Back in the day when someone needed a bank account, they walked into the community bank, talked to a banker and opened an account. Nowadays, people have so many financial institutions to choose from and so many different types of accounts at each of those institutions that you have to do some research and consider what is most important to you before you choose a bank account.
What type of financial institution you choose to do your banking really depends on your needs. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few of the options available:
Online Banks: An online only bank often has lower fees and higher interest rates than banks that need to provide physical locations to their clients. Unfortunately, since they are online only they can’t provide many of the services that you can only get by visiting a physical location.
Credit Unions: Credit unions often provide lower fees and higher interest rates than commercial banks. Credit unions have physical locations unlike the online only banks, but they often restrict their membership only to certain groups. Also the smaller credit unions are sometimes a little behind technologically and don’t provide as many online or mobile ways to access their accounts.
Community Banks: These banks are usually very tied into the local community. They employ locals and support local causes. They also tend to approve loans more quickly than larger banks and sometimes consider the character of the person applying for the loan in addition to their financial situation. The disadvantages are that they often have less financial products available than their larger competitors.
Commercial Banks: The bigger commercial banks provide the most services of any of your options. They also have ATMs located in many convenient locations and can be better options when traveling overseas. The drawback is that they often have higher fees than most of the other options.
Which option is the best for you though still comes down to getting the best deal depending on your specific account needs. So, consider the various savings accounts that the different options provide and the various checking accounts and see which institution is the best fit for you and your family.