Checking accounts are a common personal finance tool. Having a checking account allows for easy money access and withdraws to cover day-to-day expenses. Considering how useful and integral this deposit account is to one’s personal finances, it’s beneficial to take the extra time to shop for a high-yield checking account that will help you capitalize on a product you already use every day.
With this in mind, GOBankingRates.com asked Austin, Texas-based Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union a few questions about their high-yield checking accounts.
GOBankingRates: What are the main benefits of high-yield Austin checking accounts?
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union: The main benefit of a high-yield checking account is the opportunity to earn dividends while having your funds conveniently accessible via your debit card.
GBR: Can a high-yield checking account take the place of a traditional savings account?
RBFCU: It’s possible. Usually, a savings account will make a little more in dividends, but only by a fairly small percentage. A checking account makes your money more accessible which can be a benefit over a traditional savings account.
GBR: How would a depositor go about switching from one bank’s checking account to another?
RBFCU: Switching to RBFCU is easy! Just become a member and you can open a free checking account and other accounts online at www.rbfcu.org, or at any of our 45+ branches throughout Texas.
GBR: Are Austin checking account rates competitive with the rest of the state?
RBFCU: Checking accounts with RBFCU are always competitive in the market. Plus, with our Really Free Checking account, members receive 10 cents cash back every time they swipe their debit card.
GBR: In addition to the interest rate, what other characteristics should a depositor look for in a checking account?
RBFCU: Depositors should look for a checking account that doesn’t include fees. Many financial institutions make you pay to have a checking account and will also charge fees for things like not using your debit card enough, ordering checks or interest. At RBFCU, our “really free” checking is just that – a truly free checking account with no hidden fees and no complicated terms.
GBR: What is your most popular Austin checking account product and why?
RBFCU: Our Really Free Checking gives members easy, convenient checking options. Plus, every time a member swipes his/ her debit card; they automatically earn 10 cents cash back. We pay the members what they’ve earned every February, and this year we plan to give about $8 million back to our members.
GBR: Do you offer special checking accounts for children or seniors?
RBFCU: We do not offer specialized checking accounts, because our Really Free Checking Account provides members with great value no matter their age or life stage. We do offer a youth savings account for our members who are between the ages of 0 and 17. The RBFCU Youth Account gives our youngest members an easy avenue for starting financial conversations and preparing them for their future.
GBR: What are three questions a person should ask before choosing a local Austin checking account?
- What strings are attached? Many checking accounts come with hidden caveats. For example, they may be considered “free,” but only if you maintain several thousand dollars in balances. Make sure that your “free” account is really free.
- How convenient is this account? Does your new checking account come with resources that make it easy to manage your money? At RBFCU, we provide members with our free RBFCU Mobile app to allow them to access and review their accounts with a few clicks from their phone or tablet.
- What perks come with my account? There’s more to consider about your account than just the interest rate or the monthly maintenance fees. Do you receive any special cost-saving or money- earning benefits from using your account? With RBFCU’s Really Free Checking account, members have the opportunity to earn 10 cents cash back on every debit card purchase. Last year, members earned more than $8 million in cash back, one dime at a time.
Mark Matthews is the assistant vice president of business development and community relations for the RBFCU’s Austin region. In this role, he builds relationships with business and community partners throughout the Austin area and serves as a local subject-matter expert on credit union activities. Matthews has been a member of the RBFCU team since 2010. Prior to joining the RBFCU team, Matthews’ work experience included many years in the financial sector, specifically in mortgage lending.