Bank Account Services
Bank account services can be difficult to navigate simply because there are so many different types of accounts to choose from. However, it doesn’t have to be an intimidating process. By reviewing the information below, you'll get an introduction to the benefits of banking account services to find the one that is right for you.
Checking AccountsThe most common type of bank account service you can request is to open a checking account. Checking accounts give you the chance to keep your funds secure in a bank while you manage your expenses.
With a checking account, you get the chance to obtain a debit card (or bank card), which you can use to make regular purchases. The money that covers these purchases comes directly from your checking account, as the two are linked.
Checking accounts can also be used to cover purchases where cards are not accepted, like a mortgage payment for example. And you can make many or all of these payments online with online bill payment options. This is one of the main benefits of checking accounts.
In terms of how you add money to your checking account, you can do so by depositing checks or cash payments through your bank. You can also set up direct deposit, which lets your employer directly deposit your earnings (typically, minus taxes) into your checking account.
There are several different types of checking accounts that you can choose from. These include:
- Interest-earning checking accounts. This means that if you have a minimum amount of money in your account, then that account will accrue interest every month or every quarter.
- Free checking accounts. These typically have requirements that you need to meet in order to avoid fees, but can be completely free to use if you maintain a certain minimum balance.
Most banks offer both checking accounts and savings accounts. When it comes to checking vs savings accounts, the latter is meant to help people save up their money since these accounts are not typically linked to cards or transactions. Meanwhile, the former is more about helping you use your money for regular purchases,
Savings accounts are essentially a "bank" for your savings money. Whether you want to open an account for general savings or for specific types, like a vacation fund or extra retirement funds, that's up to you.
The one thing to keep in mind is that savings accounts do not come with great dividends. So you're likely not going to be making more than a few cents per year in interest from keeping your money in this account.
Also, note that a lot of banks offer easy ways to transfer funds between savings and checking accounts. This makes it simple to add money to your savings whenever you want and to transfer money to your checking if you need some extra funds to cover a purchase, for example.
CD (Certificate of Deposit)
A certificate of deposit is a special type of savings account that you can use to save money for a specific amount of time. This could mean anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. The advantage of having a CD is that you can receive much more interest in exchange for the bank using your money.
If you can be patient and not cash-out your certificate of deposit, then this would be a good option for you so that you can experience a better rate of return on your money. You can find out about some of the best CDs with the highest interest rates in this guide by NerdWallet.
IRA Retirement Accounts
IRAs are retirement accounts. Similar to a 401(k) account, you can set up a direct deposit option so that a certain amount of your earnings goes directly into your IRA with each paycheck. This makes it less tempting to spend money that could be going toward retirement because you don’t even see the money pass through your checking account.
One advantage that an IRA account has over a traditional 401(k) account is that the IRA lets you add as much money as you want whenever you want.