New Debit Fees: Should I Switch Banks?

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Switching banks is a major decision, and much thought should go behind it. But this question is on the minds of many consumers as major banks across the nation introduce monthly fees for debit cards ranging from $3 to $5.

First, before you decide to switch banks, make sure that the bank is not willing to compromise with you, as most banks will compromise if you are a loyal customer. If you are completely unsatisfied with the banks policies, then switch to a new bank home.

When looking for a new bank, there are some things that you should keep in mind. Ask a lot of questions, and make sure you get answers. If you don`t like the answers, you might be able to negotiate the terms if you are a consumer with a high credit score. As the higher your credit score, the more bargaining power you have. Ask if there is a minimum deposit for the new account you are looking to set up, ask if you need to make a certain amount of withdrawals or deposits to keep the account open, ask how many ATMs they have in your city and across America, ask if you can set up direct deposit, ask if they have online and mobile banking options. Also ask about overdraft options, and if the bank has mortgage, small business or student loans that would be of interest to you.

Once you`ve gathered enough information to make your decision, then go ahead and pick out a new account, then it`s time to make the switch. Set aside a time period of 30 to 60 days to move any automated payments or linked activity you have on the original account to the new account. For example, if you have your PayPal and your automatic bill payments linked to one card; make sure to update your information so the new account will be linked to those accounts. Some banks offer “switch kits” which make the transition from old to new bank account easier. These kits just ask that you fill out an online form and then it efficiently transfers your bills and direct deposit set-ups.

As mentioned earlier, switching banks is a major decision. Most people only switch banks when they get married, divorce, change locations, get a new job or some other life-changing event. If the implementation of new monthly debit fees is enough to make you switch banks, then make sure you do your research to choose a bank that is best for you. Banks have begun charging monthly debit fees, but credit cards still remain unaffected, so if you`re looking to save money, it may be in your best interest to simply forget about using your debit card and opt for credit.

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