When it comes to banking in the US, you may be overwhelmed with all the choices you have available. There are approximately 6,058 commercial banks and savings institutions operating in the United States.[i] It can be difficult to narrow that list down to decide on the right bank for your financial needs.When selecting a bank, there will be a lot of features that you will have to select from. Make your search easier by focusing on two aspects that will directly impact your banking– your interest rate the bank’s portfolio of products.
US Interest Rates
One of the biggest factors to consider will be the rates you will earn on your money. On average, American banks are offering .06% interest on savings accounts for all balance amounts. For deposits over $100,000 the rate can average 0.12% for a money market account.[ii]If you are looking to gain interest on your checking account, you can expect a much lower rate. The national average for an interest-bearing checking account is .04%.[iii]Bank rates like these can be found at financial institutions across the country. Research banks to find your best available interest rates. Many banks will offer a higher interest rate than these national averages for customers who maintain a higher minimum balance. Look for an account that rewards you for maintaining a high balance with minimal fees.
Another key component to assess is looking at the breadth of the banks’ product offerings. Take into consideration what you will need for future banking services. Will you be in the market for a new home loan or will you require business accounts and financing opportunities?Some banks may provide top tier rates for savings products but may charge you numerous fees when it comes to your checking needs. Anticipating what you may want to utilize will simplify your banking experience. Review your prospective bank’s mortgage and CD rates to make sure it will be a good fit for you in the long term.
Additional Deciding Factors
No matter what bank you decide on, be sure to confirm that they are FDIC insured. This will allow your money to be insured by the United States federal government, up to $250,000, should anything happen to your financial institution. An FDIC-insured National Bank or a Federal Savings Association is also regulated under the U.S. Department of the Treasury to ensure you are provided with the most transparent products and services.If you are planning on moving around the United States, you will also want to ensure your new bank is available at any potential future states of residence. The largest banks in America are normally available across the country. However, selecting a smaller local bank may restrict you as they may not be able to service residents outside of your current state. Another option is to select an online bank like Virtus Bank, which will allow you to access your accounts online from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.While you are free to change banks at any time, some banks will charge you a fee if you withdraw your money during their introductory period. Take your time selecting your bank and find the one that meets your needs.
[i] “FDIC Statistics at a Glance” June 30, 2016. https://www.fdic.gov/bank/statistical/stats/2016jun/industry.pdf
[ii] What Is the Average Savings Account Interest Rate? https://www.gobankingrates.com/savings-account/what-average-savings-account-interest-rate/
[iii] “Weekly National Rates and Rate Caps” FDIC. https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/