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The 4 Top Considerations for Choosing a Bank that Meets Your Needs

Choosing a bank is a big decision. After all, this is the start of a relationship with the institution that will help you manage your finances for a long time to come. A misstep here could cost you a lot of money over the long haul. Conversely, making the right choice could help grow your money and save you a ton of headaches. So how do you make sure you’re choosing the right bank? There are plenty of factors that influence your choice but the two primary ones are personal recommendations and convenient locations. However, the most important thing when choosing a bank is making sure it’s the right one for you. Before you make any decisions, make sure that you evaluate these key factors.

Factor #1: Do You Need a Brick and Mortar Location?

Many of today’s banks no longer have brick and mortar locations. Instead, they exist entirely online. In order to make deposits, you simply set up automatic deposits into your account or scan checks into an app on your phone. It’s a simple, streamlined process that makes it easy to access your money at any time of the day. If you do encounter problems, your online banking institution will provide customer service to help you sort things out. What most people don’t realize is that online banks often have fewer fees and better rates for loans since they don’t have the expenses associated with keeping a physical location up and running. However there are several key advantages to a brick and mortar location:

  • It’s easier to develop a personal relationship with the people handling your money since you can see them face to face
  • Many people find it easier to have conversations and solve problems with a person sitting across from them
  • Physical banks are less cumbersome for cash transactions, especially cash deposits

If you do opt for a brick and mortar bank over an online-only institution, make sure they have locations close to your home or office. If you travel frequently, you may also want to consider a bank with a wide range of locations across the country.

Factor #2: Do You Want a Regional Location or a Local Bank?

National bank, regional bank, or community bank: how do you decide? Each one has its own advantages. A community bank, for example, typically stays small. They’re just the right size for the community they serve and are designed to create a more personal environment where you can get to know your banker. Community banks are often less focused on profit, since they continue to prioritize other values. Small banks may be able to offer rates and options that you wouldn’t be able to get on loans from larger banks, but they may also not have as much freedom in their bylaws regarding the loans they can offer. As banks get larger, however, they offer greater lending potential, a wider range of services, and larger branches. It’s important to carefully consider which of these is more important to you when you’re choosing a bank.

Factor #3: Do You Want a Bank or a Credit Union?

Credit unions are typically local facilities. They’re usually created by specific local areas, institutions, or businesses in order to support their members. Credit unions often offer key financial advantages including lower fees for using the bank and higher interest on your interest-earning accounts. Because they are local, however, credit unions tend to only have branches in local areas. They may also be slower to roll out new apps and other technology that will improve your banking convenience. Credit unions, like other local banks, can often create a deeper relationship with their users, but larger banks can provide a wider range of services.

Factor #4: What Features Do You Need From Your Bank?

As you’re choosing a bank, you need to carefully consider the features that are most important to you. Before you create an account, it’s also important to understand exactly what you need from your bank and whether or not the bank you’re considering is the right institution for you. Some important features may include:

  • No fees associated with your checking account. In some cases, your bank may offer free checking if you use automatic deposit for your paycheck or if you keep a certain minimum balance in your account.
  • A lack of overdraft fees. This is especially useful if you’d like to link your savings account to your checking account, which will help prevent minor overdraft incidents from adding up to serious expense.
  • Free ATMs. You shouldn’t be charged to access your own money! It’s also helpful to find a bank that will provide free ATM usage if you have to use another bank’s ATM.
  • Online bill pay. This will allow you to take care of your bills each month without having to stress about when each payment is due.
  • A secure, trustworthy app. An app that you can trust and that will allow you to take care of the bulk of your banking needs in the palm of your hands is essential.

The Bottom Line

There is a wide range of factors that go into a choosing a bank. As you’re considering your options, make sure that you carefully consider all the factors that are most important to you. While there may be some features that you can do without right now, you’ll want to carefully consider which ones you’ll need in the foreseeable future as well. You want a bank that will grow with you – whether you’re opening your first account before you head off to college or combining accounts with a new spouse. As you choose your bank, make sure that you consider your needs not only today but for many years in the future so that you’ll be happy for years to come.

