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“It was a bust. Few people switched, in part because of the grip big banks had on them with their alluring online and mobile-banking services,” CR says.
Since then, big banks haven’t necessarily gotten better — but the alternatives have. Here’s why you should switch, according to the magazine:
- Credit unions usually have bank services at better rates (cheaper checking, higher interest on savings) and FDIC insurance. They also have higher consumer satisfaction ratings than megabanks like Bank of America and Citibank.
- Regional banks also offer the same services many big banks do, and often provide a better customer service experience than the megabanks do.
- Virtual banks “typically charge no monthly fees, have low penalties or none at all, and offer FDIC insurance, direct deposit, electronic bill payment, debit cards, photo check deposit, and national networks of fee-free ATMs.” Who needs brick-and-mortar branches?
- Prepaid cards used to have a bad rep for their heavy fees. Many sadly still live up to that reputation, but some have gotten a lot better and offer bank-like services with avoidable fees. Bluebird with direct deposit and the Green Dot Card are good enough to earn a recommendation from Consumer Reports.
If you’re ready to switch your bank, the video below will help you take the necessary steps.
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