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.