How to Get Best Savings Account Rate

How to get best savings account rate is one of the most common question a bank can get from its customers. People in America are suffering from lower savings account rate from decades now. Well, it’s high time to rejoice in the fact that certain banks have actually considered getting the interest rates on savings account a bit higher which means more benefits to you along the way. Though there aren’t much willing to participate, still, we have curated some ways on how to get the best savings account rate. A little hike on the yield can make a huge difference when you are in desperate need of money.

Certain tips on how to get best savings account rate:

1. Do your research
A thorough research on every bank and their savings account interest rates is a must when picking the best for you. You need to get a hold of what the topmost interest rate is on the market and choose your bank accordingly with it. A bank offering 1% or 1.5% APY is the best out there. There are different types of savings accounts available with the banks such as online savings account, bonus saver accounts, high-interest savings account and many more. You need to compare all the rates and benefits associated with each and choose the best for you appropriately.

2. Check out other banks
There is a high chance that your bank is lacking behind the generous interest rates behind some other monetary benefits which are useless in long term. You need to consider other banks too. They might have lower additional benefits but adding on to your savings is a big deal they are offering and you cannot afford to miss that. You need to calculate your earnings and choose the best interest rate available on the banks accordingly. How to Get Best Savings Account Rate doesnot only associated with your bank, you have to consider otehr possibilities out there too.

3. Banks vs Credit Unions
When it comes to more interest rates on your savings, credit unions always take the cake as they are non-profit organizations unlike banks and offers more benefits and higher interest rates to its members only. Though joining a credit union requires you to clear some ground conditions but they are best if you need to store your money for a long time and do not require a near to your physical location for financial dealings.

4. Increase your savings limit
There is no bank that will offer major interest rates on some minimum savings. You need to have at least $5,000 or $10,000 in your bank accounts to turn into a savings account that will offer a rather large APY. certain types of direct or mutual funds are also helpful if you need to save the money for a longer time and wait for it to grow eventually. Savings limit improvement is oen of the best solutions on How to Get Best Savings Account Rate.

Do check out our blog post on How to Get Best Checking Account Rate.

How to Get Best Checking Account Rate

A checking account is the need of the hour. They are like the safest place to put your “to be used” cash for a time being and not to expect any benefit in return except for security. Though we cannot say that they are entirely incapable of offering better interest rates. How to get best checking account rates is the little trick one can make an effort to understand and get some additional benefits over your monthly cash after paying the bills and all.

Certain tips on How to Get The Best Checking Account Rate:

1. Deciding on a checking account
First of all, you need to decide on why you need a checking account and how to get the best checking account rate on it comes secondary. People often go for a savings or a high yield paying account that offers high-interest rates on your savings after you allow them to access a part of your savings for other financial solutions and purposes. But if you have decided to save your inflow money for a small period of time and get an interest, you need to consider opening a checking account in the bank with an existing account of yours and move only if they offer rather low-interest rates as compared to the other on the market.

2. Look out for the competition
A thorough research on every other bank that offers competitive rates is necessary to make a right decision on which bank’s checking account would be beneficial to you. If any credit union offers more interest rates on your checking accounts, you need to be aware of the ground rules of joining that particular one and find solutions. If you are willing to join a non-profit organisation with limited online access to your funds but a higher rate than a local credit union would be perfect for you. Competition is one of the primary things you need to look out for while seraching on How to Get Best Checking Account Rate.

3. Go online
Online banks often offer higher interest rates than traditional bank branches as they do not have a physical location thus minimizing the total financial costs and offering more to its customers. Their overhead cost is quite less considering they handle everything online. Some of the online banks even offer 1% APY on monthly min balance of $2,500.

