We all need some place to store our cash – and these days, and stuffing your mattress with greenbacks just doesn’t cut it. We all need a bank account but should we really have to pay money for the privilege of having one? Sure, interest rates are not as high as they have been in other years, but there’s no reason why our banks account can’t be working harder for us. In order to make your bank work harder, you really need to take matters into your own hands and keep an eagle eye out for the best accounts for your banking needs. There are ‘free’ checking accounts.
Think outside ‘the bank’
First up, consider that your best bet for the best checking account might come from an unlikely financial partner. It’s not just the big banks that offer checking accounts. You might be surprised to learn that you can get accounts with insurance companies, credit unions, even international banks. So start thinking outside ‘the bank’ and find you will uncover some interesting options.
Think about your ‘must have’ account features
For me, my checking account has a number of must-have features. Disclaimer: Every individual’s banking needs are different, and I’m not offering professional advice here, just personal experience.
Free online banking
As a larger portion of my banking is done online, I simply must have an account that does not charge for direct deposits or online bill payment. This one is a deal breaker for me. If I use my own time and internet connection to make transactions, why should I have to pay for them? Also, transferring money between banks should not be something I have to pay for, so I will always look out for accounts that do not charge for this feature.
Bank fee free
It’s getting harder to find banks that don’t charge fees, so when you do find an institution that doesn’t charge for ATM use, you know you are on to a good thing. Also, some banks require that you have a certain amount in your bank account each month in order to avoid an account keeping fee. But there are some that charge no fee or at least require you only to keep a low minimum monthly balance.
So there you have my thoughts on what to look for when selecting a good checking account. Remember, it’s your money. Why should you have to pay to use it!