It happens all the time – a local bank branch closes and you’re wondering what to do next. Do you need to switch banks? Should you stay with the bank? What’s the right choice?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for bank branch closures, but you can consider these factors.
Where’s the Closest Branch?
First, ask yourself, where’s the next closest branch? Is it within a decent distance and on your normal route? If you have to travel far or go out of your way to get to the bank, it won’t be convenient and will frustrate you more than anything if you bank in person.
Do you Bank Online?
If you bank mostly online and only go to the bank a couple of times a year, the location may not matter as much. As long as you have a branch within 10 – 15 miles, you may want to stay. But, consider what would happen if you need a branch fast. Is it close enough for you to get there or would it be more frustrating?
Do you use ATMs?
If you use ATMs often, you need a local bank branch. If you use ATMs outside of your bank’s network, it will cost you for each use! Fortunately, many banks have networks that include other banks, so check out the network before changing banks.
Is your Bank a Smart Financial Choice?
If your bank branch closes, it’s a great time to reconsider your banking needs. Look at what your bank account costs you and what it does for you. Does it make sense to keep it or should you look elsewhere?
Look at fees including:
• Monthly maintenance fees – Many banks charge a monthly maintenance fee but allow you to waive it if you keep a certain account balance. If you can’t keep the balance, the bank charges you. Even if it’s $5 a month, that’s $60 a year and $300 over 5 years. It’s likely not worth it – you could find banks with no monthly fee.
• Service fees – Does your bank charge you to see a teller, use certain ATMs, or other service fees? If you’re constantly questioning why you were charged yet another fee, you may want to look elsewhere.
Does your Bank Have the Products you Need?
If you stayed at your bank because you’re a loyal person, yet they don’t offer quite what you need, consider the branch closure your sign to look elsewhere.
With the large number of banks available (including online), you have many more choices than ever before. Use the opportunity to find a bank that provides the products you need.
Branch closures are frustrating, but they don’t have to be the end of the world. Look at the situation logically. Can you survive without a branch nearby or should you switch banks? Switching banks may be tedious, but if it’s the right choice for your finances, you may well be best served to do it quickly to avoid confusion and frustration after your bank closes.
Looking to learn more about checking accounts? Then you’ll want to learn more from Find a Better Bank. We help connect people with the bank that is right for them. On the site, you can search for your next bank by region, bank size or by your residential zip code. Stop by and find the checking account that’s best for you!