How do I Compare Checking Accounts?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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Consumers can compare checking accounts in many ways. They can evaluate the different accounts of a single financial institution or look at checking accounts offered by numerous banks or other financial institutions. There are different methods of comparison and these include casually visiting a few banks and asking for details about checking services or using the Internet or telephoning banks for this information. If looking at Internet-based checking accounts, email, live chat or phone contact numbers may be the only way to get information. Alternately, people can use free comparison checking account online tools that evaluate different features to show which accounts appear most advantageous.

When people compare checking accounts, they need specific information, no matter if they're comparing accounts at a single bank, at several banks or at different financial institutions. The cost of a checking account is important, so be sure to research monthly fees, fees for use of ATM, overdraft (bounced check) fees, and other elements. No monthly fees does not automatically mean that the cost of the account will be lower if ATM fees are high, or if people routinely overdraw an account. Another issue that should be considered is access to the account. Consumers need to know how quickly they can use deposited funds and if banks impose waiting periods on certain types of deposits.


Account safety is another important consideration. Many banks in the US are members of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), meaning deposits up to specific dollar amounts are insured. If a bank lacks this or another such guarantee, customers should consider using a financial institute that better protected. Additional features that may be of interest to consumers are things like online tracking of money and online bill pay services, which sometimes do cost more.

A single bank may offer different services, making it worthwhile for people to compare several types of checking accounts. For example, many banks have some form of interest checking accounts. Interest is accrued if people maintain a minimum balance, and usually there is no monthly fee associated with this account. There may be a fee if a minimum balance is not maintained.

Special circumstance checking accounts are also available to some groups. Most financial institutions offer joint checking at no extra charge, and they could extend low fee accounts to high school and college students as a means of building successful lifetime financial relationships with them. Accounts exist for large and small businesses and successful business owners may want to compare checking accounts of this type to find those most suitable.

The different services, deals, pricing, and protection offered by various financial institutions make it wise to compare checking accounts before choosing one. These are so varied and people may be able to save money, have greater protection, or provide themselves with access to more extensive services by doing some shopping. Finding a good account through comparison, which is easy to do in many forms, simply makes sense.



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