How To Choose The Right Bank For Your Financial Needs

Choosing the right bank is essential to having healthy finances.

Choosing the right bank is like selecting the perfect pair of jeans, it has to be the right fit. The appropriate financial institution can simplify your financial management and help you save money.. Every bank offers different types of accounts, features, deals, interest rates, and services, so it's helpful to know what matters most to you financially. has suggested a list of banks that fit almost any lifestyle.. Check out the scenarios below and see which bank is right for you.

First, let's take a look at the four most common types of bank accounts available to you:

A Checking Account provides the most flexibility and easiest access to funds for everyday spending.. You can open a checking account at a brick-and-mortar bank, credit union, or online bank.

In the beginning, checking accounts allowed their owners to write checks on physical paper, but nowadays many people have chosen to bypass paper checks.. Checking accounts are utilized to deposit money to pay bills and other recurrent expenses. The usage of a debit card, an ACH transfer, or a wire transfer are three additional methods that can be utilized in conjunction with a checking account to move, spend, or transfer money.

A Savings Account is an account that’s meant to hold the money you put into the bank and don’t plan to spend right away. Savings accounts help you save money for specific goals and purposes—or stash away extra money for a rainy day or emergency.

It offers access to your money but it isn't as convenient as a checking account. A savings account limits the number of times you can access your finds per month. The Federal Reserve Board used to limit you to six withdrawals per month but it’s since removed the requirement.

A Money Market Deposit Account is a financial product that combines the features of a checking and savings account. It is often offered by many banks and credit unions and it allows you to store your funds while earning interest.

These accounts have variable interest rates, meaning that it fluctuates over time and change periodically. They tend to offer

A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a type of savings account that restricts your access to the money you invest but it offers higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. Once you invest funds into a CD, you agree to keep it in the account for a specific amount of time. The deposit gains value as it sits but can be subject to fees if it's withdrawn before the agreed duration.

CD’s are usually considered low-risk investments because they are simple to understand and insured by the FDIC.

Citi Bank skyscraper building.
Citi Bank skyscraper building

Now, think about what type of banking experience you want:

I want a brick-and-mortar bank vs I want a digital/mobile bank

The good thing is many brick-and-mortar banks also offer banking through mobile apps. An example of a brick-and-mortar bank is Bank of America.—with more than 4,100 locations, it is usually easy to find and utilize its services frequently. Bank of America also provides a reliable and secure banking application. Customers can use the mobile app on the go or visit a location if they need specialized help.

A digital bank doesn’t have a physical location but is available online and/ or on an app.. They are accessible to most people with a phone or laptop.. Digital banking allows you to complete most essential tasks like checking your account balance and depositing checks by photo. Some digital banks don’t offer savings accounts so make sure to do your research.

An example of a digital bank is Axos bank—ranked Best Overall Checking Account by Forbes Advisor.

I want to bank Black

Black-owned banks are few but they are mighty. They were created out of necessity when Black people weren't allowed in white banking institutions. They provide greater access to banking services for Black people and economically support Black communities. Keep in mind that if you want to bank Black, you may be restricted to a certain state, city, or community due to fewer locations.  Some Black banks also have mobile and online services.

Here are a few Black banks to look into::

The type of experience you get from a bank will vary. Some people need international banking, while others need banking tailored to their small businesses. Think of your ideal banking experience and use it as a guide to choosing the right bank for you. 

Lastly, think about your must-have features when banking. Features of a bank are the additional perks you receive and they can make or break your banking experience and your wallet. Some features to consider include:

  • Limited to no fees
  • Competitive interest rates
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Great customer service
  • FDIC-Insured
  • Loyalty deals
  • Convienent branch locations
  • Loans and other financial products

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice and the author is not a financial professional.

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