When you’re looking for a new bank there are a couple of requirements that every financial institution must meet. They must be insured, they need to have both checking and savings account options, and they have to have reliable customer service. Then there are some benefits that aren’t necessarily required but can certainly help you decide whether or not to do business with them. These things can include philanthropic practices, community service, and business loan options. Fortunately, there are several options that meet all these criteria – and maybe even more. Here are a few things you should consider if you’re trying to choose a new bank.
Personal Checking Accounts
Offering individual checking accounts might seem like a basic service, but not everyone provides them. Meanwhile, some might offer these accounts, but they might be complicated or come with steep fees. Customers should be able to open up their accounts with ease and navigate day to day needs without assistance. Ideally, you would be able to open one without having to make a significant opening deposit. Additionally, you should be able to pay bills online, set up automatic payments and deposits, and also set up payment alerts.
Business Checking Accounts
Having the right business checking account is critical to your success. If you’re new to starting a business you’ll probably want to spend all of your time running your business – not dealing with banking issues. Finding a bank that has a strong reputation for supporting its business clients is important, but finding one that can help your business thrive is even better. Monthly maintenance fees can be steep, so make sure you research those beforehand. The type of account you choose will generally be based on the number of transactions you anticipate and your average daily balance. Banks generally charge fees based on keeping a minimum balance or limiting the number of transactions before additional fees kick in. Again, if you’re new to starting a business you want to work with a company that understands what you’re working with. The financial experts at institutions such as GBTI Bank can help you immensely as you try to figure out what kind of account would be best for you.
Not all financial institutions offer credit cards, but the majority of them do and there can be a significant benefit to having your credit card tied to your primary bank. Overdraft protection, for example, can save you hundreds of dollars in potential late fees or missed payments. The trick to any credit card, though, is to find one with the lowest interest rate and the fewest number of fees. A low interest rate will always be appealing, but if there’s a steep annual fee it might not be worth it in the long run.
These days being able to conduct basic banking on your phone isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s not always realistic to have to go to a branch in person in order to deposit checks. Mobile deposits let you put money into your account from wherever you are. Mobile bill pay options can help prevent late fees and transferring funds from one account to the other with a couple of clicks can simplify your life immensely. You should probably take a look at the mobile banking app reviews before you make a final decision about where to do business, but you absolutely need to make sure you can conduct basic business from your smartphone.
You’ll always get higher interest rates with money market accounts or CDs, but some banks offer fairly impressive rates with their savings account and sometimes even checking accounts. If you can earn even 1% interest on your savings account balance, that can be a tremendous financial benefit.
Not all banks offer business loans, but if this is something you could benefit from you should look around and research your best options. Some offer basic small business loans which generally range from $10,000 to $1,000,000 and are typically supposed to be paid back within 3 – 5 years. This is a good option if you have large upfront costs, such as capital equipment, that you need to purchase in order to get your business started. Banks can also provide lines of credit. This means that you can borrow cash (that comes in the form of a line of credit) for business expenses that need to be paid. This usually includes things like rent and payroll. Sometimes businesses need some time to get established and running successfully before they make enough profit to cover their overhead. Getting a line of credit to cover the costs of these expenses for a couple of months can make all the difference in the world to some.
There are a lot of things to consider when trying to find a new bank, so be sure to do your research and find one that will work best for you.