Convenience & Reliability of Checking Accounts
Checking accounts are an important part of a sound financial management plan. Deposits are made into an account and when funds are needed to make a purchase or pay a bill, the account holder simply writes a check and presents it to the merchant. It is a safe and effective way to manage all of your finances. Checking accounts are immeasurably safer than making cash transactions. They are a convenient means of using your money without the hassle of carrying around large amounts of cash.
Opening a checking account is easy to do. Simply go to any bank, present a valid identification and be prepared to make a deposit into a checking account. The bank will usually provide the account holder with a limited supply of counter checks which are bank issued checks without the account holder’s name and address pre-printed on them. Merchants may hesitate to accept these counter checks, but they are almost always acceptable for paying bills. It may take from seven to ten days for personalized checks to arrive in the mail.
There are a number of types of checking accounts. Banks do not typically make money off of these accounts and offer them instead as a courtesy to their customers. As such, a few banks may charge some small service charge to maintain a customer’s checking account. Even banks that charge service fees typically offer a number of accounts that have no fees. These “no-fee” accounts may require that customers maintain a minimum balance. A growing number of banks offer free checking accounts to senior citizens.
More and more banks are actually paying customers a small amount of interest on checking accounts. Sometimes banks will only pay interest when a customer’s balance does not fall below a minimum dollar amount. That amount varies from bank to bank. Not all banks offer this service.
When the checking account is maintained at a bank insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), deposits are guaranteed to be safe and risk free. The funds in each bank account are guaranteed up to an amount determined by the FDIC. This independent agency was created by the federal government to protect the money of account holders.
Most banks offer debit cards to customers who maintain a satisfactory checking account. Debit cards allow customers to electronically move funds from their account to merchant accounts. These debit cards are accepted everywhere that accepts credit cards. The use of a debit card is often required to make online purchases or to rent an automobile. It can be used exactly like a hand-written check.
With the proliferation of the internet, customers are not required to use a local bank for their checking accounts. Many employers and government agencies will direct deposit funds into existing checking accounts. This is not only safe, but it is a very convenient way to have funds deposited into an account. With direct deposits, customers rarely need to visit a bank in person. Virtually all transactions can be handled over the internet or with a debit card. As a matter of fact, some customers are opting to conduct all of their banking business online by using banks that operate completely via the internet. These banks may offer attractive interest rates and no fees on checking accounts.
Whether you prefer the convenience of online banking or the traditional method of personal banking, you will find that there are a large number of banks to choose from. We can provide you with an exhaustive list of banks that will meet your needs. Rates, fees and customer reviews are available on our website.