Today, most people have a checking account. A checking account is meant to safely store the money you use for everyday purchases while allowing you to easily make purchases. You can deposit your paycheck, withdraw cash, pay bills, and even shop online from your checking account.
With so many options available it can be difficult to decide on the right account. Keep reading to learn about the features and benefits you should look for when picking the best Share Draft (Checking) Account for you.
No Maintenance Fees
It’s important that you understand all of the costs associated and find one that charges minimal fees. Look for options that don’t charge maintenance fees or other avoidable fees. These can add up quickly and the idea is to keep more of your money, not give it away.
No Minimum Balance
Some accounts require that you maintain a minimum balance, so look for an account that doesn’t have that stipulation. If you choose one with a minimum balance requirement, be sure it isn’t above what you would typically keep in your account to cover day-to-day expenses.
Any extra money should be kept in a savings account which will allow you to earn a bit more in interest. Over time, that will serve you better than leaving the money in a low-interest, or no-interest bearing checking account just for the sake of meeting a minimum balance requirement.
Free ATM Access
You should not have to pay to get cash from an ATM. Look for a checking account that doesn’t charge you fees or has a large network of fee-free ATMs. If your account doesn’t come with free ATM access, consider a different option as ATM fees can easily top $5 per transaction.
Online and Mobile Access
The best checking account will enable you to use your computer or phone to review your transactions and balance. That’s a standard expectation in this technological age so look for an account with easy online access, including a mobile app. Without this option, you’ll have to review your purchases through an automatic phone system or speak with a representative. That’s an unnecessary inconvenience and makes banking on-the-go nearly impossible.
Even though you probably aren’t writing as many drafts/checks as you used, they are still handy to have around. Some checking accounts should come with a set of free drafts/checks. Finding an account with a complimentary set is an added perk.
Overdrawing an account happens to the best of us. It’s not a fun experience to put your account into the negative, but life happens. Some of the best checking accounts have a forgiving overdraft policy. The policy might include waiving your overdraft fee if it doesn’t occur frequently or offering other overdraft protection options.
One popular option is linking your checking account to your savings account. This allows additional funds needed to cover your purchase to be automatically transferred to your checking account from your savings account. Covering your payment this way eliminates an overdraft fee or declined transactions - which can lead to even more fees.
While a high-interest rate is not one of the primary reasons to choose a particular account, you should still consider the rate offered. The interest rate is not as important because your money doesn’t tend to sit in a checking account long enough to collect interest that would make a considerable impact. Even still, if you do have money that remains in your account, you want it to work for you as much as possible.
The average checking account rate according to the FDIC is 0.06%, so compare the rate offered by your account to the national average.
FDIC or NCUA Insured
You should only place your money in a financial institution that protects you against loss. Banks are insured by the FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation while credit unions are covered by the NCUA - National Credit Union Administration. Both offer $250,000 in coverage per account. Insured financial institutions are required to display the FDIC or NCUA logo at their branch and on their website. You can also confirm their participation by visiting the FDIC or NCUA website.
Choosing The Best Share Draft (Checking) Account
When you’re choosing your next checking account, be sure to take inventory of the features and benefits they offer so you can make the best decision for yourself and your financial needs.
At Best Reward Credit Union, our Share Draft (Checking) Account come standard with many desirable perks including direct deposit, payroll deduction, free checks, no minimum balance, no monthly service fees, and more!