If 2021 is the year you want to make your money work for you, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate the banking institution you’re currently banking with. In many situations, you’ll be signed up for an account at the same bank that your parents bank with, but what your parents are looking for in a bank and what you’re looking for are probably quite different. In all honesty, your parents would likely benefit from switching banks, too!
While you may know that you want to change banks, every country is different in terms of the features offered by their banking institutions and what sorts of options are available to you. For example, in Canada alone, you have all sorts of options when it comes to Canadian banks, such as the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Toronto-Dominion Bank, National Bank of Canada, BMO Harris, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Western Bank, ATB Financial, and more! When you need help determining what the best bank is for you, here are a few different things to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of the options available to you.
Should you bank with a brick-and-mortar bank or an online bank?
It might seem odd, but in a lot of situations, some of the best banks in Canada are actually online banking institutions. That being said, not everyone wants to open a bank account online. While brick-and-mortar banks often have monthly fees associated with your account depending on the type of account and balance you maintain, that monthly fee helps pay the employees at the bank. Especially if you have questions about your debit card or abnormal account activity, being able to go to a bank in-person to talk with a teller can give you more peace of mind than dealing with a customer service representative online or on the phone. Having reliable ATM options may also be important to you if you’re interested in withdrawing or depositing cash frequently. That being said, a lot of people get by with online banking, so it’s definitely something to think about if you want to save on fees.
Do you need a high-yield savings account?
If you plan on using a savings account frequently, it may be worth looking into a bank that has different options to really help your money grow while you save it. While an investment bank or high-yield savings account won’t be able to match performance in the stock market over the long-term, for short-term savings, it can be really beneficial to bank with a financial institution where your total assets grow due to a better interest rate. Many times, different banks have different interest rates for their savings accounts, so if you want your capital to grow, it’s worth looking into banks based on this feature.
How important is mobile banking to you?
Mobile banking is becoming more and more important as consumers use their smartphones more. The ability to deposit a check by photo or check your bank balance with the tap of a finger is incredibly convenient, and is making it easier for people to take charge of their finances. While most digital banks and brick-and-mortar banks both have mobile apps, the mobile banking experience may differ from financial institution to financial institution. As such, it’s a good idea to think about the specific features that you’re looking for as you work to compare different bank branches. For example, a commercial bank may have a better app than a credit union, even if your local credit union in Vancouver, Edmonton, or Nova Scotia offers more competitive rates.
Ultimately, what bank you choose is up to you. The best bank is the one that meets your needs, which is why it’s a good idea to consider the above questions if you’re thinking of banking with another bank.