What Do You Need Today?
The decision on which bank to choose usually comes down to an immediate need. If you move to a city and need a local bank for depositing paychecks, you'll probably just pick the bank that fulfills this need with the least amount of effort.
However, you should look at other factors when deciding which bank to choose. A lot of your financial life will revolve around your banking relationships, so it pays to do some research up front. You'll find a list of the most important features on the page below:
What Most People Look For
Besides looking at your needs in a banking relationship, here are some common factors that people consider when deciding which bank to choose:
- Geography - what's close or convenient for opening an account and going to the branch?
- What bank did Mom and Dad use, and who do my friends use?
- Is there a credit union or bank that my employer uses or promotes (and maybe has a branch on site or has employees visit the worksite)?
- Savings Rates - what's the best online savings account rate?
- Teaser Rates - who's got a nice teaser ad in the paper for CD's?
- Loan Rates - who can get the best deal on my mortgage or auto loan?
- Who's got the best fee structure for whatever my banking behavior is (lots of ATM use, for example)
- Free checking is popular for people getting their first checking accounts
- Customer service - are the employees nice? Do they annoy you and constantly try to sell you things you don't want or need?