When trying to decide on a new bank, the multitude of options can be overwhelming. How do you choose between a large nationwide bank and your neighborhood community bank? Should you opt for one that is online-only, a traditional brick-and-mortar, or a hybrid? Not to worry, here are all of the factors you need to consider to decide which bank is best.

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Consumers Opinions about Banks ?

Video interviews are designed to showcase real customer experiences with a variety of companies. They give consumers a chance to tell their side of the story and expand upon their original complaint posted to PissedConsumer.com

Roberta Trager acct ********158 ....I received a text at 1230 AM a few days ago. A scammer tried to take $10000iun smaller increments. I responded no its not me...The rep called me immediately. I was very upset the bank paid the $1500. I am a senior citizen living on a pension and social security . I have used Cashapp for small amounts just a few times. The investigators of the bank denied my claim...My name on cash app is Robert instead of Roberta...I explained to your rep Allison and Caroline that I have no idea who scammed my $1500. Why did the bank pay out that amount of money without contacting me...I need the money to pay my rent by Monday August 10 I am in tears and upset...The last rep sent another message to the investigators to expedite my claim. I wanted to email your CEO Timothy H. Wennes CEO. I am treated with the most respect and caring from your reps. Please help me to receive my $1500....
Semper Fi Logistics (SFL 4 brevity) moved me in a horrible fashion, but what Wells Fargo Bank (WFB 4 brevity) did was even worse and added insult to injury. SFL damaged irreplaceable items, damaged replaceable but unfixable items, lost one of the arm cushions to a loveseat I cant replace, put my bed together incorrectly, and refused to hook up my washer/dryer. I have it in writing that I asked them to be careful with everything, but they ignored me in lieu of? I will write a separate review about them. I called WFB the same day all this happened, and the woman who answered the phone was completely sympathetic. She put a hold on the payment to SFL and filed a claim for me. Then, the nightmare began all over again.The claims department said they couldnt see the HD photo pictures I sent to them. I was confused about this for a while, but they said they needed them to be clear for Visa. That was a lie, because I contacted Visa who said they have nothing to do with claims department procedures or handling of claims. Come to find out, their antiquated procedures ran the color pictures straight from me into a black/white scanner and they couldnt make out the damages. I complained loudly about that, so they switched to a $75 payment I had to make to an appliance guy to connect my washer and dryer. They wanted me to have him write a letter that the reason he hooked them up was because SFL wouldnt. I told them that would be a lie, because it took me 10 days to find the guy and have him come out, and I didnt discuss the reasons for hooking it up with him.We went in circles about that, and she said she would record that I refused to have him write a letter on company letterhead. That man didnt own the company, and for all I know, he couldnt use their letterhead to tell a big fat lie for WFB. I told her to record that they were hinging everything on a $75 charge instead. Besides, the items damaged exceeded the cost of the move, which was almost $700. Because I wouldnt get him to write the letter, called them on the lie about Visa, they closed my claim and took the money back out of my account. Made me wonder if they even took it away from SFL in the first place or paid them already. My guess is the latter. Theyd rather cheat me than go after another business. I kept writing emails to the claims department who acted like they never received them or looked at them; read receipts on all.I was blowing a gasket about all this, because they kept making me relive the nightmare of a move and was adding a bunch of nonsense on top of it. So, I called WFB to ask how I could complain about the claims department. They told me I had to go into a branch and open a complaint against them. The bank employee didnt write down anything I said, gave me a number &;;;;;;;;amp; a phone number, and said someone would call me to get details about the complaint. I wait a week, and nobody calls, so I called the number and asked who was working on the case. They give me a mans name and told me he would call me. I asked them how they could investigate a complaint against the claims department without knowing what the complaint was? She said he would call.Another week goes by, and I call that number back, asking again, how they can investigate anything without knowing what they were investigating. Whoever answered told me he would call me, and a day or 2 later, a woman calls me from some Escalation department within WFB. I ask her the same questions, and instead of asking me why I filed a complaint, she starts babbling about the letter. I told her that was silly, and what about the black/white scanner where they couldnt see anything. She deflects back to the letter, and I deflect onto the lie the claims department told about Visa being involved. I have the email exchange with Visa. She refuses to answer anything and starts talking about the letter again. I told her that was unethical to have some guy write a letter about things he didnt know. So, she asked me to get a moving company to write a letter. WHAT? How can another moving company that wasnt there write a letter about things they didnt know? Im guessing now that was all a way to get someone else to come by and see the damages. Either way, Im majorly frustrated now, and tell her shes being insane and why? Of course, she doesnt answer that question, and I hang up on her, Im sure.Some time has passed now, and I think customer service should be renamed company service, because customer service people everywhere are not serving customers but the lazy, ass-backwards processes of these corporations. Im livid, want justice, and dont want to file a small claims complaint against WFB. I left my account open until this is resolved, then I will change banks. No way am I letting a multibillion-dollar bank rip me off money I need back to repair items and compensate me for that botched move. Im a disabled elderly veteran living on a fixed income. They just dont want to do any real work, and the wolves are guarding the chicken coop again. UGH. Ive been involved in banking on and off with WFB since the 1980s. Look how they treat long-time customer!Sarcastic
KeyBank has the worst highest level of escalations. In fact, consumers if you have a savings account with your life savings in it I urge you to transfer banks immediately. I am a 28 year old female who has my life savings with key. Ive been saving since I was a kid. The only thing I do in that account is deposit checks and transfer to my checking. I used the mobile app to deposit checks. And I have never used my savings account online or typed the information anywhere. My phone where I make my deposits was either hacked by the hacker or the app. Either way I noticed 6,300 missing in my savings around Christmas this year. I called the very next day to report the fraudulent charges. Key Bank denied the entire claim because the hackers took our .08 cents in March of 2019 and were watching my account. They said as long as the fraud charges were reported in 60 days the fraudulent amounts should be recovered when I called the fraud hotline. The hackers were taking out small increments of change like .03 and .02 in the months following and I did not know. Key Bank denied the entire claim and said because the initial charges for change! I asked what about the 6,300 that was reported within 60 days? The Dept of Highest Level of Escalations told me sorry, its because the initial fraudulent charge the fraud Dept reported was past the 60 day window. They denied 6,300 dollars because of an 8 cent initial fraud charge these people used to watch my account. Please do not Bank with these people. I cant stress how important it is to NOT. You are not protected.

