Nowadays, we hear about the perks of credit cards and savings accounts everywhere we go. Those are great options, but have you ever considered the many benefits of a checking account?
Checking accounts are safe, easy to use and often come with additional benefits, depending on the type of account you have. They are the method of choice for many Americans when it comes to basic and essential money management.
So, let’s discuss the different types of checking accounts (yes, there are different types!) and the benefits of each.
A summary of different types of checking accounts
Contrary to popular belief, checking accounts are not one-size-fits-all. Your financial institution most likely offers several different options, often with the added benefit of account customization.
Just look at the range of checking accounts we offer at Bank Midwest.
Most banks will offer a very basic, no-nonsense checking account option for people who just want convenience and affordability. At Bank Midwest, that’s our Onederful Checking account.
With this option, there is no minimum balance that you have to worry about, and the minimum account opening deposit is only $50. It’s great for people brand new to the workforce or just beginning to save money. And, it’s the perfect option for anyone who wants to bank without any hassle.
Additionally, there is no monthly maintenance fee. Due to the affordability of this type of bank account, interest does not accrue. It’s a good choice for consumers who don’t plan to keep a lot of money in their bank account, or just want a safe, highly affordable (free!) place to store and manage their money.
EnVision Interest Checking
If you want to see your money grow, you should consider an interest-bearing option like our EnVision Interest Checking account.
This checking account requires the same low $50 minimum opening deposit, and there is an $8 fee per month. Reason being: Your entire account balance accrues interest!*
With an APY of 0.01%, the more you deposit, the more you earn. Plus, when your account balance is over $500, we eliminate that $8 monthly fee.
This bank account has the potential to be just as affordable as the Onederful option, while also earning you money.
Great Rewards Checking
To get the most out of your checking account, there’s the Great Rewards Checking option. If you use your debit card really often, this type of bank account could be for you.
The amount of interest you would earn depends on the amount of money you have in your account*. If you are on a trajectory to start saving a lot of money, this might be the option for you. Once you meet our qualifications, you could earn a 0.5% interest rate, enabling your money to grow exponentially!
Plus, the minimum opening deposit is still only $50, and the monthly fee is a low $3.95. What’s not to love about that?
The benefits of a checking account
Now that we know the different types of checking accounts available, let’s answer the question that’s most likely on your mind: What are these many benefits of a checking account we speak of?
First off, checking accounts are incredibly versatile. You can use them to pay your bills, deposit checks or deposit and withdraw cash from an ATM, transfer money to and from other accounts and more. There’s a reason they are the most common bank account across the U.S.
Additionally, if your workplace offers direct deposit, your paycheck can be added right into your account every pay period without you needing to lift a finger. What’s better than money appearing in your account automatically?
There are also convenient online banking and mobile banking options with a checking account. The days of needing to physically go to the bank are behind us. Now, with a checking account, you can manage your money online from the comfort of your home. Mobile banking, meanwhile, allows you to review your finances on the go, using a smartphone.
A checking account is affordable and convenient. It enables you to organize and keep track of your money easily. But how does it stack up to a savings account or another high interest option?
How to grow your money with a checking account
Many people believe that a savings account is where they can accrue interest, and a checking account won’t lead to growth, but that isn’t true! As we discussed above, there are options for checking accounts that accrue interest.*
Let’s put this into perspective with some hard numbers.
If you open a Great Rewards Checking account, the interest rates are variable, and you could potentially become eligible for a 0.5% interest rate on your entire account balance. That may not sound like much initially, but consider how money grows over time due to something especially useful — compounding interest. The money that you deposit into your account will accrue interest, and then the total amount – including the money you earned from interest – will also accrue interest. Money begets more money.
One of the best parts about a checking account that earns interest is enjoying the benefits of a savings or investment account without the hassle, risk or higher monthly fees. It’s a way for people to grow their money without having to constantly monitor it.
Safety and security while depositing money
If you aren’t sold on a checking account yet, this might change your mind: It could be your safest option for storing your money.
Carrying around cash all the time is risky. If someone steals your wallet and there is a significant amount of cash inside, you’re probably out of luck.
If someone steals your debit card, they may be able to use it at to buying something at a store like a credit card but the money will be withdrawn from you account. They will not be able to withdraw cash from an ATM as that would require the thief to enter your PIN. As long as your PIN isn’t something easy to guess (like 0000 or 1234), the likelihood of them guessing it is incredibly low.
If you lose your debit card or someone steals it, you also have the added protection of being able to disable it. You can turn it off either temporarily — if you lost it and think you may still be able to find it — or permanently. That way, you’ll know that even if the perpetrator somehow guesses your PIN, they still won’t be able to use your card.
Additionally, a checking account makes it possible for you to use a virtual wallet as opposed to your actual card. By entering your debit card information into your smartphone, you can pay at many stores with tap-and-go technology, making it unnecessary for you to even carry your card. To use your debit card through a virtual wallet, you need to be able to access your trusted device, which makes it all the more difficult for someone to access your checking account information even if they steal your phone.
Mobile banking and online banking are also very safe. Banks have heightened cybersecurity measures to make it near impossible for someone to steal your money electronically. And, on the off chance that it does happen, Bank Midwest has a fraud protection center, which will not hold you accountable for any fraudulent activity on your card. You can put your mind at ease knowing that even in the worst case scenario, you’ll still be protected.
Want to learn more about the many benefits of a checking account? Contact our team of experts at Bank Midwest today to discuss your options.
*Interest rates are included for illustrative purposes only. Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) are subject to change without notice. Fees may reduce earnings.