There are a number of circumstances that can make it worthwhile to switch banks. For example, one of your local banks charges lower monthly fees than your current bank for the same services, or if you want to switch to your spouse’s bank so that you can manage your finances as a family.
However, it is important to remember that switching banks can be a complicated process, meaning that there is lots of room for error. As a result, if you are planning to switch banks, be sure to exercise care and caution at all times.
How to Switch Banks
Be sure to remember these steps when you consider switching banks:
- First, you need to figure out what you need from your bank. Once you know, you can use your banking needs as a basis for comparison between your banking options. Bear in mind that you should be flexible about your banking needs, since chances are good that you will have to choose something that serves them well enough rather than a perfect match.
- Second, research your banks to see what banking options they have capable of meeting your banking needs. Run calculations based on your current banking habits to see how much you will be paying with each of these banking options on a monthly as well as a semi-annual and annual basis. However, don’t neglect less number-based factors such as customer service and convenience of branch locations when making your final choice.
- Once you have opened your new bank account, you need to redirect your incomes as well as any automatic withdrawals or bill payments. Be careful with this part because it is easy to make a mistake, particularly with incomes and expenses that are either infrequent, irregular, or both. Similarly, you also need to move your money into your new bank account, possibly using multiple transactions rather than all at once.
- Even if you are confident that you have redirected all of your incomes and expenses, other people can still make mistakes. As a result, keep your old bank account open for at least a couple of months, leave enough money in it to cover potential costs, and only close it once you are sure everything has been redirected.