If you're like many people, you may use a checking account that you opened when you were just a kid. While there's plenty to be said for brand loyalty, checking accounts aren't necessarily one size fits all. The account you opened ten years ago may no longer be the best option for you, even if you're still using it every day.
Unfortunately, choosing a new checking account isn't a skill that most people learn in school. However, if you're ready to start shopping around, these three tips will help you find one that's a perfect fit for your adult life.
1. Know Your Goals
A checking account is a necessity in the modern world, but it's also a financial instrument to help you achieve your goals. Checking accounts usually serve as a primary cash pool for most people, which means they're critical tools for budgeting and tracking spending. Even if you typically use credit cards for day-to-day purchases, there's a good chance you're paying those cards from your checking account.
Before you shop around, consider your goals for your new account. Is this a primary account, or are you opening a new account for a specific purpose? For example, many people keep a secondary checking account purely for monthly bills. Always keep your goals for your new account in mind as you consider the features and options available.
2. Consider Cashback and Similar Bonuses
There was a time when cashback was a feature you could only get with credit cards, but many checking accounts now offer similar perks. A cashback checking account might be ideal if you don't qualify for rewards cards or just want to limit your credit usage. Many banks also offer rotating rewards, such as higher cashback amounts for certain stores every month.
As always, remember your goals for this account when considering these benefits. If you're opening an account solely for paying bills, then rotating cashback categories might matter less. On the other hand, these features might be dealbreakers if you're looking for a new daily spending account.
3. Don't Ignore Fees
Not all checking accounts are free, and many may impose fees if you don't keep a certain minimum balance. While most checking fees are reasonably small, they can add up if you're opening an account where you intend to keep a low balance. Don't let fees scare you away, but keep them in mind while considering your goals and intended account balance.
Ultimately, the most critical aspect of shopping for a checking account is knowing what you want from it. If you have clear goals in mind, you'll have no trouble finding a checking account with the perfect set of features to match them.
For more information on personal checking accounts, contact a bank in your area, such as FNCB Bank.