Checking accounts come in many forms. From accounts for those just starting out in the world of checking to those designed for seniors, there’s something for everyone. Choose from a variety of checking options including interest-bearing, online, no-fee and no-minimum, business and military accounts. You can even find second-chance accounts if you’ve had financial issues with a bank before. Whatever stage of life — or finances — you’re in, there’s a checking account to meet your needs.
You don’t need to pay bank fees just to have a checking account. Many banks offer free checking accounts.
But understand that “free” can mean different meanings among financial institutions. Before you commit to a checking account, verify there’s no monthly maintenance fee, and find out about ATM, wire and other transaction fees. See the latest Checking Account Rates here.
Online banking is on the rise — and it’s not surprising. Because they don’t have overhead costs like brick-and-mortar banks, online banks typically pass those savings on to customers — in the form of not requiring minimum deposits or minimum balance amounts, and providing lower loan rates and high-yield checking accounts.
Whether you’re a veteran or new to online banking, an online checking account could be ideal for you: It’s fast, easy and convenient. You can apply for an account online in most cases — and be up and running in no time.
Earning interest on a checking account is a great way to get some extra cash each month. And, unlike a savings account, you don’t need to worry about how many transactions you can make every month.
Although a bank that offers an interest checking account might attach other fees, you can find free, interest-earning accounts. Doing the research could net you a free account that pays you to maintain it.
You might find it difficult to open a checking account if your check-writing has been spotty in the past. The good news is that some banks feel customers who have made mistakes deserve a second go: Enter the second-chance checking account.
A second-chance checking account enables you to build a good check-writing history. In addition, this type of account typically come with online banking. You’ll likely pay a monthly fee with a second-chance account, but the fee might be waived if you meet certain requirements such as having qualifying direct deposits or a specific minimum daily balance.
Business Checking Accounts
Banks often offer different types of business checking accounts for different-size businesses. You can find accounts geared toward helping you minimize fees, manage your cash flow or handle payments from customers.
If you’re still using your personal checking account for your small business, consider switching to a business account. You’ll benefit from its convenience, tax advantages, legal liability protection — and it’s more professional.
No-Minimum-Required Checking Accounts
Some banks require you to keep a minimum balance in your account to avoid monthly fees or to earn interest. Finding a checking account that doesn’t require a minimum balance is essential if your bank account tends to run low during the monthly cycle.
Although many financial institutions require a minimum amount to open a checking account without a balance requirement, some do not. If you don’t have even $25 or $50 to open an account, don’t worry: You can find a number of free checking accounts that don’t require a minimum opening deposit.
Student Checking Accounts
Student checking accounts are designed for young adults who are still in school, and are a great way to get your child started managing his finances. Student accounts typically come with benefits including no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fee, free ATM usage, mobile and online banking, discounted checks and live, 24/7 customer service.
Because students typically don’t earn a lot of money, a free account is the way to go. Requirements for student checking accounts vary among banks, but high school checking accounts are generally for students ages 13 to 17 and college checking is for students ages 17 to 24.
Senior Checking Accounts
You could be getting perks from a checking account if you’re a senior. Benefits can include free checks, no fees for money orders or using non-bank ATMs, higher interest rates, discounts on safe-deposit boxes and free paper statements.
Not every bank offers the same benefits to seniors, so make sure you find the one that’s right for you. Watch out for higher monthly fees with these accounts, and check if there is a required minimum balance to qualify for any interest rates.
Military Checking Accounts
Many banks stand with those who serve the U.S. They show this by offering special checking account benefits designed to fit the unique needs of military members and their families.
Typical features of military checking account include free use of non-bank ATMs, no fees or balance requirements, online and mobile banking with bill pay, free money orders and cashier’s checks, and more. If you’re an active military member or a vet, a military checking account could be ideal for you.