Finding the Right Checking Account for Your Needs
While making these bigger decisions, don’t forget that choosing the best personal checking account is an important step. A checking account is an essential building block to your finances, so it’s important to do your homework about features like minimum balance requirements, ATM fees, overdraft protection and monthly maintenance fees.
Fortunately, there are checking account options to fit just about anyone’s spending and banking needs.
Finding the Right Checking Account for Your Needs"A good first step to choosing the right checking account is to take a look at your own habits. Be honest about your spending and budgeting, and you’ll be on the right path to finding an account that will work for you for a long time," says Cameron Gaither, Charlotte Morrison branch manager.
Can I Shop Around for a Checking Account?Many banks offer free or low cost checking accounts. It’s a good idea to shop around and explore your options before opening a new account. Review each bank’s checking account offerings, fee schedule and other services while keeping in mind cost you expect to incur. Also, visit each bank’s website to compare the features of all checking accounts offered.
Many checking accounts promote ways to reduce or avoid monthly maintenance fees, offer additional benefits and some even earn interest.
When looking at your options, make sure you understand overdraft protection policies. You may also want to check the number of ATMs available to you and if withdrawing cash from another bank’s ATM will charge you a fee or not.
If earning interest is important, you may find many interest-bearing checking accounts require you to maintain a certain minimum balance to earn their best rate. If you have the cash flow, investing excess cash in a savings or money market account may be an alternative solution. You always want to shop around, read the terms of any checking or savings before opening an account.
What Is a Special Checking Account?Many banks offer special checking accounts for people based on age.
You may want to explore perks geared specifically for senior citizens who need to write checks more often or high school or college students who want to start their financial journey but need guidance.
Additionally, banks may also offer special checking account designed for those serving our country and communities. If you serve in the military, are a healthcare worker or work in education, many banks offer a combination of account features, no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fee.
It may seem like a lot of work to fully research your checking account. Doing so, however, will set you up for financial success, help you avoid monthly maintenance fees and protect your money.