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We’ve already talked about the strengths of online bank accounts (see Bank account: is it better online or “traditional”), but some friends asked me to better point out weaknesses.

In my opinion, online banks are usually cheaper (since they should bear less costs), but clearly this does not means that they fit any needs. Indeed, there are some factors that may lead to prefer traditional banks.
One of the main reason is certainly the need or desire to negotiate face to face, to obtain special conditions. This may be useful in many cases:

  • Your account is often in the red, and you want to get more credit limit or overdraft facility.
  • You want to get a mortgage, or other relevant financial operations that may be personalized (but obviously you need to compare different offers, you don’t have to accept the first you receive just because it’s you usual bank).
  • You often receive payment in cash or cheques, which may be difficult and costly to deposit in an online account.

In my personal opinion, it may be useful to have more than one account, one in a traditional bank and one in an online bank, and use the one that better fits what you have to do.

Italian translation of this post: Quando non conviene una banca online?

Banche e Risparmio [http://www.banknoise.com]