Five Important Questions To Ask About Your Checking Account

by William Blake

Not all checking accounts are created equal. If they were, banks wouldn’t compete so hard for your business. How do you choose a checking account?

If you are still unsure, here are five things that will help you to make that final decision.

1. Consider Your Needs Each bank customer is interested in slightly different checking account features. The first step in choosing a bank to open a checking account with is deciding what you really need from your account. For example, if you keep a low balance in your account, you would not want to open an account that charges a fee if your balance goes below a certain amount. If you are concerned that you might need to withdrawal extra money sometimes, overdraft protection is one account feature you would be interested in.

2. Number of Checks that Can Be Written Despite many modern changes, many people continue to write a large number of checks on a monthly basis. For individuals who do not use checks to pay for monthly expenses, a bank account that will only permit ten checks to be written each month would not be a problem. Other people who need to be able to write quite a few checks, though, would naturally opt for an account that lets them write more. Some banks allow customers to write fifty checks a month with no fee.

3. High Checking Account Balance Advantages Some checking accounts can earn their holders interest if the account balance stays high enough. Opening this type of account and then allowing the balance to dip below the minimum level, however, will no doubt mean that you will be charged a penalty fee.

4. Service Charges Before you open any checking account at any bank, it is very important that you understand all service charges that your account could possibly incur. Some banks charge maintenance fees just to let you have a checking account with them. Other institutions will charge you for writing a lot of checks. Another common fee gets charged to your account if you overdraw and, instead of using a savings account, the bank takes the money from an overdraft account.

5. Can I view my statement online? Not all banks offer online banking for their customers. Online banking allows customers to view their accounts as often as they like. They can view details of transactions and move money from one account to another. Online services also include viewing and managing investments and applying for loans. Every customer has to apply for permission to access their account online. This keeps their account secure.

Checking accounts have many options these days. For the customer looking for an investment vehicle, an interest checking account is a good choice. For the customer who needs every cent of their money, free checking accounts are a better option.

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