A checking account is a type of bank accounts that allows an account holder to easily access his money. He can do so by using account information, checks, and debit cards. (1)
Introduction to checking account
A checking account is also termed a deposit account that is used to keep and utilize money. Checking accounts offer several ways to access money. An account holder can withdraw money by using a card at ATM, sending an e-check, writing a check, or transferring money automatically. Checking accounts are beneficial for those who are highly involved in day-to-day expenditure.
Working of checking account
When it comes to accessing money, an individual faces very few limitations. He may face daily withdrawal limitations from ATMs. Moreover, he is restricted to withdraw a limited amount using a debit card. But he can make unlimited payments and purchases as long as money is present in the account. Some checking accounts pay less interest and others do not pay at all.
How to open a checking account?
A person can open his checking account by physically going to a credit union branch or bank or online. A person needs to give his social security number and personal information such as date of birth, address, and a valid identification form. Some banks require a minimum deposit balance to open an account. When a person opensup this account, the bank uses different services such as Chex System to conduct a quick background check. It helps in the maintenance of data regarding closed bank accounts. This system won’t allow a person to open another account if he has not resolved the negative balance of the previous account.
Different checking account options (2)
Premium checking account
A premium checking account is for those people who have 5 digit amount or more to keep. The account holder must take advantage of that high amount and enjoy perks like reimbursement of ATM fees, earning interest, and free checks.
Regular checking account
It gives all a person except a traditional checking account. It includes withdrawing and depositing money, writing checks, making purchases, and paying bills. Some banks charge a monthly fee to an account holder for having an account and some do not. If someone is looking for earning interest then he must open up a companion saving account because a single regular checking account pays no or little interest.
Interest-bearing checking account
This account pays interest on the balance an account holder keeps in the account. Some banks offer flat interest rates and in other banks the interest rate increases according to the balance. This account proves less beneficial if an individual has to pay high fees. In such a scenario, a person must go for a free checking account whether it is paying less or no interest.
Free checking account
A person having this account does not have to pay a recurring fee like monthly maintenance charges. Moreover, he does not need to deposit a minimum balance to activate the account. But it is also the fact that a person has to pay for some other benefitsrelated to a free checking account. These include out-of-network ATM fees, overdraft fees, check fee, foreign transaction fees, and stop payment fees.
Low-balance checking account
This is also known as the “lifeline account”. This is for consumers who want banking services by maintaining just a small balance in the account. In exchange for keeping a minimum balance in the account, the bank may need a consumer to do some other tasks such as writing limited checks per month and getting monthly statements via email instead of mail.
Second-chance checking account
With this account, the bank allows a person to open another account even if he has an unpaid negative balance in the previous account. But in this account, the person has to pay up to $20 monthly charges. Moreover, he can face some limitations that other checking accounts do not have. He can enjoy the perks of a regular checking account only after maintaining a good balance in an early duration.
Best No fee checking accounts
- Capital One 360 checking account
It holds the number one position in the list of best no-fee checking accounts; a big thanks to its physical bank branches, top-rated mobile app, and a remarkable APY.
- Ally interest checking account
It comes after Capital One because it does not provide a physical bank branch. This account serves the best to customers who are looking for online banking. Customers can access about 43K fee-free AllpointATMs. Moreover, it permits the account holder to earn more than the average APY. It charges no overdraft fee and requires no minimum balance to get activated.
- Discover Cashback Debit account
This account suits consumers who want to enjoy credit card-like services from the debit card. The account holders receive 1% cashback on a $3K purchase each month. It offers a top-rated mobile app and charges no overdraft fee. A person does not need to deposit a minimum balance to activate an account.
Checking accounts offering best sign-up bonuses
A consumer can earn up to a $15K sign-up bonus in this bank. A person who can deposit funds within 20 days will be qualified for the bonus. He can earn:
- $300 upon maintaining the lowest balance of $15K-$49K
- $700 upon maintaining the lowest balance of $50K-$190K
- PNC bank
PNC Bank is offering sign-up bonuses from $100-$400 to new and old customers. These rates vary according to the region. A customer can earn:
- $400 upon depositing $5000 or more
- $250 upon depositing $2000 or more
- TD bank
TD Bank is offering a $300 sign up bonus to a customer who:
- Activates Beyond Checking account online
- Never had a personal checking account in TD bank
- Can deposit $2500 within 60 days
People who are preferring convenience checking accounts can earn a sign-up bonus of $150 after depositing $500 within 60 days.
Checking account interest rate
The average interest rates offered by brick-and-mortar banks and online banks are 0.04% APY and 0.31% APY.