There’s a good chance your bank was chosen for you when you were young by your parents or by a youth savings scheme (holler at us, Dollarmites!). Over the years, that’s probably the bank where you got your first debit card, credit card, loan and maybe even mortgage. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
And we’re not saying you shouldn’t stick with a bank you know and trust. But we are saying it’s okay to cheat.
All banks have different selling points, and you can (and should!) take advantage of that.
For example, perhaps your main bank offers you a credit card with an excellent rewards scheme – you get free travel insurance and airpoints on every purchase. Of course you want to stick with them.
But if they don’t offer a good savings interest rate, you could move your money to a bank with a sexier rate to make it work harder for you. Plus, you might find having it in a separate bank makes it easier for you to save.
If you have a larger chunk of money, you may want to put it in a term deposit. If you’re locking your money away for any length of time, you definitely want to find the best rate – and if that’s in a third bank, then open an account there!
Plus, if you’re trying to get on top of credit card payments, you might want to cut up one credit card and move the debt to a bank offering interest-free balance transfers to give yourself breathing room.
Other points that might make you consider cheating on your bank include: cash back schemes; free or cheap overseas transactions and withdrawals; or an in-house brokerage service.
Check out comparison sites, such as Finder, CanStar, InfoChoice and Mozo, and read customer reviews or talk to friends about banks that look good. Watch for blackboard specials on things like term deposit rates and credit card deals – you may stumble on something very tempting.
However, just as with cheating in real life (which we do not condone!), don’t get caught out.
– Don’t have multiple credit cards if they don’t benefit you enough to justify paying the annual fee on all of them – and certainly don’t rack up debt on all of them.
– Be sure to check back in on term deposits before the term ends, or you risk being rolled over at a lower rate. Shop around again and find another bank that will treat you better.
– Check you aren’t paying monthly fees. Paying fees on several accounts will eat away at your assets.
To finish, remember that it’s also okay to end things with a bank. If they aren’t treating you right, if you’ve grown apart, or if you feel like you have too many on the go at once, just close your account. It’s your money, and you get to choose where it goes.