Financial Education Blog

How do I choose a checking account?

Opening a new checking account is a pretty cut and dry procedure, right? You walk into the Credit Union or visit its website, you review your options, you open or apply for the checking account and you’re set. That’s true, but it’s also true that there are several options out there and some important points to consider before determining which checking account is best for you.
 
Out-of-network ATM fees
 
If you travel often, it might not always be convenient or easy to find an in-network ATM for your cash needs. You might not think twice about the fee that comes with it – it’s just a few dollars here and there, right? Wrong! Those fees can put a serious dent in your cash flow if you’re not careful. Look for a checking account, like 7 17’s free WOW Checking Account, that will help you defray those costs.
 
What are the checking account fees?
 
There’s no such thing as a free checking account, right? Wrong. There are still free options out there for a personal checking account. If you find one that has a fee, but feels like it might be the right option for you, talk with your financial institution to see if those fees can be reduced or even eliminated if certain checking account requirements are met.  
 
Does the account offer interest or dividends?
 
Generally, a checking account is one that you use for paying your monthly bills and making everyday purchases while a savings or money market account, or certificate will help you achieve the highest interest rates. However, there are checking accounts that will give you a boost with monthly dividends or interest. Use these to your advantage to help you grow your money. Remember, even small amounts add up.
 
Does your checking account reward you?  
 
Checking accounts with debit cards are often linked to rewards programs that let you earn points with every purchase, and those points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards. You’re spending the money anyway, why not be rewarded for it?
 
Consider your mobile options
Most accounts come with mobile apps and online banking, making it easy for you to access your finances 24/7 as well as schedule future or recurring transfers to savings. Taking advantage of these features and scheduling ahead of time can make saving much simpler. Not to mention, many of those mobile apps also offer mobile deposit, which makes it oh-so-convenient to deposit payments directly to your checking account.
 
Interested in a new checking account? For a limited time, receive $100* for opening a new primary checking account* with 7 17 Credit Union. Visit 717cu.com/wow for more details.

 

*Free and dividend-bearing checking accounts are available. Non-members must join Seven Seventeen Credit Union to receive this offer; a $5 minimum opening deposit is required into your new savings account, which establishes membership. While not common to this offer, membership eligibility restrictions may apply. Please call for full details. Qualifications: You must be 18 years of age and qualify to open a checking account. This offer is valid on new primary Seven Seventeen checking accounts only (excluding business checking accounts). Requirements to receive the $100 cash bonus: A new primary checking account opened between 07/16/18 and 09/30/18 with an opening deposit of $25 or more. A single, recurring direct deposit of at least $200 per month from payroll, pension, or Social Security into your new checking account OR make 30 Debit Card point-of-sale transactions, which must be transmitted and posted by close of business within 90 days of account opening. You must sign up for online eStatements. Important: The $100 cash bonus will be paid into your primary savings account after your new checking account has been opened for a minimum of 90 days and requirements above have been verified. Cash bonuses are considered interest so you will receive a Form1099-INT from us for tax purposes. This is a one-time offer, is non-transferable and is not valid with any other promotion. WOW Checking: To qualify for account benefits specific to WOW Checking, you must have a minimum $200 direct deposit into the WOW account each month (the direct deposit requirement is waived for members of the Edge club, a program designed for members 18 – 25 years of age), have a valid email address, receive eStatements, perform at least one online banking transaction, and make 15 Debit Card point-of-sale transactions, which must be transmitted by the merchant and posted by close of business on the last business day of each month. If account requirements are met in a calendar month: The highest dividend (1.50% APY as of 7/1/18) will be paid on balances up to $25,000 and a lower dividend, currently .05% APY (Annual Percentage Yield), will be paid on balances over $25,000. Receive up to $25 in total ATM fee reimbursements each month including fees from other financial institutions when individual ATM fees are not over $4.99 per transaction. ATM fees are credited at the end of the month. If account requirements are not met in a calendar month: The lower dividend rate will be paid on the entire balance. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly. The dividend rate is variable and subject to change without notice. NetWorth24 Online Banking is a free service. Bill Pay is free if at least one bill is paid each month. In the event that zero bills are paid during a month, an inactivity fee will be charged for that month. Ask for details. Debit Rewards: All Debit Cards are eligible for Debit Rewards; however, only signature-based Debit Card transactions or when you select “credit” as your Debit Card transaction type are eligible to earn ScoreCard® Reward points. Ask for details. eStatements: Your email address for eStatements must match your NetWorth24 email address, if you have this service. Ask for details. Online Account Opening: If opening new WOW Checking accounts online, use Promotional Code: WOW100. Federally insured by NCUA.