Get More From Your Bank

by Community Manager on ‎12-09-2015 02:51 PM - last edited on ‎12-16-2015 02:31 PM by Lithium Technologies (538 Views)

When banks compete for your business, you win. Here, some pointers on how to shop for the best rates, fees and services.

 

Relying on one institution for all of your financial needs might be costing you time and money. Here are four areas where banks want to earn your business—and how you can benefit, if you’re willing to shop around.

 

Deposits

Do you have money to put in a savings account, individual retirement account or certificate of deposit (CD)? Rates can vary widely from bank to bank, so it pays to shop around. Online banks often offer better rates than traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, because they don’t have the overhead expense of a physical location. Moving your savings between banks usually isn’t difficult, and banks generally don’t charge fees simply for closing an account.

 

Mortgages

While buying a home is a major purchase, a 2015 U.S. government report says nearly half of all homebuyers don’t shop for mortgages—they seriously consider only one lender or broker before applying. That could be a costly choice. For a 30-year fixed-rate conventional loan, consumers can find a range of interest rates, varying by 0.5 percent or more. That’s a difference of $3,600 over the first five years of a $200,000 mortgage at 4 percent versus 4.5 percent.

 

Auto Loans

Eight out of 10 car buyers finance at the dealership, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending. But you might do better to get a loan from a local bank or online lender. Loan preapproval means that when you get to the dealer and begin negotiating the price of a car, there’s less to worry about. Preapproval is easy; it’s usually just an application with no obligation to accept the offer.

 

Credit Cards

Card offers are everywhere, and their options vary greatly. First, decide what you need from a credit card—it comes down to two basic choices. If you typically carry a monthly balance, a card with low annual interest rates will help you save some money. If you pay off your balance each month, you can opt for a credit card with a higher interest rate that offers rewards such as travel, merchandise or cash back.

 

At Your Service

AAA Banking offers a full financial portfolio featuring highly competitive rates and terms, including:

 

Checking: High-yield and free accounts with small deposit requirements to open, no monthly service charges, bill payments and more.

 

Savings: High-yield, personal and money market accounts with low or no monthly minimums; certificates of deposit (CD); individual retirement savings accounts and CDs.

 

Lending: Financing or refinancing of auto loans, home loans, personal loans, home equity loans and lines of credit.

 

Credit cards: AAA Dollars MasterCard (earn 1% on purchases) and AAA Dollars Plus MasterCard (earn up to 3% on purchases, plus other rewards).

 

Learn more information about AAA’s financial services.

 

A version of this story appears in the January/February 2016 issue of AAA Living magazine.

 

Image credit/source: iStock

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