Which Bank Is Right for You?

The days of putting your money into just any financial institution no longer exist. There are so many factors now to consider before changing banks and accounts. What was once a simple decision has become very sophisticated. We can’t assume a one-size fits all approach. Choosing cannot be based on family history and traditions. How, then, do you know which bank or credit union is best for you? And, which of their accounts  best fits your lifestyle or family needs? Here are a few factors to consider.

How Much Will Their Insurance Cover?

Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation (FDIC) insures most banks and financial institution accounts up to $250,000.00. If you have that much money in the bank and the institution fails, government insurance should cover your loss. Most of us take it for granted that our bank accounts, investments, and other funds held by the bank are safe. However, you need to ask about their FDIC coverage. While all banks may be FDIC covered, they may not be covered 100% dollar for dollar. That is, if you have $100,000.00 in your bank and FDIC coverage is 50% and the bank fails, you will only receive $50, 000.00, but failed institution.

Youth-Friendly Banking Features

Dear parents, your kids may never use a checkbook or a debit card. Rather, they may use virtual wallets, or other digital currencies in the future! You need to educate your pre-teens and teens on banking, debit and credit cards, paying bills, money transfers and overdrafts.

For example, Capital One online has a Money Teen Checking account with some good features. The account can be established for kids ages eight through seventeen. Yes, eight year olds are now conducting banking transactions. As a parent, you have tremendous control or monitoring over your child’s account. You can control or put limits on how much they can purchase on their debit cards. You can also view daily transactions, withdraw, or add funds to their account. Perhaps one of the best features is that the card prohibits children from purchasing items from establishments such as bars, liquor stores or gambling places to name a few. The account requires no minimum balance and your child will not be permitted to execute transactions which could result in an overdraft.

Another bank consideration would be Chase Bank youth accounts. The account, for children ages six through seventeen offers many benefits to teens.

While I just described a traditional bank where you can walk in, and receive service, there are online banking options for your kids like Axos Bank . This online bank, offers an account to teens with restrictions such as limits on cash withdrawals and debit card transactions. The reality is that your kids are going to grow up with the stock market, banks and other financial institutions around them. So if you are a family with young kids and teens does your current bank fit you?

How Low Can You Go?

A critical decision in choosing a bank is your response to to the question how much money do you maintain in your bank? Some banks combine the amounts in your checking, savings and investment accounts to determine whether you have satisfied the monthly balance requirements and thereby avoid fees. If you do not maintain lots of money in your bank accounts, one might consider a PNC Bank Virtual Wallet account. These accounts may require a monthly balance as low as $500.00 .

Besides a low monthly balance, these accounts integrate and offer money management tools in your virtual wallet accounts. They combine a spending checking with an additional reserve checking account to put aside funds for short term goals and then a growth savings account for long term goals. As if that were not enough, those accounts come with resources which allow you to create your budget and provides alerts and up-to-date information on how you are managing your funds. This is all worth considering if you keep a low balance in your bank account.

Chase Bank Total Checking account offer benefits for those who may maintain higher monthly bank balances. With this account you will need to maintain a monthly balance of $1,500.00 or combined balance of $5,000.00 if you want to waive the monthly fee of $12.00.

If you maintain higher balances in your checking account then you might want to consider Chase Sapphire accounts. These accounts in some cases provides early tickets and priority access to places and events. The account offers an automated investing “robo-adviser” and lots of other perks, but you must maintain a monthly combined balance of $75,000.00.

Access to Your Money

Finally, there are online banks which offer all kinds of options. One of the best options may be Ally Bank which offers low fees and healthy yields. They offer free access to more than 43,000 ATM’s in the Allpoint network. And, they reimburse up to $10.00 monthly for out of network ATM transactions. There are so many factors to consider as you examine your banking needs Go do your research and find a bank that fits your lifestyle and your family needs!


I have decided to add a new section to Money Monday’s called “what’s up!” Today’s may seem premature, but go ahead and mark your calendar now! Friday August 6th begins the annual back-to-school sales tax period. If you live in states such as Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and many others you will receive tax breaks on school supplies and pricey items such as computers. For a complete listing of states with sales tax holidays go to www.tax admin.org/sales-tax-holidays . And that’s what’s up!


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