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Here is a list of things to look for in an online bank. Some things you may know. Others may be new to you if your current bank does not offer them.
- ATM fees and convenient locations: If you need cash, will the bank pay the ATM fees? Are there only a few free ATMs and, if so, are they near where you normally go? Are there ATMs available throughout the country to use on vacation? What are the international user fees for the ATM and how is the exchange rate handled?
- Desktop software integration: If you use Microsoft Money, Quicken or similar, you want to make sure your bank supports it. Make sure that when you download transactions, agree to log in and manually download a file; otherwise, your funds’ management software can connect directly and download new transactions. If you use Quicken on a Mac, make sure the bank pays Quicken’s blackmail fees to work with Mac users.
- Many types of accounts: some banks offer only basic accounts and savings accounts. Ideally, you want a bank that facilitates the opening of money market accounts, IRAs, health accounts, etc. If you need to go to another institution to open a different type of account, it is more difficult to manage, especially if you are travelling. They want to open a CD to get a higher interest rate and open an IRA to reduce their tax bill.
- Free money transfers: do not forget how easy it is to transfer funds to your account. You must be able to establish links with your accounts of other institutions to move money when necessary. Make sure you know the fees charged for these transfers. Good banks must allow a certain number of transfers per month at no cost.
- Security in harmony with convenience: some banks try to log out automatically on your website while you try to balance your account. You want security, but you do not want to do your banking. You can also see what additional security features are available. For example, some banks offer an RSA keychain whose number changes every 60 seconds. In addition to your password, you will need the number of this password to access your account.
- Easy to use: this is a problem that most banks find. At this time, I have my account in an online bank and my professional accounts in another. I am afraid of using commercial accounts, and I like to use my account. At first, I thought I knew better the bank where my accounts are, but I realised that usability counts. One is fine, and the other is great, but it makes a big difference.