Checking accounts are among the various accounts you can get from banks and credit unions. Others include savings, brokerage, IRAs, and CDs. Nowadays, it is always essential to have a bank account that you can use for your various financial services. If you are employed, opening a checking account to help you receive your payments can be of great help. There are various things you can do with a checking account, including sending and receiving money, withdrawing money, paying bills, and so on. But which of these is an advantage of checking accounts?
We shall see the various advantages that come with a checking account. That way, you will see the importance of having one. For your information, you can open a checking account online using various internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. You need the proper documentation, and you are good to go. Times are gone when you needed to visit a mortar and brick branch to open an account.
Online accounts are easy to manage. You can access your money anywhere on the go, which means you can make your payments wherever you are, irrespective of whether traveling, eating, or resting somewhere. The digitization of financial services has dramatically pushed the world economy to greater heights. You can instantly transfer money to others online for various purposes, which is one significant achievement of taking internet services worldwide.
What is a checking account?
As I have mentioned above, there are various types of bank accounts that you can open for your financial needs, but what is a checking account? That is one big question anyone who hears about checking accounts will ask. A checking account is a bank account that allows you to deposit money and use it any time of the day. In short, the accounts allow you to keep funds for everyday spending.
The accounts come with debit cards that allow you to use your balance. You can withdraw funds from your checking account using a debit card at an ATM and over the counter of banks that accepts your card service provider. Again, the debit card allows you to purchase goods and services online when you provide the various details when checking out.
A checking account allows you to write checks. When you open your account, you usually get a checkbook that you can use to make payments. The person you give the check takes them to their bank to cash out or deposit in the accounts. You can also make your payments from your checking account.
How does a checking account work?
A checking account operates in a simple manner. First, you must open an account to use the platforms’ services. You can open a free online checking account with no opening deposit from various financial services and then put the amount of money that you can manage in your account. Remember, you must have money in your account to carry out any transaction activity.
There are several ways you can put finances in your account. You can deposit money using checks or cash or receive money from others. Once you have funds in your checking account, you can do various transactions by sending money to others using their account numbers. If the recipient is of a different branch or institution, you must use their routing and account numbers.
As I mentioned earlier, you can withdraw money from your account using your debit card whereby you need your PIN at the ATM. Once you insert the card, you must input your PIN to withdraw money. After entering the PIN, you can choose from the various amounts or key in unique figures.
After the money is out, you pick it up, exit the platform, and pick your card and go. The transaction will reflect in your checking account. When writing a check, you must ensure you fill out all the spaces provided and then sign the check to authorize the deduction of funds from your account.
How to open a checking account?
Opening a checking account is a straightforward process that takes a short time unless an institution has technical issues. It does not matter if require want a high school student checking account or an ordinary checking account for your financial transactions. For your information, students need checking accounts to fund their learning activities.
You can open your checking account online or at a physical branch. Online account opening is easy as you need an internet-enabled device such as a laptop, computer, or smartphone. A smartphone is better as you need to download the concerned application or visit the concerned website, and you are good to go. Before opening a checking account, you should have various things with you. They include the following.
- An identification document such as a driver’s license, a national/state ID, or a passport.
- Social Security Number
- Email address
- Physical address
- Phone number
After that, you can then open your account online or at a branch. When opening your account online, you must make sure that you have a secure internet connection. After that, you can visit the website of the concerned bank and then navigate to ‘Open account” or ‘Get Started.’
Before that, you must have chosen the proper checking account for you. After completing all steps, you can submit for approval. In most cases, you can get a reply within a few minutes. It is possible to get an online bank account with an instant debit card.
An instant debit card is maybe virtual if you apply for your account online and allows you to use the card for online payments. You may also get a debit card when you open an account at a physical branch. However, that depends on the swiftness of the financial institution.
What are the various transactions you can do with a checking account?
You can do various things with a checking account that includes the following.
i) Send money to others
You can transfer funds to others either online or at a branch. If you are sending money to others within the same bank, you will require the recipient’s account number. However, transferring money to an account in another institution, you will require the account and routing number of the recipient’s account.
Big banks also have separate routing numbers for every state. Remember that you can send money with a checking account number instantly if sending money to someone within the same branch.
ii) Pay bills
A checking account helps you pay for your water, internet, electricity, and any other applicable bills. You can even set automatic bill payments for those that require specific amounts every month. A good example is the internet, whereby you can subscribe to a fixed cost plan per month.
The importance of automatic payments is that you do not have to remember your payments every time the due date arrives. Your bank debits your account automatically.
iii) Earn interest.
There are checking accounts that allow you to earn interest on your balance. However, you must maintain a particular balance every day to earn the interest. Therefore, you may not need a savings account with such accounts as long as you maintain high discipline.
iv) Accept payments for your business.
You can open a checking account for your business and start receiving payments from your clients. You can integrate your account with payment platforms such as Square or POS and accept card payments. Receiving payments directly to your bank account ensures maximum security of your money compared to cash payments.
v) Write checks
As I mentioned earlier, a checking account allows you to write checks. When you apply for an account, you usually get a checkbook that you can use to write checks. It is one of the ways you can make your payments other than sending money directly to the recipient’s accounts. Again, using checks allows you to pay people who do not have bank accounts since they can cash out at various financial companies.
vi) Withdraw money
It is easy to withdraw money from a checking account. Earlier, I mentioned that you could withdraw money from your account over the counter or using a debit card. If you receive your salary or government benefits via your checking account, you will need to withdraw cash for various purposes.
Which of these is an advantage of checking accounts?
All these activities that you can do with a checking account are advantageous. However, there are those that you can find more beneficial than others. For example, the ability to withdraw money from your account using a debit card or over the counter allows you to get cash when you need it.
Moreover, when you set up automatic payments for your bills, you will be in an excellent position to make your payments even when you forget.
How do you get a second chance account?
Second chance accounts are necessary to help you rectify your past poor financial records. Even though most require you to deposit a particular amount of money, you can still get a second chance checking with no opening deposit. You only deposit the amount of money that you can manage.
Most second chance checking accounts have many limitations whereby you cannot write checks or get a debit card. The limitations are put to help you learn how to manage finances.
A checking account allows one to deposit funds for their daily financial needs. Checking accounts come with debit cards that you can use for various transaction activities. You can use your debit card to withdraw money and pay for goods and services online.
Some checking accounts allow one to earn interest upon maintaining a particular balance. You can get a second chance checking account to help you rectify your previous banking mistakes.