banking

7 questions to ask before you switch banks

Are rewards programs offered?
Are rewards programs offered?

Once you've compared the basics, such as how to avoid monthly bank fees, overdraft protection options and the availability of free ATMs, you may want to compare rewards programs available on some checking accounts and savings accounts. Some banks offer rewards only on their credit cards, while others also offer rewards to debit card users.

"You need to be honest with yourself as to what's important to you and how you use your bank accounts," Weinstock says. "Do you keep a cushion in your account or take it down to the last penny? Do you regularly have direct deposits made? These things will impact the type of account you choose and the financial institution you choose."

If you do qualify for a rewards program, Freedman recommends shopping for one that matches your interests before you switch banks.

"My wife loves cash-back rewards, but I am a fiend when it comes to accumulating airline miles," Freedman says.

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