If you are planning to open a checking account, there are few things that you need to consider. It might look like a simple task though it is not. Personal banking few years back and personal banking at present is completely different and you no longer need to go to the bank to open an account or withdraw of deposit money. In fact, the bank comes to you and you can manage your account online. With facilities like mobile and internet banking, you have access to your account from all across the world.
Here are some questions that you should ask when opening a checking account:
Do I get to use the ATM without any additional cost?
Most financial institutions would allow you to use their ATM without any extra cost. If you are person who uses the ATM most often, then it is really important that you opt for a bank that has an extensive ATM network. If the bank does not has many ATMs, then make sure to ask if you would have to pay extra fees for using the ATMs of other banks and if that fees would be reimbursed by your bank.
Do I need to keep a big a checking balance?
If you have many thousand dollars in your account, then you should opt for a high yielding account. This has a very low or no maintenance fee and all you need to do is maintain the minimum balance. You would earn interest on it and this would help in building the reserve over time as well. If you do not have much money, then go for accounts that are free.
What would happen if I withdraw more money than what I have in the account?
Banks would charge you an overdraft fee in case you withdraw more money than you have in your account. Some banks offer overdraft services and this withdrawal is allowed but it is offered with a fee. You can opt for overdraft protection and this also comes with a fee.
Do I need to pay a fee to maintain the account?
Some banks might charge a monthly fee for maintaining the account. However, most banks waive of these charges when you maintain the minimum balance or on some other conditions.
Is there a branch near my home/office?
You might not be required to visit the bank regularly; you might be required to visit it sometime. Having a branch near to your home or office is important.
Is internet banking and mobile banking available?
Thanks to internet, banking has become very convenient. Most banks would offer you online banking facilities though it is better if you ask for it beforehand.
Does to cost to transfer money?
Most banks would not charge you any fee if you are paying bills through your account or transferring money to a customer of the same bank. However, you might be charged if you receive funds from other banks. No matter what it is, make sure that you ask it!