Have you ever wondered if there were better checking accounts out there to fit your needs? If you answered yes, I’ve got news for you – you’re not alone! Many folks stick with what they know just so they don’t have to learn about a bunch of different account types.

Lucky for you, we can help! Many checking accounts are setup on the same basics, so knowing what those basics are will help you narrow your choices quickly. As a general rule, you’ll see the following:

  • Account balance requirement – Some checking accounts base the maintenance fee on whether or not you can hold a specified balance. Be careful though, banks may calculate this balance differently. Some may have a minimum balance, some may have an average balance and others may have a combination of both.
  • Account transaction requirement – These accounts are looking for specific usage in your account in order to avoid a maintenance fee. Common transaction requirements are direct deposits or mobile deposits of a certain dollar amount each month, or make a set number of debit card or credit card transactions each month.
  • Demographic requirement – Many institutions offer maintenance-free accounts and programs for minors or seniors and typically manage this with an over/under age requirement.
  • Relationship requirement – These accounts are taking a higher level look at your relationship with the institution to help you avoid fees. They could be looking for internal transfers between accounts, number of accounts (or products) at the institution, total combined balances of all your accounts, or they may again look for specific types of transactions, such as card swipes or deposits.

Some financial institutions offer a combination of all these things. What’s arguably more important though, is the commitment the financial institution has to its customers. For example, if you open a Bankers Trust checking account, you’re automatically eligible to enroll in our relationship package, which provides extra benefits – at no cost to you – the more you do business with us.

Stay up-to-date with our latest tips for Personal Finances or contact me to learn more.