Find out how to switch banks in this step-by-step guide
Trying to save money on bank fees? Need to open an account with your spouse or find a bank in a new state? Whatever your reasons for changing banks, check out this helpful guide from Citizens Bank to learn how.
How do I change banks?
When you’re ready to start the process, review these five easy steps on how to switch banks:
- Choose your new bank and open an account. When switching banks, the first step is to open your new bank account. The process for opening an account will vary based on the bank’s policies – at Citizens Bank, new customers have the option to open a checking account online for maximum convenience. Once you’ve opened your new account, you can begin transferring money from your former account to your new bank account.
- Update your direct deposits. After you've opened a new checking account, ask your employer for a direct deposit form to switch your existing direct deposit over to this account. The form should be simple and won't take too long to fill out. If you need help completing it, stop into a Citizens Bank branch for assistance. Wait until you see the direct deposit show up in your new checking account before closing the old account.
- Update your automatic payment information. Next, set up automatic payments from your new account at least two weeks before the next payment is due. Then, cancel or delete any online bill payments you had set up on your old account. If you have automatic payments being withdrawn by a third party, be sure to notify the payees that you are changing banks. You’ll also want to ensure your new account has the required funds to make the payments to avoid an overdraft fee.
- Phase out your old checking account. Be sure to cancel automatic payments and stop writing checks, making ATM withdrawals and purchasing items with your debit card at least two weeks before you want to close the account. This will help prevent any items from posting after your account has closed, which could trigger fees and the unintentional re-opening of your account. Additionally, review your bank's policy on fees for inactivity to avoid incurring fees just as you're about to change banks.
- Close your old checking account. Most banks will give you the option of closing your account in person or with a signed form. This letter generally includes the bank’s name and address, your name, phone number and signature (authorizing the closing of the account) as well as the forwarding address for the remaining balance. You may also need your old account number and routing numbers. When switching checking accounts, be sure to destroy the checks and ATM cards from your previous account to prevent bank or identity fraud.
If You're Ready to Switch Banks, Be Sure You Choose the Right Account for Your Needs
When you’re thinking about switching banks, it’s important to make sure you’ve chosen the right account for you – especially if it’s been awhile since you’ve evaluated your banking options. If you’re interested in learning more about switching banks, speak with one of our customer service representatives at 1-888-411-7442 or visit a Citizens branch. For more information or to compare checking accounts , contact Citizens Bank today.