MONEY names Wings Financial Credit Union Best Financial Institution in Minnesota
Sunday, October 22, 2017
MONEY (October 22, 2017) - Could you walk away from bank branches completely? For most people, the answer is still no.
The way Americans bank has evolved dramatically in the past decade, with a combined two-thirds of consumers saying they prefer to manage their finances via phone or online banking, according to the American Bankers Association. Convenience is paramount for consumers, says Rob Rubin, director at bank consultancy firm Novantas, and that means constant access. "Mobility is where consumers are defining convenience today," he says. "Can I bank wherever I want? Can I have access to cash whenever I want?"
Yet most people still aren't ready to go without a physical outpost. More than 70% of consumers visit banks regularly, J.D. Power's most recent U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study found.
It turns out we're demanding bank customers: We want online banking capabilities to handle routine activities, but we also want at least occasional access to physical banks and human help. That's true even of 18- to 34-year-olds, who are less likely to go 100% online than their Gen X peers, Novantas finds.
That's why this year, with data from Bankrate.com, MONEY reinvented its Best Banks in America analysis. We identified the best online bank and best stand-alone CD, but we also chose the best local bank in every state. (Bankrate also picked a few winners of its own.)
To pick the champions below, we required minimum balances that were $1,500 or less, and we assumed that you could put up with online statements to avoid fees.
Why bother switching banks? After all, unwinding direct deposits and online bill payments can be a real hassle. But the payoff is real. While some banks have reintroduced no-fee checking accounts, punitive fees—including for overdrafts and outside ATM use—continue to climb, on average. Interest payouts are rare for checking accounts and meager even on most savings accounts.
Those trends don't show any signs of reversing, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. So if you're paying a monthly service fee or storing a large balance in a no-interest checking account to avoid a fee, it's time to make a switch to a top bank, McBride says. The good news: Some banks do buck the trend. And MONEY estimates that bank with no maintenance fees or ATM fees could save you $142 a year, vs. typical account fees. Add in a savings account with a leading interest rate and you could net another $25—or even more. Read on to find out the best banks in America, so you can put some extra money in your pocket.
Wings Financial Credit Union
Why It Wins: Wings was the only bank MONEY considered in Minnesota to offer a checking account with no monthly fee and several free out-of-network ATM transactions. It also pays a bit of interest.
Caveat: There are few branches outside the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Eligibility: Residents of 13 counties around Minneapolis/St. Paul, aviation workers or retirees, or via a $5 gift to the Wings Financial Foundation, among other options.
First Class Checking
Monthly fee: $0
Outside ATM fee: $2
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