4. Reward Offers
Certain banks despite offering low interest on checking accounts get more customers that the banks offering higher rates all due to their other bonuses like sign up bonus, rewards cards etc. They attract the potential clients through their cash rewards or a bonus airline credits or hotel credits which are rather tempting and appreciated.

5. Certificate of deposits
Certificate of deposits is other options for getting a high yield on your balance. You can opt for a high yield checking account which despite demanding major minimum balance offers a quality interest rate. You need to research the market for such banks that offer high yield checking accounts and demand certain conditions in return. Cds are another best thing to consider while you need to focus on How to Get Best Checking Account Rate.

Do check out our blog post on Everything You Need to Know About Credit Unions.

Best Banks in America for Small Businesses

Choosing a right bank is one of the primary decisions any kind of business organisation needs in order to keep the financial troubles at bay. Managing your finances efficiently is the foremost need of the hour in order to start something new and finding a bank that offers a checking account, savings account with credit cards as well as those impromptu loans is rather burdensome. There are a plethora of best banks in America for small businesses that allows you to conduct smooth tax preparations, loan applications, payroll management and other primary small business solutions in advance to various sign-up bonuses, APR and other rewards.

Here are some of the best banks in America for small businesses that offer exceptional financial solutions:

1. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo tops our list of the best banks in America for small businesses for being the most active SBA lenders of all time. They have an actual good history of lending loans to the small businesses and other financial solutions. They held a record of financing loans to more than 1500 small businesses in 2017 for up to $459 million. In addition to the SBA loans, Wells Fargo also offers its own small business solutions. They have various tangible checking account offers that are exceptionally beneficial for newcomers. You are eligible for secured loans, unsecured loans, lines of credits, real estate loans and many more. They offer 200 free monthly transactions, $7,500.00 of free cash deposit limit and a $14 of monthly fees. 7.25% is the fixed interest rate in terms of unsecured loans and 6.25% for the vehicle loans.

2. SunTrust
$0 introductory maintenance fee is one of the offers SunTrust have introduced making it almost top the list of best banks for small businesses. It doesn’t matter the type of checking account you open with the banks, you will be eligible for the offer. The offer is valid until your first 12 billing cycles and the term loans can last up to 20 loan years makes the bank desirable to many. Their primary business checking accounts and Business Advantage Plus Checking accounts holders gets two months of financial dealings for free. They offer loans for vehicles, office furniture, equipment for construction etc.

3. Capital One
Best in terms of Business Checking Accounts, Capital One is our third pick as the best banks in America for small businesses. Their checking accounts allow you to make plenty of debit and credit card transactions making it best if your business organisation requires you to make a high amount of transactions and getting the fee waived. Their Spark Business Basic Checking and Spark Business Unlimited Checking accounts allow multiple free cash deposits and the latter also allows you to make 5 domestic wire transfers within a month.

4. Chase
It is the best bank in terms of offering overall amazing business credit cards. They offer high reward rates and other additional benefits for smooth financial solutions. They have minimum requirements for opening a business account which is easy to justify. They do offer more than 1 credit card to limit your expenses much further. They have $100,000.00 as a balance to waive fees and $25,000.00 of free cash deposit limit. You are eligible up to 500 of free monthly transactions.

Do Check out our blog post on Common Misconceptions about Credit Cards.

Best Places in America to Deposit Your Cash

Are you looking for the best places in America to deposit your cash? Higher yield, better security and much liquidity is something we all want to be associated with our hard earned money. But, all these things often do not come in parallel. We have to establish and compromise on some factors or the other. Making the best use of your newly found cash is the utmost priority and there are a plethora of ways to do so. Read on to know more.

Some of the best places in America to deposit your cash and get additional benefits:

1. A Checking Account
A checking account is one of the safest options to save your cash money. Though the option will not offer you any kind of interest there are often benefits of rewards and additional security. The checking account allows you to withdraw any number of checks, check your balance, pay bills etc. It is the best option to choose if you want to safeguard your cash for a little time.

