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Finding a Bank That Meets Your Needs

If your banking experience so far hasn't exactly been a day at the beach, it might be because you’re working with the wrong bank. I understand there are lots of options out there (there are at least eight different banks located just around the corner from Sugar HQ!) but that's no reason to stay in a bad-banking relationship.

You should definitely expect friendly service and a handful of perks from your bank in exchange for your business, but what kind of perks should you expect?

Our friends at WaMu have come through for us with a checklist of features you should look for in choosing a bank that meets your needs. I suggest you compare the points on the list to the bank you're currently using. Is your bank really the best for you?

  • Is there free checking and easy to use online checking or savings accounts?
  • How many fees do they charge?
  • Do you have to pay for checks?
  • Do you have to pay to use ATMs?
  • Does the bank offer other helpful services such as Identity Theft protection?
  • Do they have fee waiver options?

Thank you to WaMu for sponsoring this post.

Total Deposits at Washington Mutual are FDIC insured.

Join The Conversation
enSue enSue 9 years
I'm with a credit union now but have been considering switching over to my father's credit union due to a relatively recent implementation of ranking checking/savings accounts at my current bank. Since we happen to be at the lower end of their ranking system, we tend to get occasional fees. However, during my research for a potential new financial institution, I learned that all banks and credit unions have their advantages and disadvantages. You just have to find out what meets your needs. I previously was with Comerica Bank (a member for 20 years) but was royally screwed out of hundreds of dollars due to overdraft fees. We over drafted twice without any notices or warnings when some paychecks didn't deposit in a timely manner. It was quite a while before we noticed, so the bank kept instating additional daily fees for the unresolved issue. By the time we noticed the overdraft fees, our account had gone into such negative digits that deposits into the account couldn't prevent further overdraft fees. Management wouldn't help and wouldn't cease the mounting fees, and demanded us to pay immediately. We paid what we could and closed our accounts post-haste.
chancleta chancleta 9 years
ps i love ING direct!
chancleta chancleta 9 years
skinnymarie: i know what you saying about commenting on the labtop and not the regular posts but i just wanted to say: just cause people don't post a comment doesn't mean they're not reading :)
Spun-Sugar Spun-Sugar 9 years
Folks, need to remember that Savvy is a relatively new addition with limited sponsors up front - don't pick on Savvy for that. Just visit more and participate so that other sponsors see how valuable she is!!
cassedy04 cassedy04 9 years
i know i said this last time too, but i keep meaning to switch banks and just never seem to get around to it. i know that there are much better interest rates out there than what i have with wachovia. can i make a belated new years resolution to switch banks by february? lol.
pearl155 pearl155 9 years
i have been with WaMu for about 2 years now and I can say that its the best bank I have used and their customer service has been great, thus far. I used to have BoA, but there were all these hidden charges and their customer service for me was less than sub par i think the reason WaMu is all over the site is because Savvy Sygar was brought to the public sooner with the help of WaMu, something to be thankful for.
Duug Duug 9 years
I have been a WAMU customer for over 10 years and I have never been happier with a bank. I have been a BofA and Wells Fargo customer in the past and would not consider leaving WAMU.
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 9 years
I'm with US bank and I love them but my boyfriend does have a WaMu Credit card and i think he likes them but then again, it's not really the topic of conversation at the dinner table haha. I agree with skinnymarie as well! haha
BellaStar BellaStar 9 years
I was with WAMU for 10 years and never had a problem because I didn't seem to have any. The moment something came up--a teller deposited a check into the wrong account--they were horrible. No one seemed to be able to help and I was transfered to at least three people every time I called to get information and help and the kicker was it was their fault to begin with! One customer service woman was so rude that I wrote my first letter to a company in my life. I sent the letter to everyone I could find on the website that could help and still no one would help me. It wasn't until I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau that a top level person finally called me back. Disgraceful. I switched to Citibank and have never been happier. I already had a problem with fraudulent charges and they jumped on it immediately and got everything resolved in less than two days. They even called me to make sure I was satisfied! It was the customer service I expected from WAMU but never received. I am very happy with Citibank and would recommend it to anyone. Sorry for the long post, but the incident with WAMU really disappointed and angered me after being a customer for 10 years!
erinflower erinflower 9 years
We are with USAA (my husband is military) and I couldn't be happier with a bank. They rebate all our ATM fees, free checks, free checking and last year my husband's debit card number was stolen and our money was back in our account the next day. If you have a way in try them.
chiamollie chiamollie 9 years
I logged-in (I usually read the articles from my RSS reader) just to comment on the WaMu thing, too. Ads on the side of the page are different than controlling the content of the articles. We don't come here to read ads, we come here for unbiased information. If a certain article is based around a paying-sponsor, please at least be upfront about it. Thanks - otherwise keep up the great work!
Berlin Berlin 9 years
OK SavvySugar! You've just started and the idea of fiances mixed with the rest of team sugar is a wonderful addition, but how many sponsored ads and blogs are we going to have for washington mutual? It seems they are being pushed a bit into overkill, especially sine there's already been about 4-5 posts promoting them. And I'm all for WaMu, I have their savings/checking for both me and my man...and well they gave some really horrible "financial" advice because apparently they just try to sell one particular mutual fund regardless of how well it's actually doing, and fail to mention that they aren't really giving financial advice and instead are just trying to boost the bank's own sales of their invested fund, so other than savings and checking, I'd stay away:)
msshellokitty msshellokitty 9 years
I have been with so many banks but I have been with BOA for almost a year and I really like them.I like the online banking.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
I'm happy with my BoA accounts. The weird thing about my checking account is that I get charged a fee if I use a live teller more than once a month. I prefer to bank online or at the ATM, so that's not a problem for me. It wasn't BoA that initially offered that account, though. I've had that checking account & its terms through several bank mergers.
charliegirl charliegirl 9 years
Seems cool that they're not censoring the comments.
Smart-Living Smart-Living 9 years
Hey everyone, SkinnyMarie is right, without my launch sponsor WAMU, I wouldn't have the means to bring you any of the content you've been enjoying so far. WAMU means no harm, they just want to bring you useful information just like i do. Happy Friday! Savvy
telewyo telewyo 9 years
I agree that sponsors are a necessity but there's been a WaMu sponsored column every single day...that's overkill to me. Maybe they should just do a banner ad at the top or something. Just my opinion though...
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
Telewyo, I have to stick up for Savvy here. She is actually being savvy herself. Without add sponsors, we wouldn't have any sugar in our life, and they wouldn't be able to add more wonderful characters. If it makes you feel any better, Fitsugar has M&M's sponsoring articles on her page. Some might say that doesn't make sense, but its business.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
I switched to Wachovia a few years ago because there are branches by me (DC), by my parents (central PA), and my fiance's family (Philadelphia). Quite happy so far.
telewyo telewyo 9 years
Is it just me or does this section seem to be one big ongoing ad for Washington Mutual?
charliegirl charliegirl 9 years
I totally thought I had free checking from Citi, but there are tons of fees I never even noticed.
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
Haha, I'm with you SkinnyMarie!
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
This has nothing to do with this article, but I wanted to comment on the laptop give away. I find it funny that 5951 people have commented to win, but I have only seen about 20 consistent people commenting on savvy's posts. At least pretend to care!
just_kelly just_kelly 9 years
If anyone wants to open an account at ING Direct message me and I'll give you a referral. You'll get $25 FREE!!!! At their savings rate at 4.10 and the option of a checking account you really can't beat it!
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
I'm really thinking of switching to another bank. I am not satisfied with our current bank, People's Bank. They just charge everything from ATM fees, to checking, etc.
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