p> The question of whether it makes sense, even after many years of business relationship with a bank to change the checking account, also answers the Stiftung Warentest. The consumer advocates came to their current account audit 2016, the conclusion that savings up to 200 € per year are possible . This should be reason enough for every bank customer to take a closer look at the current offers. Even the average saving of 100 euros a year is an incentive.
Many bank customers are aware that they are simply paying too much for the account . On the other hand, they were reluctant to change their bank account due to the bureaucracy associated with a change. A lot has happened here. Since the summer of 2016, the legislator has obliged the banks to transfer all standing orders and direct debits to the new institute free of charge when the account is closed.
According to the Stiftung Warentest, an account change pays off as low as 60 euros annual account management fee. The test also showed that while there are still free checking accounts, these have shrunk in number.
DKB with account exchange service
Why change the account?
A comparison between the free checking account of a direct bank and a paid account of a branch bank makes it clear why the account maintenance fee is “money thrown out the window”.
The direct bank customer handles all banking transactions online. For bar orders has either a card that allows him to withdraw cash for free at an ATM of a particular banking group. Alternatively, his bank offers him a credit card that allows him to make free cash withdrawals worldwide.
The branch bank customer handles all banking transactions themselves. Either this happens online from home on the computer or at the service vending machines in the branches. Anyone who still goes to the counter to have a standing order set up, is kindly but definitely directed to the machine in front of the ticket hall. The branch institutes have done nothing but to return the services for which they charge an account fee to the customer. Customers pay for themselves to serve themselves. For the banks, this is almost “money for nothing”, as Dire Straits once sang. For paper transfers, customers are properly asked to pay.
What needs to be considered when switching accounts?
Of course, changing the bank only makes sense if it offers tangible benefits to the account holder. These advantages are, after all, it is about money, even in cash.
The account management must be done today free of charge. Some institutions will grant this from a certain credit entry. Basically, a free account management but without ifs and buts is preferable.
While the branch banks sometimes even charge a fee for the debit card, this is generally the case with credit cards. The situation is different with the direct banks. Debit card, or as it is called recently, Maestro card, and credit card are free components of the account package. As a rule, the fees are also valid for the partner cards.
The biggest differences are in the cost of cash card credit cards. This is then charged at some institutions, even if a Maestro card is issued. This raises the question of how well the ATM network is developed. A Maestro card of the Cashgroup (Deutsche Bank, Comdirect, Commerzbank etc.) uses little in the Hintertaunus. The fees for a credit card but can be omitted in a foreign assignment. Here again, however, a distinction must be made between the banks, which allow an unlimited number of foreign withdrawals and the institutions that set a certain number per year.
Direct providers who are not members of a banking association usually do not issue a Maestro card. Here, the bar orders at ATMs are limited to the use of credit cards. This is done free of charge.
Another important factor is the interest rates on a new checking account. Thinking about credit interest is idle. Most banks have discontinued this payment many years ago. If there is another bank that pays the credit interest on the checking account, this, even before the beginning of the low-interest phase, has a rather symbolic character.
More important are the interest, which calculate the money houses for account overdrafts. The range of disbursement rates ranges from around seven percent to over twelve percent. Whoever covers his account more often, should therefore take care that he chooses a bank, which does not overcompensate for the saved fees at the old bank by the Dispozins. That would be a bad business.
The new customer premium
The new customer premium, which some direct banks offer, should only be of secondary importance when deciding on a new bank account. First of all, it is necessary to reduce banking costs in the long term. However, if you decide on an institution that pays such a premium, you can look forward to a credit between 25 and 120 euros, depending on the provider.