Balance It Out
Bills, rent payments, student loans, and groceries all require some form of payment—usually not the paper kind. So let’s be honest, it’s difficult to maintain set payments without a paperless way to transfer money. Checking accounts are transactional accounts that let you authorize money transfers from your account to another person or organization.
Most conventional or online institutions charge a variety of extra fees—upward of 35 cents per check and $2-$3 per ATM withdrawal—besides the monthly maintenance fees that cost, on average, anywhere from $7.50 to $15 a month. But luckily, most financial institutions waive some of these fees if you meet certain criteria—like maintaining a minimum balance in one of their provided checking or combination accounts or using their ATMs.
Stick to the Basics
Sometimes it makes sense to use a No-frills or Basic account—a scaled-down version of a bank's regular checking account. Financial institutions offer these as an all-inclusive option for people who have less income or seldom need to make withdrawals. This option limits how many times you can pull money out of your account, but it doesn't require a minimum balance. Just remember, you’ll face steep fees if you make too many withdrawals. Be smart about your choice—it's worth considering all your options before signing up for a more restrictive account.
A New Interest in Checking
Interest-bearing accounts are similar to a normal checking account—they let you make as many ATM withdrawals and write as many checks as you want each month. Something different is that you earn interest on your balance at a predetermined rate—about the same rate you earn on a saving’s account.
Is there a downside, you ask? Yes—if you fail to maintain the minimum balance, you not only forfeit the interest, but typically owe more—sometimes much more—than you would for a normal account. Those added fees slip through any month that you fail to maintain a minimum balance. One month of unexpected fees has the potential to outweigh what you could earn in interest over several months. So, as great as interest-bearing accounts sound (and are), that doesn’t mean they’re right for you.
Getting started with a checking account isn’t as difficult as it seems. It takes a bit of research and decision-making to find the right account for you, but once you’ve found it, setting it up is easy.
Bravera Checking Accounts
Bravera Bank offers checking accounts to meet both your everyday needs and long-term financial goals.
A free and easy way to manage your banking with no minimum balance.
Smart Rewards Checking
An interest-earning checking account for customers who maintain a relationship with Bravera.
An interest-earning checking account with debit card rewards1, free ATM transactions2 and more.
2 Unlimited ATM fee refunds. Requires $1,000 minimum daily balance or get $20 in ATM refunds per statement cycle with less than $1,000 daily balance.