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Which Checking Account is Best For Me?

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Checking Accounts

A checking account is one of the most basic financial tools to help you manage your money but not all checking accounts are created equal. Here we let you compare the important features of some of the most popular checking accounts.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Checking Accounts.

FEES

Monthly Fee. Some banks offer checking accounts for free. But even those that require a fee will often waive it if certain conditions are met. For example if you keep a minimum balance in your account, you may not have to pay the monthly fee. If you receive a regular paycheck and have it deposited directly into your checking account, some banks will also waive the monthly fee.

Overdraft Fee. Before picking your checking account, you’ll want to look into the overdraft fees. Many banks will charge you if you withdraw an amount of money that causes your account balance to dip below zero. This is called an overdraft fee. You can avoid this by choosing to opt out when you sign up for your checking account. By opting out, you won’t be charged an overdraft fee because any transaction that will cause your account to dip below zero will be rejected – your debit card will not work and the check you wrote will bounce. On the other hand, you can opt in for overdraft coverage which means your transactions will go through but you will be charged the overdraft fee. The third option is overdraft protection. Overdraft protection means the transaction will go through because the bank will automatically transfer funds to cover it from a different account of yours. You will need to have a linked (usually savings) account to do this and you will likely still be charged a fee, but it will be smaller than the regular overdraft fee.

ATM Fee. Some checking accounts will charge for withdrawing money from an ATM. But you can find those that offer free withdrawals from their network of ATMs. Some will even reimburse you for fees charged by competing banks for their ATMs.

Foreign Transaction Fee. Many credit and debit cards charge you for using your card internationally. This can often be 2-3% of every dollar you spend when you are out of the country. But some checking accounts will offer no foreign transaction fees, a good option for frequent travelers.


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Checking Accounts.

FEATURES

Just For You. Many banking institutions will offer checking accounts designed for certain groups of people with similar financial needs. For example, there are checking accounts geared for college students, teenagers and seniors.

Mobile Options. More and more banks are offering you ways to monitor your money on the go. If this is important to you, you may want to pick a checking account that you can access from a mobile banking app on your phone or tablet.

Interest. Checking accounts allow you easy access to your money but you can earn some interest while your money sits in the account. Some banking institutions offer to pay (usually low) interest.

Rewards. Some checking accounts will offer additional rewards besides interest. You can find some that give you money for opening a new account or a bonus for getting a friend to open an account. Also, some offer award points for certain activities.


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about Checking Accounts.