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How to Pick the Checking Account That’s Right For You

How to Pick the Checking Account That’s Right For You

How to Pick the Checking Account That’s Right For You

Get cash back at a supermarket : If you’re near a grocery store, go buy yourself a soda and get cash back. Most of the large grocery store chains and some retail store chains offer no-fee cash back on any purchase. Some convenience stores also offer cash back, but they might charge a small fee, usually around 35 cents.

Choose a bank that reimburses ATM fees: In choosing a bank for your checking account, you might consider looking for one that offers reimbursement on fees charged at out-of-network ATMs. Some offer unlimited https://worldpaydayloans.com/payday-loans-pa/halifax/ reimbursements, while others limit them to $10 or $25 per month. Alternatively, you could look for a bank that operates ATMs within a large, shared network, which increases your chances of finding a no-fee ATM.

For college students living away from home, the three key elements to look for in a checking account are convenience, product fit, and fees. The optimal banking solution would feature the best in each, however, that may not always exist, so it would be important to set your priorities as you begin your search.

Convenience

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Banking is all about access, so it is important that your bank provide both physical and digital access to your account and your money. You also have to think about where your money will be coming from. If you will be making your own deposits, then you may have more choices. However, if your parents are making the deposits, you may have to work with their bank or mutually select a bank.

ATMs: College students need access to ATMs, and while any ATM can access your account, you may be charged a fee if it is not within your bank’s system. Some banks offer ATM fee rebates on a limited basis. You can also check to see if your bank belongs to a larger, shared network of ATMs.

Online access : These days much of your banking can be done online, i.e. account transfers, bill pay, and even check deposits. Online management with free bill pay is a must. Online account management is also the essential tool for managing your finances with budgeting tools and the like. A mobile banking solution is helpful for checking an account balance on the run.

Mobile and Text Banking : You do almost everything else on your phone, so why not use it to manage your money. Most banks provide a smartphone app that will allow you to check your balance, pay bills, transfer money and deposit checks using your phone’s camera. Most online accounts allow you to set up text alerts to let you know of low balances or payment due dates.

Product Fit

Most major banks have a product line specifically tailored for college students. They offer student checking accounts and savings accounts not unlike standard products; however, they may come with student-friendly features such as lower minimum balance requirements and lower fees. If you plan on obtaining a student credit card, it should be from the same bank where you have your checking account so it can be used for overdraft protection. Certain banks offer special credit cards designed for college students with low or no fees and reasonable interest rates.

The best checking accounts charge no fees. Although you can expect to pay overdraft fees on bounced checks, you should be able to get by without paying monthly fees.

Using Online Banks

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The fast-growing world of fintech has seen an explosion in the number of Internet-only banks. These banks operate solely in the cloud with no brick and mortar locations. The idea is they can offer better deals and better rates because they don’t have the overhead of brick and mortar branches. A search of online banks with student checking accounts largely backs that up. Most Internet-only banks offer no-fee student checking accounts with full access to an online account management platform.

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