Your checking account is an important part of your finances. Having the right checking account can save you fees and facilitate easy access to your money when you need it. When you choose a checking account, you’ll want to make sure your bank has traditional ways to access your money, like checks and ATMs, as well as modern features, like the ability to check your bank account online. Here are six features to look for in a personal checking account:
Access to a Large Network of Surcharge-Free ATMs Plus ATM Fee Credits
Even with all the convenience of online banking, sometimes it’s important to have cold, hard cash. Make sure your bank has a large network of surcharge-free ATMs so that you can withdraw cash when you need it. Your checking account might also have ATM fee credits to reimburse you a certain amount each month for having to use an out-of-network ATM.
Check Your Bank Account Online
In today’s world, being able to check bank account online is a necessary feature. You’ll want to be able to log in from your computer or phone to see your balance, check on your paycheck and other automatic deposits, and make sure you have money in your account before making big purchases.
Mobile Check Deposit
You should look for a checking account that allows you to make mobile check deposits. You’ll install the bank’s mobile app on your phone and use the app to deposit checks. Just open the app, take a picture of both sides of the check with your phone’s camera and press the “deposit” button. So easy!
Bill Pay and P2P Payments
You should also be able to use bill pay and P2P payments when you check your bank account online. Nobody likes paying bills, but at least you’ll be able to schedule automatic payments directly from your account, so you never forget and incur a late fee. Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments let you send cash directly to the bank accounts of family and friends with a few clicks.
Cash Back Rewards
One of the disadvantages of using a debit card to make payments has traditionally been foregoing the cash back rewards available on some credit cards. With cash back rewards on your checking account, you can now use your debit card and earn points.
Protection Against Overdrafts
Although you hope you will never overdraft your account, it’s important that your bank helps you avoid overdraft fees. Some checking accounts will have a “savings overdraft sweep” to pull money from your savings account into checking and keep you from spending over your balance. You might also be eligible for approval of an overdraft line of credit.
Open the Right Account for You
Checking accounts are such a big part of everyday life that opening the right account makes a huge difference in your ability to access your money and pay for your purchases. Make sure your account has the right features, and especially that you’re able to check your bank account online.