If you’re looking for a safe and convenient way to manage your finances, checking accounts offer all kinds of benefits and perks.
From tracking your spending to simplifying your budget and even earning cash back, here are ten powerful reasons why you should consider opening a checking account:
Convenient access to your money
A checking account gives you easy and convenient access to your money. You can withdraw cash when you need it through an ATM, write a check, or simply use your debit card to make purchases.
In this day and age when we do so much online, having a debit card could almost be considered a necessity.
Whether you need to pay your rent or mortgage, buy groceries, or shop online, a checking account gives you the flexibility to do it without having to carry large amounts of cash with you.
Plus, if you ever find yourself in a bind and need access to emergency funds, a checking account gives you quick access to your money.
Checking accounts make budgeting easier
A checking account can also help you simplify your budget. Once you’ve set up your account, you can easily transfer money into savings, set up automatic bill payments, and track your spending.
This way, you can see exactly where your money is going each month and make adjustments to make sure you’re keeping up.
Beyond that, every time you use your money to make a purchase, you can immediately view all of your transactions online.
So at the end of the day, you can log into your bank account and easily update your budget.
In fact, my wife and I only spend money on our debit card for this very reason. Since all our spending is done from a single account, we can quickly update our budget and get a clear view of our financial progress.
Most checking accounts are free
Many people think that you need to have a certain amount of money in your checking account to keep it open.
But the truth is, most checking accounts are free as long as you meet a few requirements, like maintaining a minimum balance or using your debit card at least 10 times a month.
Even if you don’t qualify for a free account, the monthly fee is usually only $10 to $15.
So even if you had to pay a small monthly fee, a checking account is still an affordable way to manage your finances.
That said, there’s really no reason for you to pay a monthly fee for your checking account. With so many great free checking accounts, you can easily find one that will save you from having to pay a fee.
Important: If you decide to open a “free” checking account, make sure you understand what kind of requirements you need to meet to avoid paying the monthly fees. After all, you don’t want to sign up for a checking account you thought was free, only to end up charging a monthly fee.
Your money is safe in a checking account
A checking account is a very safe place to keep your money.
Unlike cash, which can be easily lost or stolen, your money in a checking account is FDIC insured up to $250,000.
This means that if your bank ever failed, or if someone hacked into your account and stole your money, you would still get your money back.
Plus, most checking accounts come with fraud protection, so you can be sure your money is safe and secure.
Send and receive money easily
A checking account also makes it easy to send and receive money.
If you need to pay someone back for dinner, or contribute towards a group gift, you can simply send them money through your bank’s mobile app.
Also, if someone owes you money, you can easily deposit it into your account.
You can even connect your checking account to apps like PayPal or Venmo to make this process even easier. Just enter the amount you want to send or request, and the money will be transferred instantly.
You can pay bills online
Another great benefit of having a checking account is that you can pay your bills online.
Instead of writing a check and mailing it every month, you can simply log into your bank’s bill payment system and schedule all your payments in one place.
This is especially useful for fixed payments like: insurance premiums, debt payments, and even rent.
By paying your bills online, you can avoid late fees and keep your finances on track.
Honestly, I try to automate as many monthly payments as possible. It’s too convenient, and it gives me the confidence that I won’t let an essential bill go unpaid.
You can take advantage of direct deposit
If you are paid via direct deposit, a checking account is basically a requirement.
With direct deposit, your employer can simply deposit your paycheck into your account on payday. No more waiting in line at the bank to cash your check.
Also, many checking accounts these days allow early access to the money you receive via direct deposit. That way, you don’t have to wait several days to access your earnings.
With early access to direct deposit, you can get started on your monthly budget, bills, and other financial obligations.
You can get overdraft protection
Overdraft protection is like a financial barrier provided by most banks that protects you from accidentally spending more than you have in your checking account.
If you have overdraft protection and you try to make a purchase that would put your account in the negative, the bank will simply deny the transaction.
This can save you a lot of fees and headaches down the road.
I realize that overdrawing your account is not something you have to deal with when paying with cash. However, it’s good to know it’s there just in case.
Some checking accounts may earn interest
While it’s not a ton of money, some checking accounts actually earn interest.
This means that the bank will pay you a small percentage of the money in your account each year, just for keeping your money there.
Of course, the interest rate on checking accounts won’t earn you the kind of return you can get through other investment vehicles, but hey, some interest is better than no interest.
Online and mobile banking
Last but not least, most checking accounts offer online and mobile banking.
This means you can easily check your account balance, transfer money and pay bills from the comfort of your home. In other words, almost everything you need to accomplish can be done from your computer.
Plus, with mobile banking, you can do all of this on the go. Whether you’re at the grocery store or waiting in line at the DMV, you can always access your account with just a few taps on your smartphone.
You can earn rewards and cash back
Some checking accounts even offer rewards and cash back on certain purchases.
For example, some banks will give you cash back when you use your debit card at the grocery store or gas station. Others may offer points that can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or gift cards.
To be clear, not all checking accounts offer rewards and cash back. However, if you can find a rewards checking account that works for you, these little perks are a nice bonus.
You can set up a joint checking account
If you’re married, you may want to consider opening a joint checking account.
A joint account is simply a checking account owned by two people. This is incredibly helpful for budgeting, as both you and your spouse will be able to see and understand exactly where your money is going each month.
This, in turn, can help you avoid arguments, secrets, and even help you hold each other accountable for your financial goals.
You will have a record of your spending habits
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of having a checking account is that it can give you clarity regarding your spending habits.
When you use cash, it’s very easy to lose track of how much money you’ve spent and where you spent it. You must be incredibly diligent about keeping your receipts, writing down all expenses, and staying organized.
However, when you use a checking account and a debit card, your bank will keep track of all this information for you. At the end of each day, you can simply log into your online bank account and see exactly where your money went.
Even better than that, you can review the entire month, assess your overall spending habits, and find areas for improvement.
For example, suppose you notice that you spend a lot of money on coffee every month.
With this information, you can cut back on your coffee habit or start making coffee at home to save money.
Ultimately, a checking account can be an invaluable tool in helping you control your spending habits and eliminate unnecessary spending.
Benefits of Having a Checking Account: Final Thoughts
There are many advantages to having a checking account. From the ability to pay bills online to the convenience of mobile banking, these accounts offer a lot of value.
Not to mention, many checking accounts offer rewards and cash back, which can help you save money on everyday purchases.
Do you have a checking account? What do you like most about this? Let us know in the comments.