You Deserve Better: 5 Signs It’s Time to Break up With Your Old Bank
Neil Sedaka had it right — breaking up is hard to do. Actually, that could be the understatement of the century.
Breaking up is super hard to do. Like, I-just-stopped-eating-for-a-week hard. Or if you’re more like me, I-just-ate-my-way-through-the-ice-cream-aisle hard.
But perhaps even more difficult than the breakup is knowing when it’s time to call it quits.
How do you know when you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling? What’s that even feel like?
Unfortunately, I can’t answer these specific questions for you. Perhaps consult Dan Savage for that. Or watch an episode of “Dr. Phil” or “Couples Therapy.”
Is It Time to Switch Banks?
I can, however, help you figure out when it’s time to break up with your bank. To be honest, it can be almost as difficult as breaking up with your suddenly-not-so-significant other.
Before jumping through the logistical hoops of finding a new account, transferring money and dealing with reluctant customer-service agents, make sure it’s really time.
Yeah. You know you’ve been making eyes at that fetching new online bank lately. Here are five signs it’s not just a phase but truly time to move on:
1. You’re No Longer Getting Anything out of It
Your current bank: Requires you to cough up fees, pay monthly dues, etc.
That new bank: Rewards you for gracing it with your beautiful presence and trusting it with your money.
Really, your bank should be thanking you — not forcing you to cough up extra fees.
Here are some sweethearts that know how to treat their special someone right:
- Aspiration Summit Checking Account: Aspiration offers up to 1% annual interest on checking-account balances. Ahem… that’s 100 times more than what other big banks are doing.
- Chime Bank: Chime has a neat get-paid-early feature. When you enroll in direct deposit with your Chime Spending account, your paycheck gets posted two days early. Total win when rent’s due. Thanks for lookin’ out for me.
- Chase Total Checking: This bank starts pampering you right away with its sign-up bonus. The Chase Total Checking account rewards you $200 for opening an account and setting up direct deposit.
- TD Premier Checking Account: The TD Premier Checking Account grants you $300 when you receive $2,500 in direct deposits and maintain a $2,500 daily balance.
Learn more about the best bank promotions here.
2. They Keep Asking for More Than You Can Give
Your current bank: Charges you for not completing a required number of transactions each month.
That new bank: Doesn’t hold anything against you; has you and your finances’ best interests in mind.
We’ve all been with that bank. You know, the one that wants to charge you overdraft fees, requires you to keep at least $1,200 in your account (cough, Bank of America) and even requires you to make a certain number of transactions each month.
Perhaps the worst part is it charges you ATM fees just to access your own, hard-earned money.
Then, from across the room, you spot Chime Bank. No overdraft fees, no monthly fees, no minimum balances, no foreign transaction fees and no transfer fees.
Plus, Chime customers have access to thousands of fee-free MoneyPass ATMs. (There’s an ATM Finder in the Chime app.)
Remember: Love don’t cost a thing.
3. They Won’t Just Talk With You About a Problem
Your current bank: Isn’t willing to sit down and have an adult conversation about something; proves impossible to get in touch with.
That new bank: Maintains an open line of communication; speaks to you as if you’re a real, sane human being.
Yup. We’ve experienced this type of relationship, too. The bank that’s impossible to get in touch with unless you put on real pants and go to its brick-and-mortar location, where maybe you’ll finally get some answers.
Or maybe you just sat on hold for 20 minutes (the silent treatment is the worst), and you can’t handle the childishness anymore.
But then your friend introduces you to real customer service through Aspiration Summit Checking Account. Sure, it’s an online-only account, but being in a long-distance relationship doesn’t mean you can’t communicate effectively.
Because Aspiration is online, it’s been able to cut brick-and-mortar expenses, which means it can put more resources toward customer service. Those fine folks are available via phone Monday through Friday or through live chat and email on the weekends.
Plus, the representatives we’ve worked with have all been super nice and patient.
It’s simple, really. We all just want to be heard.
4. You Constantly Make Sacrifices Just to See Them
Your current bank: Resides across town, which requires you to sit in way too much anger-inducing traffic just to see them; refuses to come over to see you.
That new bank: Stays with you no matter where you go — even if you decide to take a trip internationally.
They’re not exactly ghosting you, but it doesn’t feel very good to put in all the effort to see them…
That’s why it’s nice when you make a connection with a company like Chime that has an easy-to-access website and an intuitive app.
Now it’s always in your pocket. You can easily check recent transactions, initiate transfers or even pay bills (because it always dawns on you at the most inconvenient times that a deadline is approaching…).
Plus, with an online-only account, you know the app is going to be quality because, well, that’s where it lives. Chime’s app has a near five-star rating in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
A little effort really goes a long way.
5. They Don’t Get Along With Your Friends
Your current bank: Refuses to connect with any of your close friends.
That new bank: Is always happy to converse and collaborate with your long-time buddies.
What’s worse than when your bank doesn’t get along with your favorite apps? It just makes things awkward.
We prefer a bank that’s willing to connect with our favorite budgeting and investing apps to make life a bit easier.
Remember Chime Bank? Although it’s a relatively small company, it’s recently taken strides to pair up with other fintech apps like Stash, Acorns and Robinhood.
Or, if you prefer to just focus on your boo (or don’t have friends), Chime has built-in savings options, too.
For example, you can set a portion of your paycheck to automatically deposit into your Chime Savings account. Or opt in for its round-up feature, so each time you swipe your Chime debit card, it rounds to the next dollar, and the change goes into savings.
Now, see? Everyone’s getting along.
You Deserve a Better Bank, Honey
Let’s be real. We all deserve to be with a bank that wants to be with us.
So why not take a leap and swipe right on something new?
Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. After breakups, she allows herself a few days to wallow in bed with her cat, eat Cheetos and splurge on too-expensive Brookside chocolates.