As much as we love doing everything online, there are two good reasons to choose a checking account that has fewer perks in order to have a bank with a physical branch nearby.
Large cash withdrawals or deposits:
If, for whatever reason, you deal with large amounts of cash regularly, you really need a physical branch.
If you need to withdraw more cash than a typical ATM can handle even once or twice a year, it’s worth getting a checking account at a local bank.
If you deal with foreign currency regularly, it’s immensely helpful to have a physical branch nearby.
For example, if you are a freelancer and get paid from foreign banks, you may need to go to a physical bank location to cash that check.
Another perk of having a local branch: exchanging foreign currency back into U.S. dollars. Having a local branch completely solves any leftover foreign currency problems you may have after taking an international trip. You can simply walk in, give them whatever you have left, and they deposit it into your account at a decent exchange rate. No need to deal with getting ripped off at the airport.
So if you’re dealing with foreign currency or large amounts of cash even a few times a year, it’s worth getting a checking account with a local branch, even if the perks aren’t as good. Hopefully, one of the banks on this list has a local branch near you. If you’re not sure, start with Chase, since they have branches all over the U.S.