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Finding A New Bank in Kansas City – Making A Smart Move For Your Checking Account

There’s so much to do, so much to arrange. It seems like there’s hardly a moment that doesn’t involve tying up one loose end or another when you’re moving. Some projects must take priority, however. One of the top ones should always be handling your checking account.

The first thing you need to figure out when moving to Kansas City is if you need a new bank, or does your existing bank have branches here. You can ask at your bank or even check it out online. Your bank’s web site should have really good information about locations. Should your bank have local branches, a move should be very easy indeed. All you’ll need to do is give the branch where you intend to bank your new information: address, telephone number and so on. You will likely need to “move” your account anyway since different branches tend to have different routing numbers, but the red tape will be much less. Your banker can help you through every step of the way.

If you’re coming to Kansas City from a different part of the country, or even relocating within state, it’s possible your current bank won’t have branches here. Should this be the case, don’t worry, Kansas city has lots of banks to handle your account. The problem for you, however, is finding the best bank to take care of all your checking needs.

Locating a good bank locally isn’t rocket science, but it does take some homework. Shop around and compare offers. Some banks charge fees for everything while others offer most of their services for nothing if a certain balance is maintained. Still others have no charges whatsoever minus paper costs for printing checks, preferring to make their money off interest earned through loans and so on.

While it’s vital to shop around for the best offers, it’s also a good idea to ensure the bank you choose is convenient to you. Do they offer direct deposits? Can you locate their ATMs in places you frequent? Are their branches in easily accessible places for you on your daily routine? How is their online service? These are all questions you should ask.

Another option if you’re getting ready to move is to look into online banks. Some banks offer their services completely over the internet, so there’s no driving involved. This is great if you have direct deposits and prefer to do all your banking online. This isn’t such a good idea if you’ll have cash deposits once in a while and you prefer dealing with human beings rather than computers, so choose carefully here. ATM deposits are available for cash banking through some of these services, but there’s generally a charge, plus there isn’t the instant gratification of talking to a person at your local branch.

Once you’ve picked a bank, don’t jump into moving your checking right away. Before you close your old account, make sure all your checks have cleared. Check and double check this so you don’t accidentally bounce anything that’s outstanding. To make sure you protect yourself from this, if possible, quit writing checks on your old account about three to four weeks before you intend to close it. Use money orders to pay bills if you have to. Then, right before you close your old account, balance your checkbook against any recent activity. If all checks have cleared, you’re good to go.

It’s best to deal directly with your old bank to close your account. If you’ve already relocated out of town or state, they should be able to help you via mail. You might need the services of a notary so your old bank can ensure it’s really you making the request to close your account. Your new bank generally can help with notary services, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Whatever you do, when you move banks, be sure you’ve found one you feel comfortable with. A good bank should be convenient, friendly and be very up front about charges. There’s nothing worse than getting your statement and finding out your checking account is $100 in the red because of tons of hidden charges. Some of the things to ask about here include deposit charges, monthly maintenance fees, check writing charges and even ATM fees and call fees. Some banks will charge you to “talk” to a person directly, so be sure before you buy into a checking account.

Remember, it’s your money and you’re the customer. If one bank doesn’t make you happy, don’t worry. Kansas City has lots of banks, so you’re sure to find one that suits from large national banks to small locally run account handlers, there’s a bank for everyone.

by Tiffany Lewis, Kansas City Premier Apartments, Inc.

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