Checking accounts come in all sorts, which is why it is sometimes overwhelming to choose just one. To more easily find the account that best fits your needs, consider the five things below that can help you make an informed decision.
Not being able to withdraw cash at a nearby ATM simply because it is not in your bank's network can be frustrating. Just as annoying are some ATMs that do allow you to withdraw money but charge you a significant fee for doing so. Make sure the checking account you choose has a large network of ATMs, even if you don't plan on needing cash any time soon. A series of seemingly mall fees for unexpected withdrawals can quickly make a checking account more of a hassle than a convenience.
The best checking accounts eliminate most (or all) fee structures for their customers. Look for FDIC-insured accounts that do not feature monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees, for example. All fees should be clearly stated in a checking account overview on a bank site or in printed literature.
Online and Mobile Banking
Many customers increasingly do the majority of their banking online. They may not visit a bank branch more than once a month, if that. If you can count yourself among this group, then you should prioritize checking accounts that have a fantastic online and mobile banking experience. Ask a bank representative to explain the various features of the institution's site and app so that you are confident you will be able to do everything you need to do once you open an account.
Many consumers are unaware of all the advantages that can come with a standard checking account. There is often no need to be a VIP customer in order to benefit from things such as debit card rewards programs, cashback offers, and discounted financial products offered by the same bank. For many people, these additional benefits are the key difference that separates good checking accounts from great ones.
While it may not count as a permanent feature of an account, bonuses are nonetheless a great way to earn extra cash when opening an account. Many banks feature annual promotions in which you can earn hundreds of dollars simply for opening an account — sometimes with no minimum requirement — and keeping cash in it for a certain period of time.
Contact a bank like Bellco Credit Union to learn more.