How To Choose The Right Checking Account
Post date: 6/1/22
Availability and special terms subject to change.
Not all checking accounts are created equal!
Much depends on your personal needs, whether unlimited debit card transactions, interest-earning capabilities, or low-cost ATM access. A thoughtful choice is important because of the number of transactions you make and the extended time you hold the account. For example, the average U.S. adult has used the same primary checking account for about 16 years, according to a survey conducted for Bankrate and MONEY.
What are you paying? Compare your account to a First United CU Checking Account. We’re confident we can help you save money — and earn more!
Five points to compare:
- Monthly Fees – For many, finding an account with a low or no monthly service charge is a priority. According to Bankrate.com, the average monthly fee for non-interest checking accounts is $5.61. Interest-bearing checking account holders pay more than twice as much on average and spend more than $180 per year on these charges.
- Minimum Balance Requirements – If a fee is required with your current checking account, it may correspond with a minimum balance requirement. Bankrate.com notes that $1,500 is the most common threshold for accounts with a balance requirement. These minimum balance restrictions tie up your money needlessly.If you prefer a no-frills account, consider our Basic Checking Account. There’s no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees* — simply enroll in eStatements, eNotices, and eAlerts and have $250 deposited monthly to your account via Direct Deposit.
- ATM Access – Look for access within your account’s network. Bankrate.com reports that, on average, an out-of-network ATM may cost you $5 per visit. When choosing an account, look for free access or rebates on ATM fees to help you save money.If plentiful ATM access is a must, we offer the CO-OP network, which features more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.
- Interest-Earning Capabilities – Most checking accounts pay little or nothing at all in interest. The annual percentage yield is an average of 0.06% for those that do. If you prefer to keep a balance in your account, take a critical look at interest rates.Consider our Rewards Checking Account, which is currently earning 4.0% APY*. It requires 10 monthly signature-based debit transactions, but you probably make those transactions anyway — and you’ll earn a superb APY on your money.
No matter what account you choose, you’ll also want to ask if your deposits are federally insured. This is important — especially as neobanks, and online options emerge.
- Online & Mobile Management – Accessing your account online or with your smartphone is necessary for most people. When comparing options, ensure you can conduct a full range of transactions remotely, including transfers, remote deposits, online account openings, and online signatures. Alerts also help you monitor for fraud and track spending.
Bottom line? The closer you can stay to your money, the better financial decisions you’ll make!
* APY = Annual Percentage Yield. Rates effective June 1, 2022, and subject to change. Must meet above requirements to earn interest on balances of up to $10,000. Interest is compounded and credited monthly. Must have a minimum of $250 ACH Direct Deposit, Online Banking with eStatements, eNotifications, and eAlerts to qualify. $3 per month fee without eStatements; $3 per month fee without Direct Deposit. Cellular carrier data messaging rates may apply. See First United Credit Union for details. Rates are not available to businesses.