Checking Accounts: 5 Frequently Asked Questions
Before you apply for a checking account, get answers to common questions about requirements, benefits and perks.
Effective money management tools are one of the best advantages a bank can provide — and checking accounts are an essential part of managing your financial life. Aside from helping to safeguard your money, checking accounts are a convenient way to pay bills, create a paper trail and access your funds.
If you’re looking for a new checking account, there are a few important points to consider. Kahlia Morin, manager of Zions Bank’s Caldwell, Idaho, branch, shares her insights on 5 of the most frequently asked questions about checking accounts.
Checking Account FAQ #1: How do checking accounts work?
Checking accounts are intended to store money for short- to medium-term uses. You can have your employer direct deposit your paycheck into your checking account and then you can write checks or make electronic payments that draw upon your account funds.
“Checking accounts are not only convenient for your financial needs, but they will also help you save money in the long run,” explains Morin. “Without a checking account, you might be required to use alternative services, such as money orders or check-cashing companies — which are typically far more expensive.”
Checking Account FAQ #2: Are checking accounts free?
According to Bankrate’s 2020 checking account and ATM fee study, roughly 47 percent of checking accounts that don’t earn interest are considered free. Other checking accounts charge a monthly maintenance fee, which might be waived by meeting requirements such as retaining a minimum balance.
However, price shouldn’t be the only consideration when choosing a checking account.
“Some checking accounts might charge a monthly maintenance fee, but offer benefits such as interest paid on balances, discounts on check orders or waivers for using out-of-network ATMs,” explains Morin. “Although these premium checking accounts might charge a monthly fee, it can often be waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance or combined deposit and consumer loan balances.”
Checking Account FAQ #3: What checking account should I open?
Aside from considering monthly maintenance fees, there are other factors that should be weighed when shopping for a checking account.
“Because you can avoid ATM fees by staying within your bank’s network, there are advantages to choosing a bank with a strong branch network,” says Morin. “Other considerations might be choosing a bank that pays interest on your checking account balance or a bank with an efficient mobile app that links to your account.”
Checking Account FAQ #4: What checking account should I open for my business?
Because businesses have different needs from consumers, there are different factors to consider when opening a checking account.
“If you run a business with a large amount of cash transactions, it’s important to choose a checking account that allows you to make a generous number of monthly deposits without additional charges,” cautions Morin. “Also look for other business-friendly perks such as preferred interest rates or waived fees for outgoing wire transfers.”
Checking Account FAQ #5: Can I open a checking account online?
“It’s common for many financial institutions, including Zions Bank, to allow consumers to open checking accounts online,” explains Morin. “However, keep in mind that you’ll typically need to provide your social security number or another identification number, as well as a valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID. If you’re transferring funds, you’ll also need to provide your debit card information or routing and accounting numbers from your other account.”
Zions Bank’s Anytime Checking® account has no monthly maintenance fees* and can be opened online in as little as 5 minutes.
You can compare Zions Bank’s checking account offerings online or visit a local Zions Bank branch to learn more.
*Please refer to the Deposit Account Agreement, Account Disclosure, Deposit Rate Sheet and Personal Account Schedule of Fees available in the online Agreement Center, or speak with a banker for more details.
Malcolm Hong is a Public Relations officer for Zions Bank.