Finances & Money

The Banks Want You!

In the days of old, you maybe got a toaster for opening an account with a bank. Now they are finding practical ways to attract your business and keep you interested in staying with their services. Those practical ways not only entice you but can save you money or help you manage your money in beneficial ways. If you don’t have an account, now is a good time to work on getting one. If you do have an account, it pays you to review what your current bank offers you and look for better options elsewhere based on what you need. Let’s take a look at all of the ways a bank will offer you discounts to make themselves look more attractive.

Earning Cash Back

Credit cards were the first service to offer the cash back system, rewarding you with money for using your card. Now other banks are starting to take the leap. A Kasasa checking account is an excellent example of making money from spending money. By using your debit card, you get a percentage back on your purchases. Read the fine print carefully because although plenty of banks are offering this deal, some have restrictions. If you often use your debit card to make grocery store purchases, a bank that will give you a cash back incentive on those purchases means you aren’t spending extra money elsewhere and still earning the reward. Sometimes how much activity you have with your debit card also makes a difference! If you aren’t using your card often, can you switch your spending habits to do so when you can get a cash back reward?

Changing Bank Methods

Before ATM’s and direct deposit, we were required to go to the bank during the banking hours, traditionally Mon-Friday 9am-5pm. That was often difficult for folks who also worked those same hours and had to use lunch breaks to do their banking. Now we have those ATM’s, direct deposit, and online banking. Yet, many banks are looking for an alternative to their functionality. This may mean holding business hours later in the day or even on weekends or operating a bank completely online with no brick & mortar offices.  Businesses, like USPS, that are not in the banking sector may join the fray to offer new banking options. Even PayPal has been rumored to looking into how to offer some banking services with FDIC protections without being an official bank. It’s a new way of managing finances and that may be more appropriate for your lifestyle.

Avoiding Fees

A number one complaint of many folks are the fees. Sometimes it just feels like we are being nickel-and-dimed to death when it comes to ATM fees, transfer fees, overdraft fees, and bank fees in general. Fees can eat away at your savings and your checking account. They may not seem like much at first but those tiny fees creeping in all the time can add up. Banks are now offering ways to lower the fees or eliminating a few of them. Before you switch your bank, do some math on what you spend in one year in fees within your current bank and a new one you are contemplating. Whichever one says you the most money is the one that should be most attractive.

If you have never switched banks before, don’t worry! You can simply take cash to the new bank and open your account(s). Then go to your old bank and close the accounts, take your money to the new bank, and deposit. It really is that simple and well worth the extra time to get it set up.

 

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Susan Paige

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