While it may make sense to have all your bank accounts located in one place, and under one roof, experts suggest scattering them might be a batter option. You could argue that it’s easier to keep track of them when they are lumped together, but not always.
In fact, according to research completed by bank analytics firm Novantas, about one-third of people who switched banks recently or wanted to switch had checking and savings accounts at different banks. Another report also found about 11 percent of bank customers switched banks over the course of a year, based on Accenture’s 2016 North America consumer digital banking survey.
Here are some tips about why you might want to do the same and scatter your funds or have accounts at multiple locations:
You Have Multiple Savings Goals in Sight. The main reason to open more than one account is to track exactly how much you have saved toward each individual savings goal. For example, if you want to save six months’ worth of income in emergency fund, set money aside for a down payment on a car, and fund your winter cruise, then you could open three accounts to see at a glance how close you are to reaching your goals.
You Need to Keep Your Savings Separate. You need to keep some of your money tucked away so it’s there when an emergency arises. Consider keeping an emergency fund in an account that’s easy to get to, and then store the remainder of your funds in accounts tied to various short- and long-term targets.
You Have High Balance Accounts. FDIC insurance covers each depositor up to $250,000. You may need to spread your money around to avoid the risk of exceeding the insurance limit.
You Worry One of Your Banks Could Crash and Burn. While FDIC insurance reimburses you if your bank goes under, it could take time before you can touch your money if this happens. By keeping some money in another financial institution means you can always have funds when you need them.
You Might Be Able to Reap Some Great Perks. While it’s better and more convenient to have a bank with an ATM close to your home or where you work, online banks often offer better interest rates, and some institutions even give a bonus for opening an account. As a result, you may be able to take advantage of perks from several financial institutions if you decide to open more than one account.
You’re Kind of Wishy-Washy. Can’t make up your mind quite yet on where you want to keep your money? You can certainly try out different banks and credit unions to test their levels of service.
You Need to Make Withdrawals on a Regular Basis. While money market accounts and savings accounts are typically limited to six withdrawals per month, if you open three such accounts, you can withdraw money up to 18 times per month. Just be sure that the money you withdraw is being used for further investments or for adding to your savings goals – if not, you’re just depleting your accounts.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you if you how many accounts you want and need. However, by opting to open multiple accounts at various locations and at different financial institutions, you could be better equipped in case of an emergency or two arises. Before you start opening accounts around town, do check those institutions first, along with their rates, and stipulations. You can also check with your personal banker if you have one for suggestions.