Long gone are the days when people would pay for everything with cash that came from a hidden mattress stash. This is where checking accounts come in, and these days banks are even offering cash sign-up bonuses to attract new clients.
New Account Promotions
Most banks offer bonuses to entice prospective clients to open new checking accounts. These sign-up bonuses are time limited, special promotions often offering free cash. Your cash can do more than just sit in an account, and It is always worth shopping around for the best combination of fees, interest rates, and sign-up bonuses. These particular offers may be temporary, but banks typically have some form of new account incentives in place at all times, so it's definately worth looking. These are some of the best new account promotions we've found recently:
- $500 at HSBC - HSBC Bank is currently offering a $500 cash deposit when opening a free premium checking account. The offer is open for new online premium checking accounts, and also has special rates for debit card activity and mortgage holders. You'd better hurry for this one though, as the offer is only valid until June 30th 2022.
- $300+ at Citibank - Big cash bonuses are available with new Citibank priority checking accounts. Opening a new priority checking account online could yield you $300, $700, or even $1,500 cash back depending on your initial deposit. This one does have a small monthly service fee, but you get no-fee ATM usage, and more benefits besides for your small monthly fee. Citi has this offer available until July 17th 2022, so don't delay if you want that cash.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Checking Accounts
It’s important to put both the benefits and disadvantages of these accounts together. Why? Because different checking accounts are made up of different offerings. The way they are put together, it’s common for an issue with one to actually be a strength elsewhere. It’ll make sense soon. Some of the benefits and disadvantages include:
- Fees - This is the number one issue with checking accounts. Many are set up with loads of extra fees. Monthly fees, transaction fees and withdrawal fees. It can get quite silly at times. A checking account is intended to be used and used often. This means that fees should actually be limited. A good account will often waive all fees! It may require a minimum balance to be kept, but in some cases, it’ll just waive them as part of a sign up program.
- Lack of Interest - This is a disadvantage in most checking accounts. That being said, some checking accounts do offer some minimal interest on any money that’s in the account. It’s not going to match an investment portfolio or savings accounts, but it’s still something and those little bonuses can add up.
- Easy Access - Checking accounts can be accessed through online banking, telephone banking or with debit cards. Many are now offering one touch payment via phone apps as well. In addition, you can set up direct deposits so that your paycheck and other important payments are sent right into your account on time.
- Easy to Pay Bills - It’s very easy to set up recurring bill payments from a checking account. This is especially true if you make use of online banking.
- Insured - Checking accounts are insured by the FDIC. While it’s highly unlikely that a bank is going to fail, in this incredibly unlikely event, your money will be protected.
Types of Checking Accounts
There are several different types of checking accounts that you can open. Most function in a similar way, but some may have a different group of users, or perhaps a different purpose. Types include:
- Standard Accounts - These are your typical checking accounts used by anyone for almost any purpose.
- Online Checking Accounts - These accounts may be intended to be only accessed online and waive transaction fees so long as that’s the case. In turn, they may have large transaction fees if used with debit cards or in a traditional sense.
- Joint Checking Accounts - These accounts are perfect for anyone looking to access the same account. Typically married couples have at least one joint account. They are also great for parents with children in college if they are helping support their time there.
- Business Checking Accounts - The name says it all for these accounts. They are opened by a business and can be used by specific people within the company in question. It keeps personal and business expenses easily separated.
- Youth Accounts - Many checking accounts have been designed with children and teens in mind. These accounts work to help them learn about finance and saving. Many of these have some extra security on how they can be used and how much can be taken for a single transaction. Many will also send notifications or alerts to the parents so that they can keep track of their children’s spending until they are responsible enough to do so themselves.