How to Move Bank Accounts

People move bank accounts for a variety of reasons, such as unhappiness with service fees, overdraft charges or poor customer service. Financial institutions try to sign up account holders for so-called "sticky products"--like direct deposit and automatic bill-pays--that are sometimes difficult to redirect to another bank. Before moving your bank account, check to see what kind of fees other financial institutions charge. Otherwise, you could leave your current bank to avoid a fee, only to discover that your new bank charges the same fee.


1. Go online to the websites of banks in your area and look for new account promotions. Most major banks only advertise specials for online accounts, but you can call your local branch to find out about any specials unique to your area. Check the websites of local credit unions; if you meet the membership requirements of any of them, see what incentives they are offering for new accounts.

2. Go to the bank or credit union with the account that best suits your needs. Ask an account representative to open a new account and give her a check or cash for your initial deposit. Only make the minimum required deposit. Ask the representative for your routing number. If you are provided with checks, you will find the routing number listed on the checks. At the bottom of each check you will see three sets of numbers: The first nine digits are the bank's routing number, the next set of numbers is the account number and the last set of numbers is the actual check number.

3. Call your mortgage company, car loan company, utility company, credit card company and any other institution or creditor that regularly receives automatic debits from your existing checking account. Give each company your new account number, routing number and the name of your new financial institution. If you are very close to a payment date, request that the company uses your current account for the next payment but uses your new account for all future payments. If you have direct deposit of your paycheck, ask your employer's payroll or human resources department to direct future payroll direct deposits into the new account.

4. Review your last bank statement to determine whether you have any checks, debit card charges or online payments that are still outstanding. Add the total amount of your outstanding charges together with any other charges for automatic debits that you agreed to pay from the old account.

5. Go to your old bank and make a withdrawal. Leave enough money in your account to cover all of your outstanding charges and leave an additional cushion of at least $100 to cover any unexpected charges. If your bank requires a minimum balance, leave enough money to stay above the minimum.

6.Deposit the money you withdrew from your old account into your new account. Keep track of your old account to make sure all of your outstanding charges clear the account. When no outstanding charges remain, return to your old bank and close the account. Deposit the remaining money into your new account.

Tips & Warnings
Some employers require two pay cycles of notice from employees wishing to move their payroll direct deposit to a new account

If you close an interest-bearing checking account near the end of the month, the monthly interest will post to the account at the start of the next month and cause the closed account to reopen. Since most interest-bearing accounts have minimum balance requirements, you may end up going into the negative if your accrued interest is not sufficient to offset the minimum balance fee. Generally, banks waive fees in these kind of instances, but to prevent the situation from occurring wait until monthly interest posts to your account before closing it.

Keywords: Banks, account, savings, deposit, Move Bank Accounts, bank account