Checking accounts can be used to manage your money and handle expenses in a convenient manner. A checking account’s main function is to receive deposits and allow you to make payments with your debit card or electronically via Automated Clearing House transactions.
Banks and credit unions offer different types of checking accounts for personal and business use. When searching for the best checking account for your needs, compare checking account options that will help you better manage your money.
Personal Checking Account
This type of checking account can come in many flavors, but the term is pretty much a catch-all for different types of checking accounts you might encounter at a bank. A personal checking account could also be a free checking account or online checking account, depending on your bank.
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Online Checking Account
Many times, these checking accounts are provided by banks that conduct operations entirely online. They don’t have any physical locations, so they pass their low-overhead savings to customers in the form of a free checking account offer.
Business Checking Account
A business checking account can help keep your personal and business finances separate. Additionally, having a business checking account will help you keep accurate records that you’ll need for filing your business taxes each year.
Many banks charge a monthly fee for business checking accounts. However, there are some options for free business checking provided you meet opening deposit and/or daily average balance requirements. There might also be transaction limits, so read the fine print when opening your business checking account.
Rewards Checking Account
Though not a common account type, it does exist. For example, Discover’s cash-back checking allows account holders to earn 1 percent cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. This account is also a free checking account as well as an online checking account. It’s one of few checking accounts that provides cash-back rewards for using it regularly.
Though there are not many rewards checking accounts, there are some banks, like Chase, that offer a checking account bonus just for opening a new account. There are other banks, like Bank of America, that offer checking accounts with various reward options based on certain qualifying activities.
Check the fine print on these offers because there can be many qualifying activity requirements to be eligible for rewards and bonuses related to these checking accounts.
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Interest-Bearing Checking Account
An interest-bearing checking account allows you to earn interest on the money held in your checking account. You might have to meet requirements to qualify for these account types, such as an average daily balance requirement, a direct deposit requirement or a debit card usage requirement.
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Second-Chance Checking Account
A second-chance checking account is designed for people who might be ineligible for standard checking accounts. Perhaps bad credit, a bad banking history or negative items reported by ChexSystems prevents them from getting a checking account with any bank.
These accounts might have higher fees than standard accounts. You can also discuss the option to “graduate” to a standard account with your bank after having established a good banking history with a second-chance checking account.
Money Market Account
Though this account is technically a type of savings account, you can get checking account-like features. With a money market account, you can get a debit card and certain check-writing capabilities, which makes it similar in nature to a checking account.
However, because a money market account is a savings account, there are limits imposed by the federal government on how many withdrawals can be made from this type of account each month.
Student Checking Account
A student checking account can be a low-cost checking account for people who are in school. These accounts are sometimes called “minor checking accounts.”
With this type of checking account, the account holder has access to a debit card and check-writing privileges. Because the account is for minors or students, these accounts can be opened without a credit or bank history, though joint account-holding parents might need a good credit and banking history to qualify.
Account holders can be as young as 13 years old. Some minor checking accounts can have age limits on them before they are converted to a standard checking account, though age requirements vary by state.
Joint Checking Account
This account can be held by two people. Joint account ownership is common with checking accounts for minors, but it can also be the case for other relationships: spouses, relatives, business partners or even senior citizens and their caregivers.
In a joint checking account, all funds are owned by both account holders. Also, both parties are responsible for any fees, overdrafts or penalties on this checking account. Make sure you understand the implications of joint account ownership before getting this type of account.
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