Checking accounts are not created equal. Some checking accounts are amazing, some are atrocious. This article will help you determine how to find the best checking account available for your exact situation. The article will look at interest rates, fees, overdraft protection, accessibility, and even bonus money just for signing up for the account.
Are you ready to get an amazing checking account? I snagged one and it feels awesome. Let’s get started!
Consider Interest Rates
Ever since the 2008 recession, interest rates on checking accounts have been abysmal. But there is still some difference in what you’ll receive. Many banks offer around .1% interest. You should seek out an account that’ll give you a higher interest rate than average. It’s free money after all. You don’t even have to pay taxes on interest earned under $10 per checking account. Hooray for free money!
Be Aware of the Fees
This actually isn’t actually as big of a deal as it may seem. Knowing how banking fees work is similar to knowing how prison works. I don’t know how prison works. I just stay out of trouble and never need to know. It’s the same with banking. I couldn’t tell you about all my banks fees. But I know they aren’t anything out of the ordinary. Just make sure the bank won’t ruin you financially with something like a monthly service fee. No fee accounts are best.
Protect Yourself from Overdrafts
The average overdraft charge is $35, according to US News & World Report. That can add up to a lot of money! For instance, some banks will let you overdraft over and over again without stopping. Let’s say you overdraft after getting your morning coffee. Without realizing it, you go out to eat for lunch. Then you pick up your dry cleaning. Then you buy groceries. Then your Netflix subscription charge hits your account. Many banks keep multiplying the $35 figure. This means that one instance of running out of money will have cost you $175! That’s probably more than you spent on actual purchases!
Many banks today offer overdraft protection. This is usually in the form of linking a savings account to the checking account. This way, if the checking account becomes overdraw, the money will come from savings. But the best way to protect yourself from overdrafts is to always keep a healthy balance in the account.
How easy will it be to access your funds?
Credit unions, for instance, may offer good interest and low fees but they aren’t convenient. Often, credit unions and community banks have poor online services as well. They may not have mobile check deposits either. Worst of all, they don’t have many physical branches or ATMs. Foreign ATM fees are expensive! Make sure you choose a bank that works well for your needs. Make sure you can easily get to your money. It is your money, after all.
Snag Hundreds of Dollars by Getting a New Account Bonus!
Yes! Consider going with a bank that offers a signup bonus. They are sometimes upwards of $300 – just for signing up. But often, it takes a little more energy. Sometimes you must setup direct deposit or keep a minimum monthly balance to qualify. Don’t let these hoops scare you away though.
Final Word about Opening a New Checking Account
A checking account is something you’ll use nearly every day. Make sure it’s good. Find an account with good interest. Consider all fees associated. Look over its overdraft policy. Consider ease of access. And finally, try to snag a signup bonus! There’s a lot riding on your checking account. Find one that will treat you well.