Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Checking vs. Savings Account: Understanding Which to Choose

Checking vs. Savings Account: Understanding Which to Choose
20 Feb
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There are many decisions to make when you decide to open a new bank account, ranging from which financial institution to work with, to whether you want features like an intuitive mobile app. But perhaps the most important decision to begin with is whether you would like to open a checking account or a savings account. Here, we spell out the differences between a checking vs. savings account.

Checking vs. savings account

Checking accounts are intended for everyday use. There’s generally no limit to how many times you can access your money through debit card purchases, withdrawals and transfers each month, but generally have a lower or zero interest rate.

Savings accounts, on the other hand, tend to have a higher interest rate and are intended for minimal access to your funds and instead, saving up for future goals or purchases. Savings accounts come with a federal law limit known as Regulation D, or Reg D, which allows up to six certain savings transfers or withdrawals each month. Many consumers find that having both a checking and savings account can be quite complementary.

Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of each type of account.

Checking Accounts Savings Accounts
Main purpose
Designed for regular spending, covering day-to-day expenses and monthly bills, depositing money and transferring money to or from other accounts Designed for minimal access and earning interest on your deposits. Withdrawals are usually reserved for big purchases or payments
Withdrawal limits
No limit* A federal rule known as Reg D limits six transactions per month on certain transfers or withdrawals from your savings account
Interest earned
Rates average 0.19% APY as of Jan. 2019 but you can get much higher rates if you shop around. Online banks typically have higher rates. Rates average 0.26% APY as of Jan. 2019 but you can get much higher if you shop around. Online banks typically have higher rates.
Minimum balance requirements
May require a minimum balance or incur a monthly maintenance fee. Most online banks offer checking accounts with little to no minimum balances. This typically ranges from $100 minimum balance to around $2,500. Some accounts require a minimum balance as high as $10,000, or the APY will drop.
Common features
Convenient access; ATM/debit card; checks. Interest rates are typically higher than those of a checking account, checks, debit card.
Fees
Monthly fees can typically range from $0 to $50; Overdraft; Some accounts will charge if you fall below a minimum balance, make too many transfers per month, withdrawal from third-party ATM machines; Debit card usage fees Some accounts will charge if you fall below a minimum balance.
FDIC insured?
Most checking accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per account. Most savings accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per account
*Check the terms & conditions of your account for any limitations the financial institution may impose.

Checking account features

Checking accounts usually accrue little or no interest, depending on the bank, but are convenient for every day access to your funds.

Pros Cons
Ease of access. With ATM cards, online banking and mobile apps, checking accounts can authorize deposits and withdrawals as often as you need.

Insured by the FDIC. You can find comfort in knowing that most checking accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per account.

Fees. Checking accounts can come with a number of fees, such as overdraft fees, ATM withdrawal fees from third-parties, fees for falling below a minimum balance and sometimes debit usage fees.

Lower interest. Checking accounts typically have zero or very little interest.

Checking accounts with high rates

These are no fee checking accounts that also earn interest.

Institution
Minimum Balance to Earn APY
Checking Account + Protected Goals Account* from Simple
Simple
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Personal Account from nbkc bank
nbkc bank
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Savings account features

Savings accounts are used to hold money that you don’t need right away and can earn interest over time, yet the funds are still easy to access if you need to make a big purchase or payment.

Pros Cons
Money can grow faster. Savings accounts generally provide higher interest rates than checking accounts, so you can earn more money over time.

FDIC Insured. Just like checking accounts, most savings accounts are also FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per account.

Good for short-term savings goals.

Minimum balance. Savings accounts may have a minimum balance requirement. If the account falls below this requirement, the user is usually charged with a fee.

Withdrawal limitations. Due to a federal rule known as Reg D, you’re limited to six transactions per month on certain transfers or withdrawals from your savings account.

Savings accounts with high rates

These high-yield savings accounts consistently offer high rates.

Institution
Minimum Balance to Earn APY
High Yield Savings from Synchrony Bank
Synchrony Bank
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Online Savings Account from Barclays
Barclays
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Checking vs savings account: Fees

Fees for checking and savings accounts can vary depending on the financial institution and type of account. Fees just to open a checking account can range from $0 to $50. Overdraft fees can range from about $24 to $34.

The bottom line: Which is right for me?

Selecting a checking vs. savings account depends on your individual goals and objectives. In many cases, it’s helpful to have both types of accounts. For minimal interest but convenience and frequent access to cash, a checking account is the way to go. Savings accounts are better suited for saving over the long term. Having both types of accounts can be quite complementary to paying everyday expenses and also keeping an emergency fund or meeting long-term savings goals.

Now, consumers often decide to open a checking and savings account at the same bank. This makes it easy to manage money and transfer between accounts quickly. Sometimes, banks will waive a monthly fee if you link your checking and savings account. The drawback to this is that you might not find the best checking and the best savings account interest rates and terms by using the same bank. A high-yield online savings account, for example, will often provide the highest interest rate, but you might find better branch access and other benefits from a checking account elsewhere.

In short, it’s best to do your homework and shop around for the checking and savings accounts with the best interest rates and lowest bank fees. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so it pays to find the combination that best suits your objectives and lifestyle.

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Renee Morad
Renee Morad |

Renee Morad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Renee here

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Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/banking/checking-vs-savings-account/

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