Top 5 things your bank doesn’t want you to know

Every day it seems banks are becoming more expensive and putting more restrictions on your account. From bank to bank there’s many differences that you may or may not be aware from fees to technology. It’s important to be informed when choosing a bank – and let’s just say most banks are certainly not going to offer up information about their competitors.

1. Some banks are more lenient with fees than others. Let’s face it, banks have fees for everything! Fees to access your account from an ATM, fees for having an account, overdraft fees, fees for printing out the schedule of fees (just kidding!). Depending on the bank some of fees may be negotiable. How do you find out? Well it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Call the Customer Service number for the bank and ask them – be honest and polite and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If that doesn’t work walk into your local branch and ask for the branch manager – almost always they’ll be able to waive some of the fees (as long as you don’t abuse this).

2. Mobile Applications. Each bank differs greatly in technology. Most banks nowadays have mobile applications allowing you to do transactions from your smartphone. No need to boot up a computer and log in your account any more. Some of these applications allow remote check deposits as well. Before choosing a bank definitely look into the technology the bank supports – otherwise you may be left hanging with out a smartphone app!

3. Transaction cut-off times. You may not be aware but each bank has their own cut-off times. The typical teller cut-off time is usually 2pm but the ATM cut-off times may vary. Some banks offer an ATM cut-off time as late as 9PM. Also don’t forget that if your bank has a mobile app that allows deposits there’s probably a different cut-off time as well. Almost always the ATM cut off time is later than the teller cut off time so if you’re running a bit late – the ATM may be an option for you.

4. Checking accounts were made to be free. If you’re paying a monthly fee for your checking account – you can probably avoid it. Lots of banks offer free checking with direct deposit or if you maintain a minimum balance. Some online banks offer accounts completely free with no attached strings. Look into this before you agree to pay that monthly fee – some of these requirements could be met very easily and avoid you from having to pay a monthly fee.

5. Your bank is not a one-stop shop. Even though most banks like to think this – and do offer the services – it’s probably best not to have all your accounts with the same bank. As an example your bank may be excellent in providing checking & savings accounts but when it comes to mortgages their rates may be much higher than you could find from another bank. The same goes with auto loans and investment accounts. Shop around before allowing your bank representative to sell you more products.

When choosing a bank or financial products make sure to do your diligence. Consult a financial advisor and shop around – it may take some time but it may save you considerable money in the future!