Choosing a bank is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Your relationship with your chosen financial institution is built on trust; they should be a partner in your financial well being. To make sure that you are choosing the best bank for your needs, evaluate the suite of services that are paired with traditional checking and savings accounts. Here are a few features to look for.
A Credit Card That Earns Rewards
Whether you’re racking up airline miles or cash back, you should have access to a credit card that earns rewards. Strong financial institutions can offer rewards-based credit cards to members that are typically better than rewards offered by other stand-alone financial institutions. For example, USAA bank offers several credit cards that cater to your needs. Depending on your lifestyle, you may choose a card that offers unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, or you may choose a card that earns extra points for dining out, gas and groceries.
Choose a rewards card that has no annual fee and offers rewards on the items that you purchase most. Reputable banks like USAA will also offer an online portal for you to track your expenses, earned rewards and payment due dates, allowing you to easily stay on top of your finances.
Mobile Banking Services
Before choosing a bank, explore their suite of mobile banking solutions. Modern banks should have more than just a simple app that allows you to check your account balance and recent transactions. Today’s technology makes it possible to send and receive money instantly through apps like Zelle, deposit funds instantly from your phone, and even pay bills from inside the mobile application. Having access to a wide range of features through your mobile device can give you the freedom and flexibility to manage your finances on your terms.
A Vast Network of Fee-Free ATMs
When you need quick access to cash, having a national network of fee-free off-premise atms can help you withdraw your money without incurring excessive fees. When using out-of-network ATMs, you will usually be charged twice — once from your bank and once from the financial institution that manages the ATM. These fees can add up significantly throughout the year, with the average ATM surcharge costing Americans nearly $5.00. To avoid these charges, look for a bank that has a wide network of ATMs both in your hometown and in various major cities across the county. As an added bonus, see if your financial institution will refund a portion of your out-of-network ATM fees each month.
Industry-Leading Security Measures
All banks have some safeguards in place, but your chosen bank should offer top-of-the-line security measures for your finances. Be sure your bank offers safety features like biometrics and two-factor authentication so that you can rest easy knowing that your finances will be safe from unauthorized access. Investigate your bank’s policies for handling fraud alerts and suspicious activity; you want your money to be safe, but you should also be able to resolve any issues quickly so you can minimize hassles and regain access to your funds.
Comprehensive Services to Make Your Financial Life Easy
By looking for modern banking services that make your life easy, you can build a strong relationship with your bank for years to come. Look for industry-leading technology that allows you to manage your money easily on the go, and gives you the control you need to make smart financial decisions. The best banks will also provide flexible services that help you save money — without charging you excessive fees just to access them.