Selecting the Checking Account That\'s Right for You

Author:     Thursday, September 11, 2014 12:00 AM

If you're looking to open a checking account at a credit union or community bank, then you're probably already familiar with the many benefits of selecting an account with such an institution rather than a traditional bank. However, not all checking accounts are the same; there are several factors that you'll want to take into consideration when selecting the checking account that's best for your needs. Some of these include the convenience of the bank's location, the availability of online banking, quality of customer service, and specific features of the account.

Convenience of Location

The last thing you need is to spend your precious free time driving back and forth from a community bank or credit union that's out of your way. Instead, find a bank that's located conveniently near the places you visit on a regular basis. This could be somewhere near your home, work, or even school.

Availability of Online Banking

These days, many credit unions and community banks offer free online banking, which saves account holders time by allowing them to access their accounts any time--day or night--from the convenience of their own computer, tablet, or smartphone. Save yourself the hassle of driving to the bank every time you need to check your balance, transfer funds, or even pay bills by selecting a checking account that comes with free and secure online banking.

Quality of Customer Service

The friendliness of the bank's staff and tellers can make all the difference when it comes to your overall experience with the financial institution. Take the time to tour a credit union or community bank before you make the decision to open a checking account there. Get to know the staff and make sure that they're willing to go out of their way to ensure your satisfaction as an account holder.

Features of the Account

Last but not least, you'll also want to make sure that the checking account you pick works for you. Most community banks and credit unions these days offer absolutely free checking, while others may charge fees for debit card transactions. Be sure to stay away from banks that try to nickel and dime you by avoiding those that require minimum balances, minimum monthly deposits, and other fees.

Choosing a checking account at a community bank or credit union does take a bit of research and planning. However, your time spent will be more than worth it in the long run when you have a checking account that you're truly happy with for a long time to come.

Source: BFI