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4 Reasons to Switch To One of These Top-Rated Online Banks

Big banks have gotten a bad reputation over the last decade or so, as customers are increasingly facing higher fees and less-than-stellar customer service.

Online banks, by contrast, are becoming more appealing, especially among people who prefer to manage their money virtually. Switching over your accounts can be a hassle, but it's worth it if you find the right bank. If you're tired of your big bank but you're still on the fence about committing to going online-only, these four reasons can help you decide.

Pay Fewer and Lower Fees

Free checking accounts are still around, but they are tough to find at the larger banks. When you're considering opting out of your big bank, you want to look at how much of a difference it'll make in terms of the fees before you make a move.

If you're paying a monthly service fee, for instance, you should check to see if there's any way to avoid it. You may be able to avoid the fee by setting up a recurring transfer between your checking and savings account or using the online bill pay service. You also want to consider things like overdraft fees, statement fees, and ATM charges to see how they compare to your online options.

Why online banks charge less

Online banks usually have the advantage of not paying for physical branches and branch employees. The best online banks use these savings and translate them into fewer fees for their customers and lower fees on their accounts. If you're constantly getting nickel-and-dimed by your big bank because of strict account minimums or excessive service charges, online banks look much more appealing.

Earn More Interest on Your Money

If you've got a checking and a savings account at your big bank, chances are you're earning a dismal amount of interest. Again, it all goes back to the higher operating costs that big banks face. Online banks tend to offer much higher rates because it doesn't take a huge bite out of their budget to do so.

Taking a look at what rates online banks are currently offering can give you an idea of how much greater the potential is for your money to grow if you decide to make the switch. Compare rates from the best online banks and review minimum deposit requirements for savings and money market accounts so you'll know exactly how much money you need to earn the most interest possible.

Moving Away From Cash

A number of online banks offer mobile deposit, which allows you to scan in checks from your smartphone. It's a hassle-free way to put money in your account without having to go to a branch. But what happens when you need to deposit cash? While there are a few online banks that allow you to make cash deposits at certain ATMs, most require you to put money in your account via direct deposit, mobile deposit, or wire transfers.

Bank Without a Branch

Taking advantage of mobile and online banking services saves time and it's become the most popular way for people to manage their accounts. If you're already doing things like checking your balances, transferring money and paying your bills on your phone or laptop, then leaving your big bank behind shouldn't be much of a stretch. The most important thing is to compare how the online bank's mobile features stack up with what you're currently getting from your big bank.

It's also a good idea to see if there are any fees involved. If the online bank you're considering offers completely free mobile services, that's another incentive to transfer your accounts.

Remember, there's no one size fits all when it comes to finding the right bank. Assess your needs and lifestyle first, and when you're ready, why not try and online-only bank?