I wanted to share what I thought was the best financial move/decision I made in 2017!
It’s probably not what you think either. If you read my first post of 2018, you would know that I maxed out my Roth IRA, increased my 401(k) contributions from 5% to 12%, and I started contributing more each month to a taxable account.
But, what I think my best overall financial move of 2017 was ditching my long-standing relationship with a large, brick-and-mortar bank and switching to an online checking account.
Time to Ditch Your Traditional Bank!
I opened up a savings account a few years ago with an online bank to capitalize on the high interest rates being paid. I found out in 2017 that the same bank had started offering a free, interest checking account as well.
I immediately opened one up, transferred and reorganized all my money, and lastly closed my accounts at my local bank. And, I have never been happier.
I was never completely happy with my local, traditional bank. It was just convenient. My parents opened up an account for me when I was probably 7 years old.
I never really realized how their “free” checking accounts were not really free. They will try to nickel and dime you at every turn.
Truly Free Checking!
Now, I have a truly free checking account that also pays me interest! True story! It’s only 0.10%, but that’s actually better than the savings account interest at my ex-bank. In addition, my online savings account is at 1.25% APY!
I have never had to pay an ATM fee. I have always been reimbursed by my new bank if I used an out-of-network ATM (they will reimburse up to $10/month)!
I also get free checks! I have never gotten free checks before. I had to pay around $20-30/box and there was always 2-box minimum.
I also get excellent 24-7 customer service if I need it.
In truth, I don’t miss the brick-and-mortar building at all. I love the convenience of staying home and reaching customer service within minutes.
There’s plenty of excellent, online banks popping up.
Do your research and find the bank that best fits your goals and lifestyle. According to NerdWallet, these are some of the best online banks with checking accounts to look into:
Best for overdraft policy: 360 Checking by Capital One
Best if you want a credit union: Alliant Credit Union Free High-Rate Checking
Best for customer service: Ally Interest Checking Account
Best for interest rate: Aspiration Summit Account
Best for interest rate: Bank5 Connect High-Interest Checking
Best for interest rate: Bank of Internet USA Rewards Checking
Best for automatic savings: Chime
Best for earning cash back: Discover Cashback Checking
Best for ATM use: Fidelity Cash Management Account
Best for ATM use: Free USAA Classic Checking
Best for interest rate: Radius Hybrid
Best for ATM use: Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Checking
Best for budgeting: Simple
Your Turn: What was your best financial move for 2017? Do you have a traditional bank, credit union or online bank?