2. A money market account for more interest
A money market account is a kind of savings account that allows you to draw a limited number of checks per month but offers a little extra interest on your savings. It is a perfect way to save big and plan for the future plus a little extra money as an interest is something everyone appreciates. They do offer higher yields as compared to checking accounts.

3. A savings account for stashing extra
A savings account is another one of the best places in America to deposit your cash or for saving those extra bucks for the future. They have the superiority of offering higher interest rates as compared to the checking accounts but you will have to adjust with limited check withdrawals that range up to 6 per month. You might need more than the usual balance in order to open a savings account that will, in turn, provides high yields, better interest rates as well as certain other bonuses.

4. An online bank
Online banks are another option that offers excellent levels of liquidity with higher interest rates on your deposits. There are certain online banks that offer even 1% of interest per annum on your savings as compared to the other traditional banks which actually offers near to nill rates. You won’t have to pay any monthly fees and there is no minimum balance requirement. Though the downfall is only that there is no physical location for customer interactions.

5. Certificate of Deposits
Certificate of Deposits(CDs) is one of the easiest ways of stashing the extra cash securely. Though it is nothing less than a gamble. For instance, the interest rates go high and you get additional bucks on your deposits, its all win-win from there but if the rates go low, you will be left with nothing additional and on the top of that, they won’t allow you to withdraw the cash before the legalised term and will charge a penalty if done so. It is the simplest solution if you wish to just keep away the cash for a long time without looking for an alternate.

6. Treasury bills
If you are looking for utmost security and absolute liquidity, the treasury bills are one of the best places in America to deposit your cash. It is the U.S govt funded debt that has no aspect of thefts, so you can be fully satisfied with the security of your cash. The treasury bills are for those who need to stash ample amount of cash with pure liquidity on hands. They sell bills every 3 to six weeks and are very cheap to buy on auctions if you are associated with some valid firm.

Do check out our blog post on Credit Unions vs Banks.

Money Market Accounts vs Saving Accounts

Money market accounts and savings accounts are nothing like two peas in the same pod. Though they possess rather large similarities they are not in any way same. Both of them are interest-bearing accounts that offer liquidity and are insured by FDIC but have different interest rates. The debate over money market accounts vs saving accounts have been going on for quite a time now and we have gathered the various facts to differentiate between the two.

First, of, What is a Money Market Account?

A Money Market Account is a kind of savings account that offers higher interest rates and only allows a limited amount of checks to be drawn from the account each month. You will need a somewhat large balance and high opening deposits to get a money market account. The higher balance is the only foundation of higher interest rates associated with the account. Though, the amount of interest paid on the MMA is different for different banks.

How is a Money Market account similar to Savings Account?

Comparing the money market accounts vs saving accounts, both of them are interest-bearing accounts that are insured under FDIC(Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) up to a fixed amount stated by the government. Both the Money Market and Savings account allows your balance to grow and offers to liquify options with a fixed number of checks to be drawn and the amount varies from bank to bank.

What are the differences between a money market accounts vs saving accounts?

The primary difference between the two banks is the fund access. The Money Market Account allows you to use checks whereas certain saving accounts do not. You might need electronic transfer to access your balance in the savings account or have to use direct bank withdraws. You can have a lower opening deposit to open a savings account as well as require lesser minimum balance requirement. One of the major difference is that it will not offer you checks.

You can say that Money Market Accounts are the hybrids of savings and checking account types with limited checking options. The banks usually limit the number of checks to be drawn to a number of just 3 per month.

Checking Accounts, Savings Account and Money Market Account- What is the difference between the three?

All of the three accounts are FDIC insured and you will get a debit card for all the three for transactions, though checkbook for withdraws is only available with MMA and checking accounts and not a savings account. There are limited transactions associated with MMA and savings account while checking accounts offer unlimited transactions.

Do check out our blog post on Top 6 Free Mobile Apps for Managing Credit.

