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Opening A Checking Account? Consider These Key Features

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A checking account is a financial tool that allows you to deposit and withdraw money for everyday expenses, bills, and purchases. Choosing the right checking account can make a big difference in your financial management and banking experience. If you're opening an account and need to choose one, here are key features to look for.

Low Fees 

One of the most important features to look for when opening a checking account is low fees. Some common fees associated with checking accounts include monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, ATM fees, and transaction fees. 

Many checking accounts have no maintenance fees if you keep a minimum balance in them. If you don't have enough funds to meet a minimum balance requirement, you might alternatively find an account that has no maintenance fee if you set up direct deposit.

You'll be hard-pressed to find an account with no overdraft or transaction fees, but you can likely find an account that has reasonable charges for these fees.

High Interest Rate

While most checking accounts don't offer high-interest rates, some accounts offer interest-bearing options that can help you earn a little money on your deposits. The money can add up over time, especially if you're maintaining a minimum balance in the account.

Look for a checking account with an above-average interest rate if you expect to keep a substantial amount of money in the account. If your account balance will be low, prioritize low fees over a high interest rate.

Online and Mobile Banking

In today's digital age, online and mobile banking have become essential features to look for when opening a checking account. These features allow you to access your account information, transfer funds, pay bills, and deposit checks from anywhere, anytime. 

National and many regional banks now offer online and mobile banking, but some local banks and credit unions might have limited mobile functionality. 

ATM Access

Choose a checking account that offers free or low-cost ATM access at convenient locations. Some banks even have ATM fee reimbursement programs, which can save you money when you use an out-of-network ATM. At the very least, find a bank or credit union with ATMs readily available in your local area.

Customer Service

You'll eventually need help with something related to your checking account. To make sure help is easily accessed, choose a bank that offers excellent customer service. Prioritize a bank with a 24/7 customer service line, multiple channels of communication, and friendly and knowledgeable representatives.

To find out more, contact a company like Bellco Credit Union.