Between credit cards and mobile payment technologies, it might feel like “checking” accounts in the traditional sense are ancient history. But there are some key factors about checking accounts that still make them incredibly relevant to your life.
Read on for seven reasons why personal checking accounts still matter.
Forgive the connotation—checking accounts are more than simply paper checks. Now that debit cards are connected to most all personal checking account offerings, the ability to digitize your money management is stronger than ever. A checking account offers built-in transaction monitoring, budgeting and bill pay that a prepaid card or standalone mobile app may not offer.
A checking account offers you the ability to pay in multiple ways and easily recall trackable proof of your transactions. Most checking accounts offer digitized copies of your used paper checks so it’s even easier to locate a copy of your received or expended funds come tax time or when needing to provide proof of payment.
When it comes to alternatives to checking accounts, most are either card-based or fully digital. This may offer a perceived convenience factor, but many also come with a host of fees for everything from monthly charges to even simple, day-to-day things like checking your balance at an ATM. Most credit unions offer you options when it comes to checking—including accounts with little to no fees at all.
One big benefit of putting your money into a personal checking account, as opposed to alternative tools, is that your funds are insured. Sioux Falls Fed’s accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, or “NCUA,” as much as $250,000.
In the age of the debit card swipe and online purchasing, you probably transact more than you realize. That’s why being unrestricted by a transaction limit is key. Other account types like savings account have federal limits on the number of transactions you can have in a given month, and many alternate card- or mobile-based options may charge you for transactions above and beyond a certain monthly amount.
While many “checking-alternative” solutions offer the ability to direct-deposit your paycheck, a checking account with a credit union can be the safest, securest, speediest way to access your funds on (or sometime even before) payday. Some prepaid cards may even charge you based on your direct-deposit amount or frequency (or infrequency).
While not all checking accounts provide a great deal of potential yield from interest, many financial institutions offer accounts that come with some degree of earnings on your maintained balance. This isn’t something you’ll typically find when stuffing your cash into a sock under the mattress.