example, some banks may require a minimum daily balance of $2,500 in your checking account. If you find this difficult to achieve, go to a bank that will allow a “linked” account, and if all of your accounts combined total $2,500, your fees will be eliminated.
“Most banks offer linked accounts and encourage their customers to take advantage of it,” says Karen Smith, a financial planner who was a sales manager at Chase Manhattan Bank for 10 years. “They feel that the more accounts that you have with them, the less likely you are to leave.”
Your bank has inconvenient hours of operation. Consumers now take pleasure in the luxury of being able to go to the bank seven days a week when their bank has branches in grocery stores and some retail stores, such as Wal-Mart. It is very difficult to deal with the traditional bank that closes at 4 p.m. daily and is not open on Saturdays or Sundays.
“When you work a nine-to-five job, it is very hard to go to traditional banks. You don’t have the time to handle your important financial business on your lunch hour,” says Smith. “Until people get familiar and comfortable with online banking, they need the convenience of banks that are open late and on weekends. I find that a lot of store owners definitely have this problem.”
Your bank does not offer online banking. Most of the larger banks offer online banking. It affords their customers an opportunity to pay their bills online, at their leisure, and to view their daily balance without being charged a fee. Online banking also allows the consumer to transfer funds from one account to another from a remote location while most traditional banks expect consumers to go to the bank in person.
Some consumers opt to switch to online banks such as Wingspan Bank.com (www.wingspanbank.com) because it offers them the convenience of banking at any time. Whether you’re at home in the process of cooking dinner, at work on a lunch break, or sitting in the airport on a business trip, you can check on all of your accounts. If your traditional bank does not offer what you need, an online banking company may be for you. “We offer access to WingspanBank.com customer service representatives 24 hours per day, seven days a week to help consumers with any questions or concerns they may have with their accounts. If you’re banking at 2 a.m., your questions can be answered at 2 a.m.,” says Kevin Watters, senior vice president of marketing for WingspanBank.com.
WingspanBank.com rebates ATM fees each month up to $5 per month. It could cost from $1 to $2 for each transaction depending on where you went to the ATM. Wingspan Bank.com offers a higher interest rate on checking and CDs, and has the ability to scour the Internet for the best rates on insurance as well as mortgages. It offers free online bill paying and complimentary checks when customers first join; there is a charge when customers renew.