Discussing banks and banking is a topic that tends to bring on the yawns for many people. Accounts are opened because they have to be, so finding the right bank and bank account is usually approached quickly rather than thoroughly. With a BOQ bank account you have a variety of options at your fingertips, and taking the time to compare bank accounts could save you both time and money. Below are five things to look for before opening your next account.
1. An Account to Suit You
Looking at different bank accounts can be overwhelming as there are so many different elements to consider. The best place to start is with a question – what do I want this account for? Are you saving for a trip to Greece in six months or a house deposit in five years? Do you want the option of paying people face-to-face with a cheque rather than cash? The account has to align with your lifestyle.
2. Fees and Maintenance
Make sure you pull that account apart for every cost before you do the final sign up. Check what will incur additional charges such as purchasing online and transferring between accounts. Also, compare charges such as account maintenance fees, withdrawals, phone and internet banking, and international transactions.
3. Services and Additional Extras
If you’ve compared bank accounts until you’re blue in the face and still can’t decide, look at what else you are going to get out of it. Check to see if it comes with an ATM Visa or Mastercard at no additional fee, or if you get bonus interest by banking a specific amount each month. It’s also good to look at what the bank offers you; for example, will you have access to a personal banker?
Convenience is key in today’s society, as is speed and availability. Daily frustrations with the ‘slow-walker’, the ‘slow-driver’ or ‘slow-internet’ are common first-world problems, and you don’t want to add your bank account to that list. Check to see what transactions are possible each day with your account, and how easy it is to pay for goods or services. It’s also worthwhile looking into ATM availability and fees, if access is still convenient while travelling, and if there is anything you could be penalised for.
5. The Long-Term Benefits
A big part of banking is keeping money in a trustworthy, financially secure place, no matter what account you’re after. Consider the interest, both added and charged, and how this may affect funds sitting in your account for long periods. Also, research the bank and how often they make changes to their accounts. You want something that isn’t going to change too much so you can actually rely on your money being looked after.
Let’s face it, banking isn’t fun no matter what way you try and look at it. But it is important, as these accounts are essentially responsible for taking care of your livelihood. Do take the time to assess them carefully. Consider what you want, for how long you want it, and how it will fit into your financial lifestyle.
What is the first thing you look for when opening a bank account? What are some elements you wish you’d spent more time researching? Write your comments in the box below.