Types of checking accounts: Find out which of the 12 checking account types is right for you – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Types of checking accounts: Find out which of the 12 checking account types is right for you

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Consider fees, perks, and banking experience to find the best type of checking account for you.

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A checking account is ideal for managing expenses, and there are many different types.
You may prioritize a traditional checking account if you prefer banking at a branch.
If you value specific perks, like earning rewards or getting discounts, other types of checking accounts may be more suitable.

A checking account is a valuable tool for managing expenses, and there are many options available. In fact, there are 12 types of checking accounts at financial institutions. 

Finding the right type of account will depend on what you value most in a checking account, from high interest rates to cash-back back rewards.

Overview of 12 types of checking accounts

Type of checking account

Best for…

Traditional checking account

People who are comfortable banking in person 

Free checking accounts

People who want to avoid monthly service fees

Online checking account

People who are comfortable banking fully online

Premium checking account

People who want more perks at a brick-and-mortar financial institution, like waived bank ATM fees, or free money orders and cashier’s checks

Rewards checking account

People who want a bank account that earns cash back or a cash bonus

High-yield checking account

People who want to earn interest and regularly maintain a high checking balance

Second chance bank account

People who have struggled to open a bank account due to their previous bank account history

Checkless checking account

People who do not need to use checks regularly

Teen checking account

People who are under the age of 18 who want to manage spending with parental monitoring

Senior checking account

People who are age 55 or older and want special perks like free money orders or discounts on loans

Business checking account

People who are starting a business

Private checking account

People who have a high net worth and want to work with a private banker

1. Traditional checking account

A traditional checking account is your everyday standard account at brick-and-mortar banks.

These accounts usually have a monthly bank maintenance fee (also referred to as a monthly service fee) of around $5 or less. Monthly service fees may be waived if you meet certain requirements. You’ll also have to be mindful of other common bank fees, like overdraft fees and non-sufficient funds fees.

Pros

Allows for in-person banking

Cons

Have to be mindful of bank fees, like monthly service fees, overdraft fees, and non-sufficient funds fees

Examples of traditional checking accounts:  Chase Total Checking, Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking Account

2. Free checking accounts

A free checking account doesn’t charge monthly service fees. The best free checking accounts are primarily available at online banks and credit unions, although a few regional or local brick-and-mortar banks may also offer them.

Pros

No monthly service fees

Cons

Usually not available at national brick-and-mortar banks

Examples of free checking accounts: Capital One 360 Checking, Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking

3. Online checking account

An online checking account must be primarily managed online.

The best online checking accounts are available at online financial institutions or online banking divisions. The one downside to these accounts is the bank doesn’t have any physical branch locations where you can receive customer service.

Pros

Often there are no monthly service fees or overdraft fees; easy opening requirements

Cons

No physical locations

Examples of online checking accounts: Ally Spending Account, Chime Checking Account, Varo Bank Account

4. Premium checking account

A premium checking account is another bank account commonly found at brick-and-mortar banks. These accounts include perks that aren’t included in traditional checking accounts. For example, the bank may waive standard bank fees, or you won’t be charged a fee for banking services like ordering money orders or cashier’s checks

You may have to meet certain balance requirements to open a premium checking account, though.

Pros

Includes more perks than traditional checking and allows you to have an in-person banking experience

Cons

Usually has higher monthly service fees and minimum balance requirements than traditional checking accounts

Examples of premium checking accounts: Chase Sapphire Banking, Wells Fargo Prime Checking

5. Rewards checking account

A rewards checking account compensates account owners for fulfilling certain activities.

For example, if you have a cash-back checking account, you’ll earn cash back on debit card purchases. Meanwhile, if you open a checking account with a cash bonus, you may qualify for a bonus if you set up a direct deposit or make a specific amount of debit card transactions.

The best rewards checking accounts are mostly found at online banks or credit unions.

Pros 

Eligible for rewards, like cash bonuses or cash back on debit card purchases

ConsMay need to meet certain requirements to get rewards

Examples of rewards checking accounts: Axos Rewards Banking, Upgrade Rewards Checking, American Express Rewards Checking

6. High-yield checking account

A high-yield checking account offers an interest rate above the national average when you maintain a high account balance or make certain qualifying transactions, like debit card purchases.

The best high-yield checking accounts can be found at online banks or credit unions.

Pros 

Earns interest if you maintain a high account balance or frequently make debit card transactions

Cons

May not earn any interest if you don’t meet the requirements 

Examples of high-yield checking accounts: Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account, Primis Premium Checking

7. Second chance bank account

A second chance bank account permits people to still have access to banking services regardless of their previous banking history. The purpose of these accounts is to allow you to rebuild your banking history.

