Checking accounts are aimed at offering account holders easy and quick access to their money. It offers the depositors efficient and accessible means to withdraw their cash for their daily needs. They have also been called demand accounts or transaction accounts in the past. The ultimate selling point of this type account is that they offer reliable and fast access to an account holder. It provides the account holder numerous ways to make transactions like issuing a check, using a debit card at an ATM, via the phone and over the internet through netbanking. The key feature to this form of account is the lack of any unlimited withdrawal facility that allows the account holder to withdraw as much of their funds as they see fit at no extra transaction cost, The number of withdrawals are usually limited in savings accounts from 3-6 times a month depending on the bank..
Different banks offer checking accounts with varying packages and offers. This could mean the minimising of charges involved.
Play By The Rules
Most of the banks offer free online checking accounts. However, it is imperative that the customer to check the services offered. Specifically, one must ask about hidden charges before opening an account with a bank. With internet banking, opening a free Checking Account has become a reality. Financial institutions cannot use the term free checking account if they levy charges. The customer needs to be aware of all the rules and regulations of the bank and the account one is opening.
There are certain pointers to watch out before opening a free Checking Account:
- Minimum Opening Balance and Deposit Requirements
- Some financial institutions require the account holder to have a minimum balance at the time of opening a free Checking Account. It could be as high as $1, 500.
However, a majority of the institutions do not insist on maintaining a minimum balance.
Bonuses and Incentives
While most institutions offer no opening bonuses, there are some that offer one on opening a Checking Account. Interest is also offered on deposits or balance maintained for a period. Incentives in the form of reimbursement of ATM withdrawal fee, free checks (limited numbers), etc., are also available.
Some also offer free mobile banking and/or Internet banking.
Checking accounts come with overdraft facilities. Most individual institutions have rules of their own however. Most of them favor having a savings account with the same institution so that the amount can withdrawn from the saving account when it is required.
Certain services can be charged, eg.
- Debit Cards
- Wire Transfers
- Insufficient Funds
- Paper-based statements
- Bill Pays
Checking accounts can be immensely beneficial. However, it is advised that the individual makes an informed decision before choosing a checking account.