Most Americans have a bank. It’s almost a given. But, did you know that your bank does more than just hold your money and offer credit cards and loans? There is plenty of free banking resources you might not have known you had access to.
Oftentimes, your bank is the first financial resource people come across when it comes to learning more about money and managing it well. It’s free to open a checking account at most banks. This means, so long as your account is open and in good standing, you’ll have access to some of these free bank resources.
1. Break Your Change
Breaking your cash bills is becoming a more challenging feat these days. While there may be a coin shortage, you still have the right to use cash as you’re able to and break bills. Using cash is also a popular and effective budgeting strategy that can help you spend less and avoid debt.
If you need smaller bills for any reason, most banks will offer them to you free of charge. In need of quarters? You can also purchase rolls of them at your local bank with ease. If you deal with cash often, it may be wise to select a well-known bank that has many branches around your area so it’s convenient to go in and swap out your bills real quick.
2. Sign-up Bonuses
Of course, you can earn free money by simply opening your bank account. Some banks offer new account bonuses where you can earn hundreds of dollars just by opening a checking or savings account. The catch is that you do have to follow a few key rules. Sometimes, you have to deposit a certain amount and leave it into the account for at least 90 days. Other times, you have to set up a direct deposit or make sure your initial deposit meets a certain amount.
Pay close attention to the fine print and specific instructions when trying to score a sign-up bonus from your bank. If you’re able to take advantage of this freebie, this is easy money that could be used for savings, shopping, holidays, or other necessary expenses.
3. Waive Stop Payment Fee
You can get a courtesy stop payment fee waived from a teller. It would all depend on the bank of course. Some banks don’t even charge customers for this but every bank is different. This is one of the many free bank resources that you’ll see out there these days. Whether it’s an ACH or debit card stop payment these can come in handy. You never know when a transaction can be taken too soon when you’re not prepared for it. There are certain cases out there when something has been drafted on the wrong date.
You’ll even see some transactions post twice or attempt to be debted more than once. Both of these cases could be accidents, but your bank doesn’t know that. Until you notify them of one of these unique situations they can’t help. The best way to get this resolved is as soon as you see something pending that doesn’t look right call your bank’s customer service line. Once the free stop payment is activated your account will typically look normal again with no negative charges within a business day or two.
When it comes to legal documents to make them official a notary needs to sign them. Notaries are needed when legal things come up and documents need to be filled out. Banks are popular places to find a notary. If you go to your bank though this service might be offered for free. Typically a bank or assistant bank manager will have the ability to be a notary. Sometimes a signature isn’t even needed and it’s a stamp instead. Once a notary gets the ability to begin signing legal documents they will have to keep their status active in order to continue doing the service. So you don’t waste a trip to the bank it could be best to play it safe and actually call them to ask if they have a notary in the branch that day.
5. Waive ATM Fee
ATMs come in handy. When you need cash searching for those three letters ATM can be challenging sometimes. Not all businesses accept cards or checks as payments so that’s when cash would come in. According to 2019 research from CNBC 3 out of 10 Americans say they don’t make any purchases with cash in a typical week. Credit, debt, and digital payment methods are the route many people are going. Especially millennials, according to the same research 1 in 10 millennials use apps like Venmo, Paypal or others.
Now like the report says not everyone uses digital or card methods for payments. Cash is still an option, but unfortunately, sometimes the only way to get access to cash is by paying an ATM fee. Depending on your bank this fee can be waived and returned to you. Which can be a big help for those of us who still love using cash.
As previously mentioned the popular way to pay these days is either digitally or by card. Checks are another option that is faded out over the years. You’ll still see them out there though. People who might not have access to the internet can simply send off a check for any bills or utilities they might have. This is an option from the older days that can be helpful for people of all ages. Some banks do offer checks for free. Depending on the bank and the type of account that you have. At the very least I’ve seen banks that will at least give the first order of checks as a courtesy.
7. Fraud Protection
Fraud will never go away. As much as we try it will always be something we’ll have to deal with. Banks try and limit fraud as much as they can because account numbers falling into the wrong person’s hands can be bad news for both the customer and the bank. Fraud alerts can easily be set in place to help you be notified when something doesn’t seem right about your account. Most banks want passwords to be special to log in to online banking, and don’t want to to be something people can easily guess. You’ll also have the option to add security questions or some form of two-factor authentication just in case. These are just a few of the many free bank resources available for you today to help keep fraudsters away.
Summary: Free Bank Resources
Banks are there to help you. There are so many out there and it’s just a matter of finding the bank that fits best for you and your family. They all have plenty of free bank resources at your disposal. All you have to do is ask and if that’s something they do it might be granted to you. Having a bank that’s on your side isn’y always easy. Once you find it know you and your money are safe and start shifting your worries to other aspects of live.
Are there any free banking resources we missed?