Best Saving Accounts for 2018

The best saving accounts for 2018 would be those that keep your hard earned money safe at all costs, offers an exceptional customer service, have prominent interest rates with no or less monthly charges. After long lasting years of low-interest rates, the pricing war for a savings account is at its peak. The perks of no minimum balance, ATM access are necessary at this stage and for that, we have curated a list of all the saving accounts you need to trust with your finances.

Some of the best saving accounts for 2018:

1. Marcus by Goldman Sachs
A savings account with no minimum balance and no transaction fees, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a highly competitive 1.50% APY on your savings which is by far the highest rate you are offered from a brand name. The Wall Street giants, Goldman Sachs owns this consumer bank and till date doesn’t have an ATM network or a mobile app for the same. The deposit facility only limits to electronic transfer or wire transfers and cheques. They are known in the market for offering best saving accounts for 2018 as well as some prominent personal loans.

2. Synchrony
Offering a healthy 1.55% APY, Synchrony bank offers a bank account with no transaction fees as well as no minimum balance. They do offer an ATM card with this competitive rate. They are one of those saving accounts that serve you with an ATM card to makes an easy access or fund transfers without much delay. The brand is not very well known but extremely capitalized for customer satisfaction. Once your account balance hits $10,000 you are accessible to the travel-related discounts. The bank does not have a mobile app at the moment.

3. Barclays
With 325 years of history in London, Barclays is one of the bank brands that have made its mark in the U.S as well. They are known for offering highly competitive rates on the savings deposits. Their American Credit Card Business is funded by those deposits. The bank also has a no minimum balance policy as well as no transaction fees and offers a rate of 1.50% APY. the major advantage of choosing this bank is the additional security it provides for your bank account being a historic bank.

4. CIT Bank
It is one of those certain non-famous banks but offers a very competitive interest rate of 1,55% APY on your savings deposits and thus termed as one of the best saving accounst for 2018. The bank is known to offer loans as well as property leases to the small businesses and companies and has secured more than $50 billion of assets. You can use their internet-only bank to get your loan funded. The minimum account balance of $100 is mandatory with no monthly charges. Your deposits will be FDIC insured and they also offer a checking account.

5. Live Oak Bank
With more than $2 billion of assets under their possession, Live Oak Bank mainly works on funding small businesses and companies but have recently taken their online deposit business up a notch. The brand is not something you can compare to large savings accounts but it sure is highly secured and profitable. Live Oak does offer a highly competitive rate on security deposits but if you have not maintained your balance and have no recent activity for 2 years, it does charge you for that.

6. Ally
With an interest rate of 1.45% APY, Ally is one of the banks that you can trust with your hard earned money. The bank offers a zero balance account and a free checking account to transfer your funds to any third party or any other transaction or access is made pretty easy. They also offer checks, debit cards and ATM’s for immediate access to your savings. Their online account can get you acquainted with all the leading market products and their full suite of services.

7. American Express Personal Savings
It is one of the best saving accounts for 2018 that offers a 1.45% varying APY for a high yield personal savings account. The above average online saving account is good to consider for higher security and safety deposits. The bank offers a zero balance account with no monthly transaction fees making it quite affordable. The FDIC will insure your deposits to the limit of $25,000 and it is mandatory to fund your account within 30 days of opening. They have a 24/7 support via a phone. Though the bank does not offer a checking account to manage your transaction.

8. Dollar Savings Direct
Offering 1.80% APY on the security deposits, this branch of Emigrant Bank is one of the best you can consider for your beloved money. In order to attract more customers, the Emigrant is paying a highly competitive rate at Dollar Savings Direct. The bank also offers a zero balance account and there is no guarantee of the amount of time this offer will be valid.

Do check out our blog post for Top 5 Auto Loans for 2018.

Top 10 Largest Banks in America

There are a variety of credit unions and largest banks in America to keep one’s money for safekeeping. The biggest National banks will always reign supreme for all the advanced banking options as well as security as compared to small and local banks. For instance, $13.2 trillion in assets is the combined total of the largest banks in The United States. Despite the increasing financial crisis, these are the only banks you can entrust with your hard earned money.