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When trying to decide on a new bank, the multitude of options can be overwhelming. How do you choose between a large nationwide bank and your neighborhood community bank? Should you opt for one that is online-only, a traditional brick-and-mortar, or a hybrid? Not to worry, here are all of the factors you need to consider to decide which bank is best.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Bank?

One of the first and most important factors when choosing a bank is its type. Types include international, national, regional, community, or online. Further, you could also opt for a credit union. Here’s a brief overview of the options:

  • Larger international and national banks offer expansive coverage in terms of services, branches, and ATMs but often have high fees and impersonal customer service.
  • Regional/community banks and credit unions don’t offer the wide coverage but usually have lower fees, more personal service, and competitive interest rates.
  • Online-only banks offer members the convenience of being able to bank from anywhere while paying minimal fees but have no physical locations, which can be inconvenient and impersonal.

You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons to find which bank is best for your needs.

Account Types

The next step is to look at the types of accounts that a bank offers. Common options include basic checking, interest-bearing checking, savings, Certificate of Deposit, Money Market, and Individual Retirement (IRA).

Identify which type of accounts you want. Ideally, you should find a bank to suit all of your needs now and in the future.

Fees

Now for the fees, a major source of revenue for banks. Common fees that such entities charge include:

  • A fee to open the account;
  • Monthly service fees;
  • A monthly service fee for not maintaining a minimum balance;
  • Overdraft fees;
  • A fee for inactivity;
  • Lost card fee;
  • Returned check fee;
  • A fee for paper statements;
  • ATM fees;
  • Foreign transaction fees;
  • Account closing fee.

You will find fees vary from one bank to the next regarding their types and amounts. Research carefully as they will end up playing a large role in how much it costs to maintain the account.

