If you’re sitting there thinking, gee whiz, I really hate my bank, then you’re probably not alone. I’m guessing that thousands of people like you just got dinged a dollar in bank fees today. Many pay dearly for the right to access their money. Fun.

A few years ago I got fed up with all the needless fees and finally fired my bank. It took me months, OK years, to muster up the courage to make the switch. Why did it take so long? Well, it’s no secret that moving an account to another bank is a major pain in the arse.

For example: you’ve got to open the new account, add some cash, notify your billers, find your depositors, link your other accounts, find your infrequent transactions, and hope to goodness you don’t miss a pre-authorized payment and incur an overdraft fee. Yikes!

But switching banks can be painless. If you’ve found a better banking deal at a nicer bank, then go ahead and make the switch with help from this handy Switch Bank Accounts Checklist. It’s got a funny name, I know. But I’ve made an American and Canadian version for all my friends who are fed up with fees. Oh, and ask your new bank for a “Switch Kit” to make the move even easier.

Canadian: Switch bank accounts checklist

Ok Canucks, if you’ve had it with the Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank), Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), or Bank of Nova Scotia then it’s time to make your move. Switching to a no-fee or lower fee account at an online bank or a credit union can save you big money over the years.

online banks internet banking can
Download: Switch Bank Accounts Checklist (Canadian)

Here’s how it works:

  • Gather your personal information.
  • Follow the steps in How to break up with your bank
  • List your pre-authorized payments (mortgage, insurance, and bills)
  • List your direct deposits (employer pay, government benefits)
  • Identify your internet banking linked transactions (credit cards, high interest savings accounts, chequing accounts, investment accounts)
  • Check off each item when it’s moved!
  • Fire your old bank

Don’t forget to also switch your pay deposits with your employer by providing a voided cheque. Getting paid is kinda nice.

American: Switch bank accounts checklist

I’ve seen the news. Americans have dealt with a lot of banking turmoil in the past years. So if you’re ready to find a better bank and move away from Bank of America, Chase Bank, US Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, National City Bank, Bank of American Online, or Tyra Banks (kidding), then use this checklist to make your move.

online banks internet banking usa
Download: Switch Bank Accounts Checklist (American)

Here’s how it works:

  • Gather your personal information.
  • Follow the steps in How to break up with your bank
  • List your pre-authorized payments (mortgage, insurance, and bills)
  • List your direct deposits (employer pay, etc.)
  • Identify your internet banking linked transactions (credit cards, high yield savings accounts, checking accounts, investment accounts)
  • Check off each item when it’s moved!
  • Fire your old bank

I hope this checklist helps make firing your old bank easier. There’s no sense in wasting a good mood by complaining about excessive bank fees, poor customer service, or banking delays when there’s a better bank just waiting for you to switch.

Your Two Cents: Have you ever fired a bank? Got any switching bank account tips?

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