Here is the list of top 10 largest banks in America in terms of assets:

1. JPMorgan-Chase & Co
For as close to having $2.52 Trillion in the terms of Worldwide assets, JPMorgan-Chase stands at the very top position of the largest banks in America as well as bags the 6th spot all over the World. JPMorgan & company and Chase Manhattan, the oldest banks in America merged together to create the one and only JPMorgan-Chase. The “Chase” in the bank is usually associated with providing retail and commercial bank services whereas The “JPMorgan” is associated with private wealth management and investments.

2. Bank of America
The sole owners of Merrill Lynch, a giant in the field of wealth management makes the Bank of America world’s largest bank firm. North Carolina is one of the biggest financial centers in America being the home to Bank of America’s headquarters. The bank actually started off as a small firm in San Francisco that served immigrants in the early 1900’s and was called as the Bank of Italy. Till date, it has more than 50 million banking customers in retail. The bank’s headquarters in North Carolina are LEED certified and all the way eco-friendly.

3. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in America started by two Northeasterners in order to capitalize the Gold Rush and is headquartered in San Francisco. The bank stands at the highest position in the whole wide world in terms of market capitalization. Wells Fargo has actually fought for that title with China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank repeatedly. Initially granted to the First National Bank of Philadelphia, it is one of the oldest operating bank charters in the US.

4. Citi
Initially a regional bank in the 19th century, Citi Bank is one of the trailblazers of the city’s ATM’s as well as credit cards. Regarded as the first bank to open an office in a foreign country, Citi Bank was formerly called as City Bank of New York. The bank only has 26% of its branch offices in the United States which are actually responsible for generating up to 51% of the total bank’s revenue. The bank stands at the 4th position in the list of largest banks in America.

5. US Bancorp/ U.S Bank
The merger of major regional banks mainly from the west and Midwest resulted in the creation of US Bancorp. The bank is known to have more than 16 million customers and holds approximately $389 billion in terms of assets as well as $250 billion of deposits. 1913 was the year to ban all the banks from using the term “United States” in their company’s name and US Bancorp was the last one of the firms that were relinquished from the new rule.

6. PNC
The bank with branch offices in the total of 19 states in the whole America, PNC is one of the regional financial institutions that is solid on the east coast. PNC was established through a merger of two Pennsylvania’s historical banks- Pittsburgh National Corporation and Providence National Corporation. The companies decided to use an acronym after the coincidence of having an almost same name. It is one of the traditional banks that adopted the “virtual wallet” in the early times.

7. Bank of New York Mellon
Bank of New York Mellon is one of the largest banks in America. The bank is the direct successor organization of the firm The Bank of New York which by Alexander Hamilton, the very first secretary of the Treasury. The bank was curated from a firm merger with T.Mellon and sons which was a Pittsburgh institution financing steel and fuel industries. The bank is known to possess $27.9 Trillion in terms of assets making it the world’s largest custodian bank that caters to the institutes of finances.

8. State Street
Initially, a shipping financing firm, The State Street Bank in Boston has come down to the 8th on the list of the greatest banks in America. Time has not changed the single factor the bank works on. From focusing on global banking services to the overseas investors to the management, it does it all efficiently. The bank was once reported to be involved in a court case in 1998.

9. Capital One
Capital One is one of the largest banks in America that usually deals with retail banking operations as well as providing services for home loans, auto loans, credit cards, and savings. 2005 was the year in which the bank set its foot straight in the list of greatest banks though they initially dealt with credit cards only. The bank was once accused of deliberately deceiving its customers with fake caller IDs by changing its customer terms of services.

10. Morgan Stanley
It is one of the banks in America that deals with investment banking, wealth and investment management as well as security. Headquartered in the Manhattan, New York, the Morgan Stanley originally has 55,000 employees with offices in more than 40 countries. Established from the merger of JPMorgan and Co with Harold Stanley, the bank has $851.8 billion in terms of assets.