Your bank is probably the worst place for you to keep any more money than you plan to spend in the next 1-3 months. For years, I have downgraded from HSBC premier and Standard Chartered priority banking to the most basic service levels of each, so that I only keep about 1 month’s expenses in my bank accounts, and the rest in my much higher yielding Interactive Brokers account. Unlike the still low rates paid by many banks on deposits, Interactive Brokers now pays 1.89% on idle USD cash above US$10k, though if you’re earning less than 2.5% on cash you don’t need in the next 3 months, it’s worth looking at some short-term bonds or bond ETFs.
I have also started using AliPay more and more recently, and if you spend even more time in Mainland China than I do, you know that Mainland China has gone from mostly cash to mostly cashless in less than a decade. The below video highlights how these mobile payment apps also circumvent bank fees, and I can see a very near future you may not even need a bank account at all. Imagine keeping most of your liquid savings to a high-yielding investment account, then transferring your monthly spending budget directly to your mobile payment app as needed, with no bank or bank fees in between.
While I likely care more about interest rates and bank fees more than most, it is important to remember that an extra 1% per year on every $100,000 is $1,000/year for not doing very much, and if you flip it around, would you pay $1,000 to NOT click a few keys every month? I find the large and elaborate bank branches built on prime real estate a very in my face reminder of how much banks extract from those who don’t bother.