2nd April 2022
Exploring the features
Often this is around $25 to $100, although, as the examples above show, some accounts don't require a minimum deposit at all. This requirement is also more common on money market accounts, a type of savings account in the U.S. that may have a higher interest rate than other accounts but also often has a high minimum balance requirement.
Monthly fee: Some accounts will charge a monthly maintenance fee if account holders don't meet certain requirements. These might include having direct deposits into the account or maintaining a minimum daily balance. If you don't think you'll maintain the account balance, look for a free checking account that doesn't have any minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees.
ATM fees: Many banks offer fee-free ATM usage at their ATMs, but may charge a fee if you use an ATM that's run by a different financial institution or independent ATM operator. Credit unions often have fewer ATMs, but they may be part of large ATM networks that give you access to free ATMs around the country. Regardless of whether your bank or credit union charges ATM fees, the ATM operator might charge you a fee. Some banks and credit unions will refund these fees each month (sometimes only up to a certain dollar amount), but others don't.
Overdraft fees: If a purchase or withdrawal would bring your account balance below zero, the bank or credit union might decline the transaction and charge you a insufficient funds fee (NFS). Or, it may approve the transaction and charge you an overdraft fee. Alternatively, you can sign up for overdraft protection. The protection means that the bank or credit union will always cover the cost of the transaction, or will transfer the money to your checking account from a linked savings account, credit card, or line of credit. However, even with the protection, you may need to pay a transfer fee.
Debit card foreign transaction fees: Some banks may charge a fee for debit card transactions that take place outside the US. The fee may be a percentage of the money you're withdrawing or of your debit card purchases.
The APY can help you understand how much interest you'll earn each year from the money in your account and you should consider the APY that each bank offers when you're comparing accounts
Checks: If you're opening a checking account, you might receive free checks or have to pay for checks. Some online-only accounts don't offer checks at all.
Mobile deposits: Some banks and credit unions let you take a picture and payday loans Utah deposit a check using a mobile app.
FDIC insured: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), part of the federal government, helps guarantee the money that's stored in FDIC-insured accounts. Depositing your money at FDIC-insured banks gives you assurance that even if the bank goes bankrupt, the government will reimburse your savings. The insurance covers up to $250,000 per depositor, per ownership category. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) offers similar insurance, and your money will be safe in an NCUA-insured credit union.
One feature we didn't highlight is the annual percentage yield (APY) that each account offers, because these rates tend to change often. The APY can be especially important if you plan on keeping a large amount of money in the account.
Checking accounts, particularly those from large, traditional banks might not offer any interest. There are sometimes interest checking accounts available, and some high-yield checking accounts offer an APY that's even higher than you'll find on a savings account, but you may need to meet certain requirements (like using your debit card a certain number of times or maintaining a certain minimum balance) to earn interest.