Should you change your bank account?

Reviewing your transaction account and checking to see whether there is a better deal available is a task that’s easy to put in the “not now” basket.  That said, there is a level of healthy competition between financial institutions who are keen to win over your business. They know that your transaction account is a relatively easy financial product to switch – certainly much easier than switching your home loan, or insurance products.

Before you go out and get a new account though, it’s important to understand how you use your existing one. Do you need branch access? Do you frequently use ATM machines? Is everything done online? How much do you keep in your account at any one time, and how many transactions do you make each month? Once you have worked all that out, you’ll know what you need from an account.

Some things to look for include:

  • Low monthly fees. While they are not common, there are low-fee bank accounts to be found. There are also a healthy number offering low regular fees.  Some potential fees to watch out for include a monthly account fee, over-the-counter transaction fees, EFTPOS and electronic transaction fees. Along with this, consumers should investigate for any free transaction offers and any fee rebate conditions
  • Great access. Consumers should be looking for the most convenient way to do their everyday banking. This includes gaining access to a branch and ATM network that is local to their work or home, a highly functional internet banking system and an efficient mobile app to access money while on the go.
  • Other features.  Features such as the credit rating of a specific institution, the online security offered, account conditions such as minimum/maximum opening balance and other account design features can make a significant difference to the overall usability of an everyday banking product. Personal financial management tools such as calculators are also an added bonus.

Make it a yearly habit to review your accounts – just to ensure that the account you have matches your transacting needs.

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