Account Options at a Bank

Author: BankFeeInsider.com     Friday, January 17, 2014 12:00 AM

The decision to open an account at the bank can seem complicated because a variety of options are available. BankFeeInsider.com can help you find the right account for your needs by providing you with details related to fees, added costs and alternative account options that may be better for your goals.

Savings Accounts

A savings account is a type of bank account that is designed to help you save up money and limit your spending. Depending on the bank, you may or may not be provided an ATM card that can access your savings account.

A savings account may require that you keep a certain amount of money in the account, but the exact expense and amount may vary. Some banks charge a fee if your account drops below the required amount, particularly if it is a high yield savings account. A high yield savings account is a type of account that offers a higher interest payment for funds that you keep in the account when compared to other options.

Checking Accounts

A checking account is commonly used when you want a debit card and more flexibility. With a savings account, you may not have a debit card. A checking account will usually provide a debit card and may offer checks.

The fees associated with a checking account can vary between banks. Some banks do not offer free checking or have limited services for free checking accounts. If you spend more than the funds you have in the account, then you may be charged overdraft fees. Other fees, such as ATM fees and checking account fees may apply to your account.

It is possible to link a savings account to a checking account if they are in the same bank.

CDs

A Certificate of Deposit, or CD, is similar to a savings account, but you are required to keep the money in the bank for a set amount of time. The amount of time may vary depending on the specific CD you purchase, but it may range from three months to several years.

A CD account allows you to build up your savings and gives you interest for keeping the funds in the account. If you keep the money in the account until the date specified, then you have the original funds plus the added interest available.

Early withdrawals can result in high-cost fees, so it is best to open a CD account only if the money can be kept aside for the duration of the time specified.

The appropriate bank account depends on the situation and your goals. If you want to build up your savings, then a savings account or a CD may be appropriate. If you need to access the money regularly, then a checking account might be a better choice.

Source: BFI