By Darren Tolliver, District Manager – Milwaukee, Marine Credit Union
A checking account is a checking account, right? WRONG! Checking accounts have become a “staple” of banking, but you have more options than ever before. If you’re going to have a checking account, make it work for you!
Here are a few things to consider:
How often are you on your phone? There is an app for everything nowadays, and your checking account should be no exception. Depending on your financial institution, the features of mobile banking can change the way you use your checking account.
- View your balance in real-time
- Make bill payments
- Transfer money
- Make a loan payment
- Find the nearest ATM
- Deposit checks
- Lock and unlock your debit card
Typically, financial institutions charge a monthly service fee for having an open checking account. This fee is often waived by meeting certain criteria such as keeping a minimum balance in the account, minimum debit card swipes or a minimum direct deposit requirement. Research what those requirements are before opening an account so that you aren’t caught off guard if those fees are taken right out of your account. Some financial institutions have requirements that are easier to follow than others.
- Overdraft protection
Most financial institutions will offer overdraft protection at no cost. This allows the bank to pull money from a different account, perhaps a savings account, in the case of an overdraft. This protects you from overdraft fees and, in the end, having to deal with collections. It will help your accounts remain in good standing. It is still important to monitor your accounts daily so that you know when that overdraft protection has kicked in.