1 What type of checking account should I open?

The main function of the account is simply to hold money for check writing. Therefore do not concern yourself with interest rates because those accounts usually require high minimum balances. On a similar note, debit rewards are long extinct. The most popular accounts are basic checking and free checking. Free checking is usually the best deal for most people, as it is not encumbered with a monthly service fee or per-item charges, such as extra checks, regardless of your balance.

2 What kind of fees should I expect and how can I avoid them?

Truly free checking accounts have been rapidly disappearing, as new fees pop up to offset rising costs. Today, no free account will waive foreign ATM or overdraft fees. The bank will likely nickel and dime you if it gets the chance.

Nevertheless, you can avoid most fees imposed by the banks by maintaining the minimum account balance (if there is one), not overdrawing on your account and setting up direct deposit.

3 What are the benefits of direct deposit?

Aside from the convenience of just having your paycheck magically appear in your account, there are substantial financial benefits attached to direct deposit. Most banks require a number of direct deposits and a certain minimum amount to waive maintenance fees.

You will also save time by not having to go to the bank. Furthermore, you’ll also receive your money faster -- you do not have to wait for your paychecks to clear and they cannot get lost in the mail.

Comments & Questions

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Monday, 06 Jun 2016 2:48 PM
<p>For higher interest checking rates, your best bet is an online bank.</p>
Monday, 06 Jun 2016 2:25 PM
<p>the interest rates on big banks is so low!</p>
Monday, 28 Dec 2015 10:15 PM
<p>The bank I have been with for 10 years has gone to a 40$ overdraft fee.While I TRY not to have that happen since I only have a debit card, (no paper checks) and I expect my bank balance to BE what the machine says it is on my daily driver thru check on my account,I have become VERY disappointed with my bank not being accurate and then whammy! I'm overdrawn.My question is SHOULD I open an account with you and SHOULD I accidentally use my card and I overdraw my account what is your fee ? And do you have an overdraft protection fee that I could sign up for and pay for and what is the cost of that?</p>
Friday, 09 Oct 2015 3:52 PM
<p>Marianella, to find the balance on your checking account, you can log into your bank's website or mobile banking application (if you haven't created an online account, you'll have to make one).</p><p>Or, you can just call the number on the back of your debit card and you should be able to learn you account balance with a little maneuvering of the phone menu.</p>
Friday, 09 Oct 2015 3:29 PM
<p>I want to know my balance </p>
Thursday, 17 Sep 2015 1:58 PM
<p>Kenny, if you need to activate your new debit card, there should be a sticker on the new card that tells you how to activate it. Usually, you can either call a phone number or just use it at an ATM to complete activation.</p><p>If you don't have that sticker, just call the phone number on the back of the card or call your bank directly.</p>
Thursday, 17 Sep 2015 1:47 PM
<p>Need to activate my debit card.</p>