Checking accounts are held through a financial institution, like a bank or credit union, and are a place to deposit money, make transfers, write checks, withdraw cash, pay bills, and take care of other day-to-day banking transactions. In most cases, they earn little to no interest. 

Savings accounts are ideal for depositing and saving money. These accounts typically earn interest that may help the account grow. Most savings accounts have either withdrawal limits, usually up to six per month, or associated fees when making a withdrawal, which can encourage you to save. Contact your financial institution for more information.  

There are a number of differences between checking and savings accounts, as well as pros and cons to each, and understanding these features can help you determine which type of account is right for you.

Checking vs. savings account features

Before opening an account, it’s important to understand the key features, benefits and downsides to both checking and savings accounts. 

Checking account features 

The primary benefit of checking accounts is the ability to store money you intend on spending, either through debit card transactions, checks, or cash withdrawals. However, the downside is they typically don’t pay interest.  

Typical checking account features include: 

  • Debit card
  • Paper checks
  • Direct deposit
  • Overdraft protection
  • Access to ATMs
  • Online and mobile banking services, including bill pay, transfers, account alerts and mobile check deposit

A great benefit to having a checking account is that you can use it for paying bills or day-to-day purchases. You have access to your funds through a debit card or checks. Sometimes, you may even get a checking bonus for opening a new checking account with qualifying activities.

Potential downsides to most types of checking…

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