Should you choose a community bank?

Do you travel extensively for business or pleasure?

Generally, a traveler wants the convenience of online banking, cash machines or a national branch network. A national bank is best suited for that, Mitchelson says.

"You can be dealing with the same bank in a number of states," he says.

While a smaller bank typically offers Internet banking, you might not have the ability to deposit or withdraw cash on the road, experts say.

How safe is your money?

Your individual deposits, up to $250,000 per institution, are insured by the federal government, through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., at virtually all banks -- no matter the asset size or number of branches.

But "don't go over that FDIC limit," Hausinger says.

"We're in an age that we have to consider any bank, any size can fail," he says, noting the many U.S. bank failures that have occurred in recent years.

Who has the latest technology?

From the customer standpoint, big and small banks are almost equal in the technology used to enable you to bank online efficiently, experts say.

However, if you want to take advantage of the latest trends -- such as banking on your mobile phone or making deposits in ATM machines without deposit slips -- a big bank is likely to stay more current with new technology, Hausinger says.

"Let that technology work for you," Schreiber says.

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