Considerations While Choosing a Bank
Finding the best bank will require some comparison shopping, since as with anything else, the best deal isn't likely to find you, you'll have to find it. Of course, it's up to you to decide how much time you want to spend looking for the best bank for your needs...remember that time is money. The internet is usually the easiest way to comparison shop.However, if you have a lot of questions that might not be answered on a web site, or if you just want to see how attentive a bank is, you might prefer to visit the local branch, especially once you've narrowed your choice down to just two or three contenders.
You will probably make your decision based on services and fees. Below is a list of features and services you might be looking for, and a list of fees you should be aware of, which you can use to make your comparison shopping easier. If you're considering online banking, be sure to read the online banking section as well .

Features and Services

Some of these will be very important to you, while some won't matter at all. When comparing banks, all that matters is what's important to you.

Features:

Services:

Fees

Banking fees have risen significantly in recent years, and show no signs of falling. The average price of maintaining a bank checking account is currently about $200 a year. Before you sign up, take a close look at the fees associated with the account, and try to estimate what it will cost. You might not be able to determine it exactly, but an estimate will still be useful. Once you've gone through the process of selecting a bank and signing up, you probably won't be inclined to switch for awhile. When comparing the expected fees of one account with another, be sure to also factor in any difference in the interest rate the two accounts offer. If one account pays sufficiently higher rates than another, it might more than offset the additional fees that account charges.

Here are the most common fees, along with a few tips on avoiding or minimizing them:

ATMs

The rise of automated teller machines (ATMs) has revolutionized banking over the last decade or two, by enabling around-the-clock withdrawals and other banking activities. ATMs are very convenient, but finding one that works with your card (and doesn't charge an exorbitant fee) can be difficult. There are three types of ATMs:In addition, there are an increasing number of surcharge-free ATMs, for example at convenience stores that want your business.

Once you have your account

Once you have an account, balance your checkbook on a regular basis, to make sure that the bank hasn't made any errors and so that you know how much you have in your account. Also understand every fee you are charged, and complain about any that you don't agree with. Take a look at any inserts that accompany your monthly statement, because banks are required to disclose any fee changes, and that's where you'll find out about them.
This article was brought to you by the InvestorGuide Staff Writers and Editors.

Copyrighted 2015. Content published with author's permission.

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