If you are looking for a new home for your money, comparing banks and credit unions may lead you to the emerging world of online checking and savings accounts. These Internet-only online banks do not operate physical branches, but their services might accommodate your personal finance needs.
Here are three crucial questions to consider as you weigh your online options.
Are you looking for above-average earnings?
The ability to accrue interest on savings-based accounts is down across the market, but online-only institutions offer some of the most competitive rates on high-yield savings accounts and CDs. Because they have fewer employees and lower overhead expenses, you will often find them at the top of the charts when you search for bank rates.
Do you need personal access?
For some consumers, the ability to visit a branch and talk to a personal financial representative is important. While many online banks provide 24/7 customer-service hotlines for assistance, consider your past banking habits to determine if face-to-face interaction is a key component of your financial lifestyle.
Are you addicted to the ATM?
Because some online-only banks have small ATM networks, getting cash can be a challenge. ATM fees have continued to rise, so remember to find out if your prospective new account home reimburses for out-of-network ATM fees.
Switching to online banks for your money has its pros and cons. If some aspects are appealing, you can explore opening a new account while keeping a portion of your money at a traditional bank, too.