Smart Savings: Features That Boost Your Checking Account

Checking Account

If you’re thinking about switching banks, the best thing you can do is shop around. That’s right: searching for a withdrawal of funds might seem like it will take too long, but in reality, it’s never been easier to switch your bank – and you know what that means? More money in your own savings account.

Benefits of Having a Checking Account

Many institutions offer checking accounts that come with free features. For example, many banks offer programs such as checks-on-demand, unlimited withdrawals at ATMs, and even bill pay. Checking accounts are convenient and will have a huge impact on your savings if you use those benefits properly.

Checking account features to consider

Choosing to shift your checking account to a common interest rate may seem daunting, but with the right features you can make it easier than ever. One good option is balance alerts that let you know when your checking balance exceeds a certain amount of money. If you find yourself in such a situation, consider finding a lower-cost method of handling your monetary transactions such as a prepaid card or Venmo.

Which features help and which features hurt?

It’s no secret that the best checking account has lots of features. You want a safety net offered with your account to ensure that you won’t get in over your head. That’s why banks give us overdraft protection and fee waivers, among other perks. But too many features can be confusing and expensive for new customers– so that means finding the balance between building a relationship and enticing prospects with the right mix of powerful tools.

Optimizing for the Best Interest Rates

Most of us only see our checking account as a means to store money, while it is also a superior tool in increasing interest rates and thus earning more long-term. If you’re setting up your checking account, here is one of feature to keep in mind to help you get the most out of your bank.

Create an Autopay Credit Card

An easy way to get added money into your checking account is through an add-on feature of most banks. Designated for this purpose with the plus and minus signs at the end of a debit or credit card number and expiration date, it automatically charges or credits the amount to your account before it goes through. This can be done from tasks easily performed from a computer, tablet, and other smart devices so you never pay for a trip to the drug store or whatever shop you want to make purchases. It can be done at a store, also; this way you would know exactly how much there is in your account each day.

Best high-interest accounts

Your checking account can also be an important source of money if you’re looking to increase your savings and pay less for debt. One way to do that is by opening a checking account with a financial institution that has the ability to offer high-interest rates.  The average checking account offers a paltry 0.04% APY, which minimal interest is hardly worth sacrificing for the ability to avoid debt.

  • Axos Bank® Rewards Checking Account
    Canada’s Fastest-Growing Bank, Axos Bank® is a Community Bank that combines personal service with rewarding checking account products. They understand the importance of a financial institution making it easy to manage your checking account and their services are among the safest in Canada. With such an overwhelming range of great features, you can see why they always have your best interests at heart when it comes to personal banking.
    APY: 1.00% Rate: 0.40%
  • LendingClub Rewards Checking
    LendingClub, an online marketplace that allows people to save and borrow money, is a secure way to earn extra interest on your checking account. With the monthly fee waived risk-free, you can earn a 3% annual percentage yield in its “Reward Checking” program. This means that if you deposit $1,000 into the LendingClub checking account, you will receive $30 as an interest fee after paying the monthly membership fee of $4.
  • Discover Bank Cashback Debit Card
    The Discover Bank Cashback Debit Card lets you steal back a little bit of what you spend on each purchase- and there are no annual fees to worry about. You’ll also save on interest charges, because the cashback is automatically deposited into your account in up to 1.5% increments. If a charge goes under that amount, you’ll be notified. The only drawback to the Discover Bank Cashback Debit Card could be its gas price crediting. However, that functionality is limited to one transaction per month or less than $20 out of your checking account.
  • Sallie Mae® SmartyPig Account
    Sallie Mae® has a feature called SmartyPig Account where checking account holders can get bonus rewards when you use their debit card. This includes just card use like grocery and gasoline payments, to also include all ATM withdrawals from checking, savings, and credit accounts linked to the Sallie Mae® checking account. You can specify which type of reward you would like for each type of transaction through their handy mobile app. Mine pays 1% for every $1 spent on the debit card.

Also, read our article about Investing in High Yield Saving Accounts.