Your checking account should be your spending account. This is where the money you need on a day to day basis is going to be. You have much more access to your funds here, either in person at the branch, using your ATM/Debit Card, or by writing checks. Your ATM/Debit card in particular provides easy access to your cash in two ways, through an ATM, or with a point of sale transaction.
The ATM is pretty straightforward, you put your card in the ATM, punch in your PIN number, and out comes cold hard cash straight from your account (as long as you have enough money in your account or don’t go over your withdrawal limit for the day). Just make sure that the ATM you’re using belongs to your bank’s network or you might get hit with a usage fee.
A point of sale transaction sounds fancy, but in reality you’re just swiping your card at the store to buy something. Your debit card will take the money right out of your checking account to make that purchase. Just keep in mind that debit cards usually have daily limits to how much you can spend and you need to have money in your account to make a purchase.
Not only do checking accounts offer great access to your cash, a lot of different features can be linked to this type of account as well to help you keep track of your money and manage any bills that you may have (such as online banking, direct deposit and billpay).
There are a lot of checking accounts out there for you to choose from so how do you decide what checking account works for you? Here are a few of things to look at.
• Minimum balance requirements for monthly fees
• Online banking and bill pay
• Debit Card / ATM Availability and daily limits
• Banking incentives such as interest or gifts
Not all checking accounts are the same and many of them are designed to be used by certain groups of people. Do some research before you make a choice and make sure your account does what you want it to.
All the characteristics we described make checking accounts great for everyday use.
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