Step by Step Guide to Changing Banks and Avoiding New Bank Fees

As more banks begin charging customers monthly maintenance fees or debit card usage fees in response to the Durbin Amendment – you may find yourself looking to change banks. It may seem complicated to change banks, but with a little preparation, the transition isn’t as bad as you’re probably anticipating!

If your bank is among those charging higher fees and new debit card usage fees in response to the Durbin Amendment, it may be time to seek out a new bank that isn’t charging excessive fees to checking or savings account holders.

Here’s a process to help you change banks in just 6 steps, and avoid new bank fees:

 Step One: Compare A Variety of Options

Research your options before making a decision. It seems online banks are not changing their fees in response to the Durbin Amendment, so you may find the best savings and checking account options with an online bank.

You may also want to consider credit unions at this time, to see if they could better fill your financial needs.

Step Two: Review All Automated Payments

If you have set up automated payments to any of your creditors or utilities through your checking account, you will need to figure out exactly which accounts are getting paid automatically, on what date, and how much the payments are. It may be easiest to suspend automated payments until you are fully set up with your new bank account, rather than try to time it just right for canceling one account and opening another and moving the payment information.

Step Three: Open Your New Account

Follow the steps with the new bank or credit union for opening your new account(s). You will need to make an initial deposit to open your account – but make sure you leave some money in your old account until you’re sure all checks and automatic payments have cleared successfully.

Step Four: Set Up Any Automatic Payments

Once your new bank account has been opened and you are starting to use it for your deposits and withdrawals, you can set up automatic payments again through the new account if you choose. Do not close your old bank account until you verify that any automatic payments coming out of the old account have been canceled and/or set up correctly through your new account.

Step Five: Order Checks

Most banks will provide you with a few starter checks when you open a new checking account, but unless your using an online bank with online check writing services, you’ll probably want to order some additional checks to have on hand. Even if you do the majority of your transactions via debit card or online bill payment, it’s a good idea to have checks available in case you need them.

Step Six: Close Your Old Account(s)

Once you are sure there are no pending checks or payments to be drawn on your old bank account, you can close it. Don’t leave the account open any longer than you need to, or you will end up paying fees at more than one banking institution.


This is a guest post from, a site that helps consumers compare savings accounts,  CD rates, and home equity loans to make informed banking decisions and save money.

Speak Your Mind