Checklist for Choosing a Checking Account
Posted on February 23, 2018
Topic Categories: Banking, Consumer Help
By Liz Frey - Cinfed Branch Manager, Oakley Office
Looking to open a new checking account? You’ll find a wide variety of incentives and features that try to capture your attention. Here’s a checklist with some important factors to consider when making your decision.
- “Free” - Find out what “free checking” means: do fees normally apply? Do they get waived initially, and if so, for how long? Or will your account continue to be free for as long as you have it?
- No or Low Minimum Balance - Some checking accounts require users to maintain a minimum balance. See if penalties are assessed for falling below a certain threshold. Keep in mind some financial institutions may require a minimum deposit to open a new account.
- Fees - Review the type of fees associated with the account and compare them with other financial institutions. A certain number of transactions may be allowed before fees are assessed.
- Rewards - Some checking accounts offer rewards in the form of cash back or points that can be earned for merchandise.
- ATM Access - Most checking accounts offer a debit card for use at ATMs. Check for access without having to pay substantial ATM fees, particularly for using ATMs that are not in the credit union or bank's network. Or, compare fees to see which one charges the least.
- Overdraft Protection - To prevent a check from bouncing and paying the fees associated with not having sufficient funds, consider a checking account that offers overdraft protection. This important feature automatically moves funds from an existing savings account in case the checking account does not have enough funds to cover transactions.
As member-owned credit union, Cinfed is proud to offer Kasasa Cash® and Kasasa Cash Back®, truly free checking accounts with cash back rewards. The accounts offer free debit cards, which can be used in more than 55,000 ATMs around the world.
With so many checking account options available, to determine the best fit you should ask a lot of questions. And in this case, Cinfed has the answers.