A checking account is like a relationship...
And, like with any relationship, it is critical to have trust, respect, and similar values, in order for it to work. Otherwise, there will likely come a time when things will end. The ability to recognize when a relationship is unequally favorable to one side, can save you time, headaches, and money in the long run.
Being able to break it off with your checking account is a critical skill, especially when "changing the type of checking account you have, or even switching [financial institution] altogether, can save you money, increase your earnings, and help you stay on top of your financial goals."
Reasons to break it off
1. You're sick of monthly fees.
Some financial institutions charge monthly fees. For example: monthly maintenance fees, annual fees, fees for maintaining a minimum balance, monthly transaction fees, and ATM fees. All of these fees can be avoided by opening a FREE account.
Credit unions are able to offer accounts with less fees because they are not-for-profit organizations. In fact, their accounts are typically free. Find a free checking account from a credit union in your area. Always research a checking account first, to avoid paying unwanted fees.
2. Everywhere you go, you're forking over an expensive ATM fee.
How can you avoid ATM fees when you're on the go, in an unfamiliar area, and the only ATM is the one in the gas station, charging $4 to use? Maine has a network, called SURF, which is the largest surcharge-free ATM network, with over 230 locations across Maine. When you're on the go, you can quickly locate an ATM to avoid unnecessary fees. With a checking account from a Maine credit union, you can use this entire network for FREE!
3. You're responsible and careful, yet you're not getting anything good in return.
A good relationship works in two ways, where both sides benefit. Checking accounts should be the same. If you are responsible with your account, and you use it regularly, you should be able to take full advantage of it. I recently opened an account because it gives rewards for everyday activities, like using my debit card, checking my mobile banking, and receiving e-statements. Accounts that give you rewards, or at least a perk for signing up, are ones you should consider. Kasasa Rewards, for example, is a cash back account that some credit unions in Maine offer: Casco Federal Credit Union, University Credit Union, Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union, Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union, and York County Federal Credit Union. Maine State Credit Union, Maine Savings Credit Union, among other credit unions, offer various Cash Back Checking Accounts, that also give you cash back for making purchases.
If you feel you have been missing out on opportunities to earn rewards, cash back, or if you have been overpaying in fees, it may be time to recognize that it's time to move on. There are plenty of fish in the sea.