Eligibility Requirements

Most financial institutions will check your past banking records before approving you for a bank account, and some will request a copy of your credit report. As a result, it will be more difficult to get approved by some banks than others. Typically, the larger the bank, the stricter the eligibility requirements.

Branches and ATMs

Accessibility is also an issue. Check on how many branches and ATMs a bank has and where they are located. When you have to use an ATM fee outside of your bank’s network, it often results in higher fees. Further, if you’d like to be able to go into a branch, it will be important that they exist where you live or frequently visit.

Security

How safe is your money? By choosing a bank that has federal deposit insurance through the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), your insured deposits will still be available even if the bank goes under. The standard coverage is $250,000 per person.

Technology

Online and mobile banking capabilities will be important if you want to bank from home or on-the-go. Common features include:

  • Viewing your account activity;
  • Getting alerts;
  • Transferring and receiving money;
  • Making deposits with a smartphone.

It’s good to find out how tech-savvy a bank is. Most top rated banks will offer these capabilities.

Financial Products

In addition to bank accounts, banks often offer other financial products. In some cases, the products are exclusive to bank members, and in others, bank members get discounts. Examples are:

  • Home loans;
  • Personal loans;
  • Car loans;
  • Business loans;
  • Loans against securities;
  • Credit lines;
  • Credit cards.

Check with the banks you are interested in to see what they offer and if their rates and terms are competitive.

Customer Service and Reputation, bank reviews

Lastly, how does the bank treat their members? If you ever have a problem or need assistance, the customer service the bank offers will become important. A good way to find out is to read bank reviews from sources such as Pissed Consumer, Yelp, Consumer Affairs, and the BBB. Find out what current and past customers have to say, and look for the best rated bank s. Take note of any recurring complaints as you will likely have to deal with them, too. On the other hand, if customers are generally happy, chances are you will have a similar experience.

How to Choose a Bank in 5 Steps

Now that you know what factors to consider, here is a step-by-step guide on how to choose a bank that is right for you.

  • Identify Your Needs

    Take some time to think about what you need from a bank. What kinds of accounts do you want? What additional products and services might help you? Will you be traveling or stationary? Do you want to be able to go into a branch and to talk to someone in-person? Go over the factors above and write down what your ideal bank will offer.

  • Research Bank Offerings

    Next, start your research. Look up banks that you suspect will meet your needs and take notes of their offers. Don’t hold back here, look up several options. A good place to start is with the top rated banks you find in reviews.

  • Shortlist Banks that Fit Your Needs

    Now, it’s time to compare banks . Review the data you‘ve collected and pick the top three choices that most closely resemble your ideal bank.

  • Review and Compare Banks

    Take a closer look at each of the shortlisted banks, read the fine print on their websites, ask friends and family, and dig into real-user bank reviews . Compare the pros and cons of each.

  • Make Your Selection

    Pick the very best that fits for your needs and open an account.

How to Find the Best Bank for a Checking Account

What if all you need is a checking account, how should you compare banks? Here are the factors to research:

ATM Fees

ATM fees can add up quickly if you frequently withdraw cash. To keep the costs to a minimum, check how much a bank’s fee is when using an ATM owned by the bank, how many ATMs the bank has, and how much the fee is when using an ATM not owned by the bank.

Overdraft Protection

Accidents happen, and sometimes people spend more than they have in their account. Banks will vary on how they handle this situation. You may have the option to:

  • Have the bank decline the transaction;
  • Approve the transaction and charge you a fee;
  • Approve the transaction and fund it from a backup funding source.

Decide what will work best for you, compare overdraft fees, and choose a bank that suits your needs.

Account Minimum Requirements

Check if the bank requires you to keep a minimum balance in the account and if any fees apply when your balance drops below the threshold.

Service Fee

Find out if the bank will charge you for simply having the account. How much? Keep in mind, there are banks that offer free checking.

Rewards

Lastly, find out what you can get in return from the bank for opening a checking account. Rewards can range from cash back and airline miles to high-interest rates. Checking bank reviews can help you evaluate reward offerings and find top rated banks.

Comparing banks and checking accounts according to these guidelines will help you wade through the options and find which bank is best.