You have a checking account, right? If you don’t, now is a great time to open one. With so many physical banks, online banks and credit unions, how do you get the best checking account for your needs?
Let’s look at some features to consider in looking for that new or changed checking account.
Think through the purpose of your checking account. A typical checking account is used for regular deposits and withdrawals of money. This usually comes in the form of payroll deposits and then payments of bills and purchases.
How to Find the Best Checking Account for You
You don’t, however, want to use the checking account as a short-term or long-term investment resource. Usually interest rates for checking accounts are on the low-end, ranging between 0.04% to 1% APY. A savings account with a higher rate is a better short-term investment tool.
Consider if you want different checking accounts at the same financial institution or at different ones. While it is convenient to have all your accounts at the same place, consider your purposes for the account and whether your current financial institution can really meet that need. This includes considering credit unions, which have specific membership requirements, as well as online banking options.
When you have all your accounts at the same financial institution, you establish yourself as a customer. However, a different bank or credit union for another account can help you limit access to the funds or give you even better interest rates on the account or financial incentives that may go with the account. For example, some financial institutions offer lower interest rates of loans in exchange for having a checking account with a monthly automatic deposit.
Fees are another aspect of banking to consider in your efforts to find the best checking account for your needs.