One of the decisions that must be considered, usually when you reach legal age, is to select a bank to keep our money safe. Or you may just be looking for a new account because you are not happy with your bank.
In this sense, several factors or variables must be considered before opening an account in a particular financial institution.
This decision should not be taken lightly, and we recommend you analyze this guide before opening the account. Here, considering the portfolio of products and options that best suit your profile and consumer needs, credit, and payment, you will get an idea of which checking account is better for you.
Note: Usually, you will not find an account that adapts to 100% of your requirements as customers. However, you can find a service that gets close enough.
Furthermore, some things vary when it comes to banking institutions. Therefore, it should identify the bank that adapts and understands the individual requirements and offers valuable advice to protect personal finances.
10 things to evaluate before opening a checking account
1. Security of your funds
Something vital when selecting a bank to safeguard our money is that it is authorized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (for banks) or the National Association of Credit Unions. Under no circumstances should you purchase products from a bank that does not count on such protections.
Similarly, the banking entity’s reputation is a key factor in its soundness and ability to respond promptly in extreme circumstances. Generally, private banks with a long history in the financial world represent the best options since they provide a good level of confidence and tranquility.
2. Rates & Fees
Today’s collection of fees or commissions is frequent; however, it is recommended to identify those products (bank accounts) that charge a minimum percentage for transactions commonly enhanced. Within the type of fees that should be avoided or avoided are found:
- Monthly Fees
- By check issued
- Account Maintenance
It would help if you also verified that the charge for successfully carrying out transactions such as transfers between accounts is not exorbitant. On the contrary, profits or interest are offered in favor of the amounts saved and/or invested.
3. Deposit facility
Payments or money deposits should preferably be in real-time. Under this modality, deposits with checks are easy to make, and the operation is executed in thousandths of seconds.
Deposit facilities become more relevant if the nearest bank branch is miles away from your home or office.
4. ATM rates
For people who frequent ATM, it is recommended to check the bank’s fees to use this service.
Several banks offer to return a certain amount of the monthly total debited for the concept of the use of the ATM, and in case you regularly travel, you should consider the use of your bank’s ATM.
5. Interest rates
This is an important factor since the interest rate can be for or against, generating negative or positive balances since interest payments are calculated on the money deposited in the bank account. There are also discount rates for personal loans granted or charges for financing the credit card.
The ideal is to find an account that offers to pay a high-interest rate according to the average of the deposits made and to charge a low-interest rate concerning the average of the debts acquired.
6. Online Banking Features
Usually, the functionality of payment of invoices for online services is liked by most people, so it is recommended to select an account where this service is free.
On the other hand, if you need to transfer money frequently to other legal or natural accounts, you should verify that the bank has an agile and stable technology platform to quickly and easily carry out this type of banking procedure.
Today, banking has evolved in terms of technology, so it is recommended that the selected bank has the technical and specialized standards to be in tune with the network of banks worldwide, which have technological platforms with robust and reliable software and hardware, thus allowing to meet the needs of the most demanding users.
7. Minimum balance requirements
When selecting the opening of a bank account, the minimum balance with which the account is allowed to remain active must be considered, and that this amount is adjusted to our needs.
This is quite important to avoid discomfort when charging fees for not having the minimum balance required. Besides, the opening balance must be met, which means that you should evaluate your finances before opening the account.
Furthermore, this type of account depends on movement. You have to get used to depositing frequently and maintaining the minimum balance required.
8. Availability of branches
It is sometimes vital to go to the physical banking entity, so the availability of a branch near the perimeter that you frequent should be a factor to consider.
9. Customer Service
A relevant factor is the staff’s availability that offers advice and recommendations on banking matters, especially when presenting any doubt or inconvenience. The last thing you want is not to have a good customer service or that the recommendations are not entirely useful.
As it is recommended to look for other clients’ opinions and experiences, this information can be easily located on several web pages. These reviews can give us a good frame of reference, as far as customer service is concerned.
10. Availability of funds
Several banks promote what is called, released in advance of deposits of payment in active service. This modality has been widely accepted among many customers to identify a correct bank account according to various customers’ budgets.
What is the best checking account online?
Knowing what to look for in your new checking account, here is a list with a few recommendations so that you narrow your search:
Capital One 360
- It offers some attractive features.
- It has almost no per-user fee.
- Offers the first batch of checks for free.
- It doesn’t require a minimum balance.
- It does not charge a maintenance fee.
Note: Capital One 360 has 39,000 ATM nationwide and uses the AllPoint network.
To know more about Capital One: Capital One Review From Mastercard
- It generates a nice interest rate.
- The platform is mobile-friendly –And the app isn’t so bad either.
- Deficient transaction fees –Great for sending money.
- Compatible with Venmo, Zelle, and Square Cash.
- Up to 10$ refund/month if you use an ATM outside their network.
To know more about Ally: Ally Invest Review – Investment System
- Incorporate a debit card with global acceptance.
- ATM withdrawals are free of charge worldwide.
- Discover Bank
- Highly of getting one of the best credit cards out there.
- Offers a cash refund for every online purchase or every time you use the debit card.
- You can get a 1% rebate on all scheduled purchases up to $3,000/month.
- Free account with a nice number of free checks/year.
- No fees for returned checks.
- Over 50.000 ATM available around the country.
Note: Discovery cards are not the best for transactions outside the US. They are rarely accepted unless you are in Europe.
To know more about Schwab bank: Charles Schwab Review – Investment Services
- Headquarters are in Florida.
- It allows you to have a high cash balance in the checking account.
- You get an awesome 5% of interest rate + 1.21% APR for the first year and 0.25% on balances below $10,000 afterward.
- No fees for most daily operations
Note: It does require a huge opening balance of $5,000. Besides, you are forced to keep that balance as a minimum at the end of each month.
To Sum Up
Obtaining a checking account online is far from impossible as long as they meet the minimum requirements to be part of the bank’s clientele.
On the other hand, there are several features you should take into account before choosing a checking account. As you can see, security and account maintenance issues are fairly easy to observe, while interest is probably the most competitive section.
Besides, it is relevant that you also consider the additional benefits the bank is offering you, especially if you consider options such as Capital One 360.
If you expect a recommendation from us, Ally Bank will probably be the most efficient option as it has a fairly decent interest rate, Han incredible ease of mobility thanks to its connection with Zelle, and a good refund campaign if you use external ATMs.
Having a better idea about choosing your new checking account and some direct options to speed up your search, all you have to do is choose the account that best suits your needs.