Sick of Your Bank? 4 Alternatives to Megabanks

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Consumer Reports is lamenting the failure of Bank Transfer Day, an event that took shape shortly after the Occupy Wall Street protests began.

“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.

Are you fed up with your bank? Let us know why on Facebook.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Malcom Treadway

    I began banking with ING (now Capital 360) in 2003: Free checking (even pays a nominal interest rate), free paper checks mailed on their “dime”, fee-free ATM network, no-minimum savings accounts, 24/7 phone support. No complaints!

  • Richard Brown

    I have Changed banks 3 times in the last 5 years ,whenever they offer me a nice incentive I change!! I have received a GPS ,200.00 and 150.00 which comes in pretty handy to supplement my small retirement.The only thing to watch is for hidden fees,but with most banks as soon as you get your incentive you can change again.

  • barry

    I now use Discover bank. They are great. Absolutely no fees and 50.00 bonus! I can easily transfer between my BB account and other banks for free. Their bill pay is also great after you get used to it. And they give .10cents for every time you use bill pay which is added to your Discover card Cash back.