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It's unlikely you'll be completely satisfied with any service all the time, but if you're having recurring doubts about your current bank, take a look at these six signs that it may be time to switch.
1. You're Earning Little on Your Savings
If one or more of your deposit accounts—your savings or money market accounts, or certificates of deposit (CDs)—are earning near-zero rates, it may be time to consider switching to a bank that can offer better rates on your money. You may even consider an online bank that can give you higher interest rates on your savings because they don't have the added expense of maintaining branches.
As of September 2022, the national average interest rate on savings is hovering around 0.17%, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). A money market account gives you a bit more for your money at 0.18% or a 36-month CD at 0.66%. However, some online banks offer savings rates over 1.5% (and higher) with no monthly fees and no minimum balance required.
2. You're Tired of Paying High Fees
No one wants to pay more than necessary when opening or maintaining certain types of bank accounts. But many banks charge monthly maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees or fees for simply sending out a paper statement. And, some banks charge higher fees than others.
Every bank is required to disclose any fees they charge under federal law. So, if you're looking at other banks, check out which fees you'll be charged, if any. It's possible a bank will waive certain fees just to get your business or if you sign up for direct deposit from your paycheck.
3. You Want Upgraded Digital Capabilities
Many banks offer online and mobile access to your accounts. However, some smaller banks may not be willing or able to update systems, which can leave the door wide open for customers to look for another bank.
In fact, the number of people in the U.S. using digital banking is expected to grow to 217 million by 2025, up from 197 million in 2021, reports market and consumer data firm eMarketer. Plus, about 46% of customers under the age of 55 say they would make a change of banks for upgraded digital capabilities, according to a survey by Mobiquity. So, if you currently use your phone or mobile device for banking or think you may in the near future, and your bank isn't keeping up, it may be time for a change.
4. You Want More Branch Locations
Although many people are switching to digital banking or banking entirely online, you may prefer walking into your local branch office and speaking with someone face to face. However, about 7,500—or 9%—of physical banking locations in the U.S. closed between 2017 and 2021, according to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. If that trend continues, it may mean that visiting your bank may become more difficult in the future.
Even so, some banks are expanding despite these numbers. If in-person banking tops your list of must-haves, then maybe it's time to leave your bank for one that is adding branches instead.
5. Customer Service Is Poor
At one time, you could walk into a bank and be greeted by name. Today, that is far less common, but there is rarely an excuse for poor customer service.
Does a real person answer the phone when you call? Does your bank offer online chat? Are your questions or problems answered quickly and to your satisfaction? Can you speak to a banker if you walk into your branch? If not, it may be time to shop around for a bank that emphasizes quality service for all of its customers.
6. You Need More Products and Services
Most banks offer checking and savings accounts, CDs, personal loans, money market accounts, car loans and more. But if you have poor credit, it may be challenging to qualify for a personal loan or car loan at a bank.
Fortunately, some banks are more than willing to work with you by offering secured loans or home equity loans. Your options may be limited and you may end up paying substantially higher rates, but if you need a loan, shopping around for a bank that is ready to work with you may be just the nudge you need to switch.
Get More for Your Money
One of the most common reasons people switch banks has nothing to do with a grievance over low rates, high fees or identity theft. Sometimes it's simply due to a new job or relocation to a new area that forces the change.
But before you switch, make sure you've thought it through. What about payments you've set up for autopay or direct deposit, and bills that have not yet cleared your account? How does your credit measure up if you're considering your new bank's loan products? Once everything is in order, it may be safe to close your accounts and make the switch to a bank that will keep you satisfied for a long time.
If you're thinking about opening a new checking account, the Experian Smart Money™ Digital Checking Account & Debit Card can help you build credit without debt by automatically linking to Experian Boost®ø, which gives you credit for eligible bill payments. You will also pay no monthly fees¶ for Experian Smart Money, have access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs worldwide** and could receive your paychecks up to two days early when you enroll in direct deposit†. You can get an Experian Smart Money Account through a free or paid Experian membership, which also gives you access to your FICO® Score☉ , Experian credit report and more. See terms at experian.com/legal.