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How to Switch Banks

By Shane Steele
July 15, 2015

How to switch banks and open a new account: you’ve probably thought about it, but you haven’t pulled the trigger. It just seems easier to do nothing and just put up with the fees of your current bank. But there are problems with this line of thinking:

A. Those fees really add up

B. Life’s too short to spend it being annoyed at your bank,

C. It’s way easier to change banks than you think.

To make it super simple, we’ve laid out the process of changing banks for you in four simple steps:

Shop around.

Not all banks are made equal. Those things that bother you about your current bank? There’s a bank out there that has fixed those issues because they know. Not a fan of ATM fees? Find a bank with a large fee-free ATM network or that gives you credit for out-of-network ATM fees. And check out those apps. There are some otherwise great banks with less-than-great apps, so compare your options before signing up. A good bank app can make your life so much simpler, no matter where you are: find an ATM, check your balance, move funds, get account alerts, and more.

Open an account and add funds. 

People often think of the process of changing backs backwards: it’s not about closing an account, it’s really about opening a new one — one that suits you better and makes your life easier. Picking the right account comes first, but a bank account is no use without some money in it, so next add initial funds by transferring money from your old account or depositing a check.

Check your ins and outs. 

If you pay utilities, shop online, or do everything millions of Americans do every day, chances are you’ve set up your account to receive money and pay bills automatically. If you have direct deposit for your paycheck, it’s time to tell your employer your new account details–an easy change on their end.A good way to make sure you’re covered for all of your automatic payments is to look at your last month’s statement and find the monthly recurring transactions you set up: power, garbage, transit passes, subscriptions, etc. Worried you forgot one? Never fear: companies like to get paid, so they’re sure to notify you if they didn’t receive payment.

Close your old account.

Now it’s time to say sayonara to your old account. Yes, you could leave it open, but you don’t want to find surprise fees or accidentally overdraw the account if you forget to change your payment settings for an online retailer — so when you’re up and running at your new bank, close the old account down. Banks don’t like to see you go, so you’ll probably have to call to close an account and tell them why you’re leaving. When they ask, tell them exactly why you’re leaving. Why not? If banks listen, maybe we’ll never need to change accounts again.

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