft fees alone. If you are looking to switch in order to find no-bank-fee banks, here are 7 tips for finding the right one:
1. Develop a list of candidate no-overdraft-fee institutions: Start your quest for the perfect bank by creating a list of at least 4-5 candidates. Start your list either in a spreadsheet program or on paper.
2. Make sure it is insured by the FDIC: The first thing you should check about each bank is whether they are FDIC-insured.
3. Ask about their ATM fee policy: You definitely want to choose a bank that has a zero-fee policy when using other banks’ ATMs.
4. Pay attention to the impression or vibe you get about the bank from their website: This one is subtle but oh-so-important. Just like people, banks have personalities. Choose a bank that makes you feel good.
5. Determine what other services they offer: Your needs may someday go well beyond checking and savings accounts. Make sure they can fulfill your future banking needs such as loans, as well.
6. Confirm that they offer no-overdraft-fee checking: To capitalize on people’s intense dislike of paying overdraft fees, some banks now offer no-overdraft-fee checking. They won’t charge you a fee – even if you overdraw your account.
7. Ask about their other fees: Be sure to get a full accounting of their other fees, such as check-writing fees, monthly service fees, etc. before signing up.
Spending 20 or 30 minutes finding the right bank can pay off for your hugely. Your research can translate to finding the ideal, no-bank-fee bank for you.