FEBRUARY 2016 ;e Costco Connection 17
is a leading consumer advocate. His
Horowitz is the
CEO of Fight Back!
and co-founder of
Email David and
Amanda at info@
Have a question for Fight Back?
Just log on to
fightback.com or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions and answers of the greatest
interest to Costco members will be used in this column (with the permission of the contributor) and
will be posted on
Please note: Fight Back! are not licensed professionals in any ;eld. If you are seeking advice you should consult with your
own licensed professional. We do not assume any liability or responsibility for the interpretation, application or accuracy
of any information provided. © 2016 AMANDA HOROWITZ MEDIA, LLC ALL RIGH TS RESERVED
BANKS ARE NOT one-size-;ts-all. ;e right bank
for you should ;t not only your present needs, but
also your future ;nancial goals.
Despite the mergers and acquisitions that have
created large national banks, there are other options
to consider, such as regional banks, Internet banks
and credit unions.
Use the information below to help you decide
which type of bank is right for you.
Banks like Citibank, Chase, Bank of America
and Wells Fargo have locations across the country
and ATMs located in branches, drug and convenience stores, and supermarkets, which makes it
convenient to deposit and access money.
National banks are o;en a one-stop shop for
your ;nancial needs and o;er services like mutual
funds, insurance, credit card services, mortgages
and loans. But do not rely on your bank for the lowest rate or the best fees and terms. Shop around
before you decide.
Although free checking is available at national
banks, customers o;en have to meet minimum balance requirements to avoid incurring fees. Be sure to
read the ;ne print, and ask about fees related to minimum balances, deposits, withdrawals and checks.
National banks’ online accessibility and o;er-ings can make tracking ;nances and paying bills
Regional banks may o;er incentives for smaller
account holders that bigger banks do not. ;ey also
may have a more person-oriented approach to
banking because of their smaller size, which allows
them to focus on relationships with customers and
lower fees. A regional bank may not be a part of a
Choosing a bank
network of ATMs, and it may be a challenge to ;nd
branches, so make sure you are clear about what a
particular bank o;ers before you open an account.
A credit union’s mission is to help underserved
customers and communities. ;e average union has
three branches, although some larger unions have
more. Credit union membership eligibility is o;en
limited, because credit unions may be linked to
labor unions, employers or organizations. But there
are community-based credit unions that may allow
you to join.
Credit union members may access their money
and account information through a network of fee-free ATMs. Internet banking is an option at credit
unions, although you may not ;nd the same digital
convenience that you would with a big bank.
Because of credit unions’ nonprofit status,
members may have access to free checking, lower
rates for auto loans and credit cards, and higher
interest rates on certi;cates of deposit. Fees for over-dra;s and other charges may apply.
To ;nd a credit union near you, visit mycredit
Online banks connect with customers electronically. Most customers transact business on their
computer or smartphone, and use call centers and
in-network ATMs. If you prefer in-person contact
with tellers at a branch, an online bank may not be
your best bet. One plus for customers who prefer a
virtual bank is a higher yield on savings products.
It’s important to understand your options
before you choose a bank. Research online and ask
questions to assure that the relationship you start is
the right one for you. C
HERE ARE SEVEN steps
to simplify the process of
opening a new account.
1. First, open a new
account at the new bank.
2. List the monthly
deposits, automatic bill
pays and withdrawals
from your old account.
3. If you have direct
deposit of salary or Social
Security payments, fill
out paperwork to reroute
these payments to the
4. Clarify the date when
direct deposits will transfer.
Arrange for automatic payments or withdrawals to
start debiting from the new
account on that date. Be
sure to cancel automatic
payments or withdrawals
from your old account as of
5. Avoid fees by leaving
enough money in your
old account to cover any
payments that have not
6. Once all direct deposits and automatic payments
are successfully processing
from your new account,
transfer the remaining
funds from your old account
to your new account. You
may do this electronically
or request a cashier’s check
or cash. You can use a personal check, but it may take
longer to process.
7. Close your old
account when you are
sure all payments have
cleared and the funds
have been transferred to
your new account. Ask the
bank for written confirmation that the account has
been closed. C
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter
“Connection”; at Online Edition,
search “Consumer Connection.”
The Costco Connection
Costco offers mortgage purchase and refinancing services and home equity lines of credit. For