Banks have become particularly savvy at finding new ways to lure new customers through the front door. Like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it is because it probably is. Before you succumb to the persuasion of a killer deal from a new bank that opened up in your area, you should be aware of these strategies so that you don’t end up regretting opening an account later down the line. Here are some of the top strategies banks utilize to fish for new customers.
Offering free money
You may have received something in the mail from a new bank branch that opened in your area. You are elated to find out that they are giving away a cash bonus or a gift card if you open a new account with them. But hold up, there is a catch with this seemingly sweet deal. Typically, a bank will require that you hold a certain amount of money in an account with them for an agreed amount of time. This means you are stuck with this bank until this time lock is lifted. Many of us get comfortable with the bank we end up at and don’t switch banks often. Consider if switching is really worth it.
Great interest rates
Some banks will offer a great interest rate. This is another way they try to lure in new customers. At first, while the going is good, it may seem you landed a killer deal by opening a new account. However, you should make sure that this interest rate does not decline over time. In some cases, the interest rate you start with will not remain static but will gradually drift back towards a lower interest rate that is common among other accounts elsewhere.
Access to ATMs
Depending on what bank you have decided to go with, they may not have an abundant number of ATMs available in your area. For that reasons, many of these banks offer a reimbursement for any ATM fees you may incur by using other bank’s ATMs. However, you should make sure you understand if there are any limitations on this reimbursement. If there is a ceiling, you can quickly find yourself eating a lot of money on ATM fees.
Analyzing your banking needs
Before you jump in bed with a bank, you should outline what your needs are. How often do you expect to use an ATM? What sort of fees comes with an account? Is there a certain limit that you have to maintain in an account? All of these questions are important in understanding if a certain bank is a good fit for you.
Moreover, you don’t have to go the traditional brick and mortar banking route. There are a lot of great online banks that are FDIC-insured institutions. In some cases, they can offer better deals as far as interest rates on savings accounts. To learn more, you can read our article here.