A second chance bank account may have limitations, like no debit card or checks, to help a person avoid overdraft fees. At some financial institutions, a second chance bank account may be temporary. After six months or a year, you may be able to upgrade to a traditional checking account.

Second chance bank accounts can be found at both brick-and-mortar financial institutions and online banks. 

Pros

Can be used to obtain banking services if you have a negative banking history and rebuild banking history

ConsMay have limitations, like no debit cards or checks, to help minimize fees

Examples of second chance bank accounts: SoFi Checking and Savings, Dora Financial Everyday Checking

8. Checkless checking account

A checkless checking account comes with a debit card but doesn’t offer checks. These accounts also often do not charge overdraft fees. At some banks, a checkless checking account is a type of second chance bank account. 

Checkless checking accounts can be found mainly at brick-and-mortar banks.

Pros

Often doesn’t charge overdraft fees

Cons

Can’t request paper checks; usually has a monthly service fee that can’t be waived

Examples of checkless checking accounts: Chase Secure Banking, U.S. Bank Safe Debit Account

9. Teen checking account

A teen checking account allows a minor to open a joint bank account with a parent. Teens can learn to manage spending with a parent’s authorization and monitoring.

Pros

Checking options for teens; often includes parental monitoring features

ConsMay have certain minimum age specifications

Examples of teen checking accounts: Alliant Teen Checking, PNC Virtual Wallet Student

10. Senior checking account

A senior checking account is for people ages 55 and up. These accounts have perks like waived fees or discounts on loans.

Pros 

Perks like waived fees or discounts

ConsMay have minimum age specifications

Examples of senior checking accounts: TD Bank 60 Plus Checking Account, Regions Bank LifeGreen 62+ Checking Account

11. Business checking account

A business checking account is for business owners to manage expenses. Brick-and-mortar banks, credit unions, and online institutions offer business checking accounts. Fees vary widely depending on the financial institution, although, there are accounts with minimal bank fees. 

Pros

Can manage business expenses in one specific account

Cons

Need business documents and business license to open an account

Examples of business checking accounts: BlueVine Business Checking Account, NBKC Business Checking, Novo Business Checking Account

12. Private checking account

A private checking account is specifically for people who maintain a high account balance and want a private banker. Private banking is a service mostly offered by national banks. 

Pros

Access to a private banker and  a variety of perks like discounts on loans

Cons

Must maintain a high account balance across your accounts

Examples of private checking accounts: Chase Private Client Checking, Citigold Private Client Checking

How to choose the right checking account

While there isn’t one specific type of checking account that’s right for everyone, understanding the differences between various options and figuring out your preferences can go a long way in choosing a checking account that fits your needs. 

For example, think about where you want to bank. A brick-and-mortar bank may be a good option if you feel more comfortable visiting branches and speaking with bankers in person. However, keep in mind online banks usually charge lower bank fees. Online banks could be a better choice if you’re ok banking from your computer or mobile app. 

Also, make sure you find an account that is manageable without paying additional fees. For example, a solid checking account either doesn’t charge any monthly maintenance fees or offers a way to waive the fee that you can fulfill each month.

Ultimately, there are a multitude of checking accounts offered, so take your time comparing choices. You’ll likely find an account that aligns with your preferred banking experience and has the features you want.

Products in this post: Chase Total Checking® – Product Name Only, Bank of America Advantage Plus Checking Account – Product Name Only, Capital One 360 Checking – Product Name Only, Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking Account – Product Name Only, Ally Spending Account – Product Name Only, Chime Checking Account – Product Name Only, Varo Bank Account – Product Name Only, Chase Sapphire℠ Banking – Product Name Only, Wells Fargo Prime Checking – Product Name Only, Axos Bank Rewards Checking – Product Name Only, Upgrade Rewards Checking – Product Name Only, American Express® Rewards Checking Account – Product Name Only, Redneck Bank Rewards Checkin’ Account – Product Name Only, Primis Premium Checking – Product Name Only, SoFi Checking and Savings – Product Name Only, Dora Financial Everyday Checking Account – Product Name Only, Chase Secure Banking℠ – Product Name Only, U.S. Bank Safe Debit account – Product Name Only, Alliant Teen Checking – Product Name Only, PNC Virtual Wallet Student Account – Product Name Only, TD Bank 60 Plus Checking Account – Product Name Only, Regions Bank LifeGreen 62+ Checking Account – Product Name Only, BlueVine Business Checking Account – Product Name Only, NBKC Business Checking Account – Product Name Only, Novo Business Checking Account – Product Name Only, Chase Private Client Checking℠ – Product Name Only, Citigold® Private Client Checking Account – Product Name Only

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